Sunday, 15 July 2018

Getting a Clearer View......

We have been in Suffolk for three weeks now and like most of the country the weather continues to be stunning.....
I have been getting out on the bike every other day usually going out in the morning and getting back about 1300hrs just in time to have a shower  grab some lunch (and over this past week) settle down to an afternoon of watching the Tour de France......

Doing a lot of regular riding and also seeing all the pro riders taking part in the Giro d'Italia some weeks ago got me thinking again about riding/sunglasses....
Over a number of years now I have kept promising myself a pair of Oakley glasses....

Up to now I have used Tifosi Eyewear riding glasses..... Although they have had some quite good reviews in the cycling press my reason for choosing them was because they had the same name as my training bike the 'Tifosi' silly I know but I am being honest here Ha...Ha...
Although they seemed to do the job I always wondered whether Oakleys would be better,,,,,

The Tifosi glasses were mid priced and I must admit that every time I thought about a pair of Oakleys it was the price that put me off.... I felt that I just couldn't justify spending somewhere in the region of between £120 to £200 on a pair of sunglasses...
I didn't believe that the gain (if any) would be worth the expense....

Anyway when we were back in Canterbury I passed an independent optician and they had a large selection of Oakleys on display in their window....

Now independent shops I like rather than a national chain.... the display in the window was really eye catching too so I ventured in...

I tried on a number of different styles but the pair that I really liked was the style that I have being thinking about for a couple of years..... the Oakley Jawbreaker.
Apparently Mark Cavendish had an input into the design of these.... they are slightly higher above the eyeline than a lot of glasses so that when you are sprinting down on the drops (as Cavendish does) the top of the frame does not obscure any of the view.... not that I intend doing any sprinting down on the drops very often....

The jawbreakers have the 'Prizm Road' lenses which according to all the advertising blurb are supposed to help you spot subtle changes in the texture of the road surfaces.... did I believe all that...no I didn't but I did like the glasses.... I'd been thinking about a pair for a long time so I treated myself and splashed out and bought a pair.....

My Oakley Jawbreakers
So are they any good...?. Are they worth the wedge of cash spent on them....?
Well surprising to say...Yes and Yes.

First of all they our beyond comfortable to wear.... 
The Tifosi's would always seem to press down on my nose no matter how much I adjusted the rubber nose piece and every so often I would have to push them back up my nose a little as they always seemed to slip down..... 
The Jawbreakers have been comfortable from day one with no adjustment required and I have not experienced any slippage on the nose at all.....

The length of the arms can be adjusted in three different positions if needed.
 I have mine on the longest length and they fit perfectly....

As for the claim about spotting subtle changes in the road surface.....well that seems to be true.
I have found that  the clarity of these glasses is superb. I have now used them over about 450 miles of mixed riding and actually look forward to putting them on......

Were they worth the money I spent on them ?
Well from my perspective yes they were.....

The only question I have is why did I leave it so long before buying a pair??
My Oakley Jawbreakers with 'Prism Road Technology' lenses
**NB: I have received no payment or incentive regarding my mention of this product. 

Sunday, 8 July 2018

A Short Visit to Canterbury....

Following our stay at Crowborough we then moved on to Canterbury...
Our main reason to visit Canterbury was to visit Craig and Caroline who until January of this year had been the managers at the Tavistock C&CC site where we have spent the past three winters.....
They took over as managers of Canterbury C&CC site in March and we were eager to see them again and see how they were getting on in their new site......

The Canterbury site is very busy with units booking in in large numbers every day.... It tends to be a bit of a transit site with people using it as a starting point for the ferries to mainland Europe..... Also visitors from the ferry use it as their first site before setting off on their tour around the UK.

It was nice to see both Craig & Caroline again.... plus two of their assistants at the site had also been at Tavistock the winter before last,,,,nice to see them all.

Anne and I walked into Canterbury from the site...it only took about 30mins.... and we had a good look around the town which is very interesting and full of history...
As far as the Cathedral goes it really was the Church of England in full retail mode.......

You cannot even get into the Cathedral grounds without paying a substantial admission charge even more to actually see the Cathedral .
The only part of the building that you could see from 'outside' the wall of buildings surrounding it was part of the roof and spire which seemed to be covered in scaffolding anyway...
From outside the Pilgrims gate where lots of Tourists were lining up to hand over their entrance fees you could actually hear pneumatic drills and other building work coming from inside the cathedral so it was not actually selling itself to us as a place of peace and tranquility....
Needless to say we passed on this tourist hotspot...!!!

