Thursday, 1 December 2016

Static over Winter...

It has been about a month since my last post on this blog but I have had two good reasons...

We have moved to our winter seasonal site which means that we will not be moving on again until next April.... 
However since we arrived the site has had ongoing internet problems with engineers working up poles etc trying to restore the service.... A few days ago the problem was finally sorted allowing me to make this post...

As well as that I had a bit of a medical scare... I won't go into all the boring details but it does mean I need to have a MRI scan and some further treatment....
How long this will take is difficult to say but hopefully it will all be sorted before we plan to head off again next spring.....

As I have not had reliable internet access for a month I need to catch up on all my favourite blogs as well as making a few more posts here at the purpletraveller blog....
If you have wondered why I have not visited your blog for a while I hope that the above answers that question and I should visit you soon....

Below are a couple of images that were taken as we left our last touring site of the year before  
arriving  here at our winter static site...



Friday, 4 November 2016

Destination Meldon Viaduct....

One of the walks we took just a few days after arriving back down in Devon was along the Granite Way from Okehampton station.
We parked the car in the station car park and had only been walking the way for about half a mile when we saw a cyclist approaching us who looked familiar...

As the rider got up to us Anne said "it's Bill".....
She was right..
It was Bill Turnbull a South African guy who we met last year on our winter pitch at Tavistock..
He had been touring for a couple of years and had decided to overwinter at the Tavistock site just like us...
Being a keen cyclist we had a common interest and we used to exchange cycling magazines and spend hours chatting about the cycling scene....

Due to some health issues Bill decided in the spring that he would have to change lifestyle and give up the touring life... I remember when he had to sell his motorhome he was really upset... He loved the freedom of the road and enjoyed his touring life very much... It really was a major wrench for him to give it all up...
He acquired a flat in Okehampton and I remember him telling me that the best thing about it was that it even had a bike shed....

Anyway.. seeing him cycling along the Granite way  was a pleasant surprise and we spent sometime catching up with each others lives....

After we had finished chatting with Bill he carried on with his ride and we set off again on our walk...... our destination was Meldon Viaduct....
The walk itself there and back is only about six miles but it is a really pleasant walk with some lovely views....

Meldon Viaduct is a Truss Bridge that used to carry the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) across the West Okement River at Meldon near Okehampton on Dartmoor in Devon.
The bridge was constructed from wrought iron and cast iron and was built under the direction of LSWRs chief engineer W.R.Galbraith.
The  dual-tracked bridge took three years to build and was opened to rail traffic in 1874.
The viaduct had an axle load limit and as such was limited to certain classes of locomotive.

Regular services were withdrawn in 1968 but the bridge continued to be used for shunting by a local quarry. 
In the 1990s the remaining track was removed and the crossing is now used by the Granite Way...a long distance cycle track that runs across Dartmoor.....

The viaduct is one of only two such surviving railway bridges in the UK that uses this type of cast and wrought iron construction.

Below are some images of Meldon Viaduct that I took during our walk....






Sunday, 23 October 2016

I Should Keep My Mouth Shut....

Just before we left Dorset I was out on the bike for a morning ride when I achieved another first......
I had just got to the top of quite a steep hill and was a bit out of breath when out of the corner of my eye and in a split second I saw it zooming in on me.....
One of these fellas was heading my way...and at speed.

These Fellas Can Cause Some Pain...
 Yes...it was a wasp.... In the blink of an eye it had gone into my mouth and stung me on the back of the throat....
It caused me to stop riding my bike as quickly as it had stung me....

Bearing in mind the bad reaction that I have when I get bitten by midges and similar insects I was obviously concerned that I might have a similar reaction to the wasp sting....

I have been stung by wasps a couple of times before and I have never had an adverse reaction to the sting ...but this was the first time I have ever been stung in my throat.... I managed to cough up and spit out my attacker without it managing to sting me again. 

My main concern was that my throat would swell up and make breathing and swallowing difficult..... I had a drink from my bottle and waited for about ten minutes.....
Yes my throat did swell to some extent and it was very painful and the pain became worse when I swallowed but after the ten minute wait it did not feel like it was getting any worse so I remounted my bike and continued my ride.....

It was about three days before the pain and soreness had gone......
A lesson learned here.... In future I will keep my mouth shut..!!

Next.....

We had only been at our first campsite in Devon for about three hours when I got bitten on the back of my left leg by a large dog......
I have met this dog a number of times over the past eighteen months and he has never attempted to bite me before... but on this occasion he obviously took a dislike to me and showed his displeasure of my company with his teeth.

I recieved about eight punture wounds on my leg and my leg was also quite badly bruised....
This all happened a week ago and the bruising on my leg is still very painful....

As these sort of things seem to happen in threes... I am now wondering what the third thing will be..... 
Will I get trampled on by Deer or maybe I will be attacked by Wild Boar.....
If I manage to survive my next attack I will post the details here on the purpletraveller blog.....
Dog Bite on my Left Leg....

Monday, 17 October 2016

Six Weeks in Dorset and Now Moved On......

Our six week stay in Dorset has now come to an end and we have re-located back to Devon...
We will be here in  Okehampton for a couple of weeks and will then move on to Tavistock....

Our stay in Dorset was the usual mix of medical check-ups...... car service & MOT and catching up with family. 
My Daughter and my two Grandsons all have their birthdays in early October so it is always a pretty busy time of year.....
However we still managed to fit a lot into the six weeks and did a fair bit of walking and I also covered a good few miles cycling around some of my old regular training loops.... 

I had hoped that some of my old cycling mates would have been able to join me on one or two rides but sadly that was not to be.....
A few of us managed to meet up for a drink during my second week near Wimborne but as they are all still working for a living they never seem to have much spare time...... 

I am so glad that I have left the pressure of work far behind....... Not being able to call my life and time my own has never sat comfortably with me....
That has been the real bonus of our full timing adventure....... every moment of our lives is our own..... we are not selling any chunks of our time to anyone else and every day belongs to us......

This time of year really is a great season to go both walking or cycling..... The changing colours of the trees is magical and this Autumn we have had some wonderful sunny days which just serve to make those colours even more vibrant.........

One morning Anne and I woke up and decided that it was a day just made to go picking blackberries....so that is what we did......... spent the day picking blackberries...

It brought back a memory of when I was about six or seven years of age and picking blackberries on the Isle of Portland with my Father........
Funny how things that we do ...see ...or smell......years after an event can awaken a memory buried deep in our minds by the passage of time..........

Below are just a few pictures taken on a couple of our woodland walks during our stay in Dorset.......

Woodland walk near the campsite....


Ealy Morning in the Woods....

Blackberries....some ready for picking.




Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Purton Hulks....

When we were at our last campsite at Slimbridge Gloucestershire we visited the Purton Hulks Ship Graveyard......It really is a fascinating place....
The Purton Hulks form the largest ships graveyard in the UK.

It started back at the beginning of the 20th century when a number of hulks were beached to help shore up the bank between the Gloucester and Sharpness canal and the River Severn which was in danger of being breached....

There are currently approximately 80 old ships and barges to be found along the riverbank at Purton.....
Many of these old ships are unique examples in the UK maritime record and before our very eyes they are being destroyed by both human and natural forces....

There is quite an eerie atmosphere about the place and if you ever get the chance to visit the area a visit to Purton should be on your list.....

In the meantime and just in case you don't get to visit the hulks I have posted below a few of the images I took during our visit.....










This Plinth lists a number of the Ships and Barges to be seen.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Touching Base....

The eagle eyed among the regular visitors to this blog might well have noticed that I am currently back in my home area...
The post box numbers shown in my last post were the give away as BH**** are the first two letters of a Bournemouth area post code....

Anne and I have been back in the area for the past two weeks.....
It's been great to catch up with my Daughter and Husband and my Grandsons and also see the latest improvements to their house that they have been involved with....

The car went back to my favourite garage for it's annual MOT and service and I have also managed to get out on my bike and pedal around some of my old cycling loops in the area....
Out on one of my old cycling loops
Talking about my cycling...... I have struggled a bit this year with energy and breathing problems.....

When we were here last in the spring a medical check revealed that I had a faulty heart valve...
Apparently it is allowing some of the blood to flow back into the heart rather than be pumped fully around the body.... This has cause me to have moments of slight breathlessness as well as a lack of power and energy....

Obviously as you can see from the picture above it hasn't stopped me getting out on the bike but it is something that needs to be investigated further.
During our stay in the area over the following few weeks I am booked in for a number of medical tests to determine what should be done to sort the problem..... as soon as I know more I will let you know here on the blog.....

Friday, 9 September 2016

Post Boxes- Not Just One But Three

After my last post in which I featured a Penfold Post Box Peter Roberts left a further comment giving me the challenge of finding a Fluted Post Box.....

Not being one to pass on a challenge today I went out on a Post Box hunt...
As with any challenge it is always better to exceed the challenge and achieve just that little bit extra....
Below I have posted images of what I found......

Original Challenge- Victoria Fluted Box No:- BH23 5D

Quite Rare Edward V111  No:- BH23 47

Close-Up of Edward V111 Door

George V1 Box  No:- BH23 42
Well there we have it ...... the result of a day spent post box hunting....
I promise that I won't post any more P/O Boxes..... Well maybe..!