The Cathedral shop was something that you could access from outside on the street.... from what I could see it was full of typical tourist rubbish.....as I said..... the Cof E in full retail mode.....

We have visited numerous Cathedrals on our travels and at almost all of them you can view the outside of the building from the Cathedral grounds without payment. Some of them have an entrance charge and others request a donation for the upkeep of the building which we have always been happy to pay but a visit to Canterbury felt like the entance to a Theme Park...

What we did find just outside of the city was St Martins church.
This was the first church founded in England......the oldest parish church in continuous use and the oldest church in the English speaking world....
It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is well worth a visit.
A picture of St Martins is shown below......

St Martins Church- Canterbury
 Another place we visited was believe it or not...Ramsgate.
We had a really enjoyable visit to the town with a visit to the Ramsgate Royal Harbour Marina.. The Royal Temple Yacht Club overlooks the marina....
It's quite a cosmopolitan feel to the area around the marina which seems to set it apart from others that we have visited in the past....

While we were there we also walked out to the end of the harbour wall followed by a very nice meal before we set off back to Eva and the site....a journey taken by bus of course..
Part of Ramsgate Royal Harbour Marina.


 We only stayed at the Canterbury site for one week which for us is the shortest time that we have stayed anywhere since we set off in 2015..... But is was a very enjoyable one week.

The day before we left a number of trucks arrived at the site loaded with tents and equipment....
Craig told us that it was an advance party of German youngsters over here to set up a summer camp for more youngsters who were due to arrive the day that we were leaving.....

We watched these youngsters set up the camp...errecting over 25 bell tents plus other tents for kitchen....meeting place....etc...
It was really impressive to watch all these tents go up in double quick time.... each of these young people knew exactly what they had to do with some puttimg down the groundsheets...others laying out the tents....others putting in the centre poles and still more pegging them out. 
It was just like a military operation and as I said it was very impressive to watch all these young people working together as a team..... It reminded me of when I was their age and in the Scouts something which I really enjoyed....

Mind you....with 80 plus youngsters all arriving for their summer camp I was pleased that we were on the move again....
Just half of the full circle of Bell tents for the Summer Camp


Sunday, 1 July 2018

Pantiles and Photos.....

Following our trip to Brighton another trip was planned by bus...this time just a few miles up the road to Royal Tunbridge Wells.....

I had never been there before and neither had Anne... I particularly wanted to visit the Pantiles area which is at the lower end of the town....
We decided that we would start at the top of the town and work our way down and finish with the Pantiles.

The town is really like two small towns in one... The upper part is more modern with all the usual shops that you expect to find in any British town. 
If shopping is your thing then you would enjoy a visit to the  Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre. 
It is not a huge shopping centre but it does have some very nice shops including a branch of Fenwick that also has a nice Terrace Restaurant......`

Working are way down the hill we couldn't resist checking out the various jewellers shops which all had some very nice watches and unusual jewellery on offer......

One thing we noticed was that there are some very nice parks in and around the town and they seem to be very popular with local office workers taking their lunch there..... It's nice to see the parks well cared for and also being enjoyed.......

Eventually we had worked our way down to the older section of the town and the Pantiles.....
Still lots of high end jewellery shops indicating both that this is quite a wealthy area and also that it has a high number of wealthy tourists......

A view of the Pantiles
 The Pantiles has a number of coffee shops and small bistro style businesses as well as pubs and is very much a popular 'cafe culture' area in the town.
I went back to the Pantiles a few days later on a Saturday and the whole area was packed with people sitting outside drinking coffee and much stronger beverages
Another view of the Pantiles
 One of the shops in the Pantiles was an independent camera shop that I couldn't resist visiting...
For some time now I have been thinking about getting a high quality compact camera.....
Over recent years I have gone from DSLR to CSC and a Fuji X-Pro but although each change has given me in the main a smaller camera I still find that due to their size I don't carry them with me on the off chance of a good shot often enough......
These days most of my shots are taken with my phone camera and although ok for the internet the quality is not there if I want to print out a larger print....

Years ago I had a Rollei 35s film camera that I used to carry around everywhere with me. It was a very neat little camera and it was capable of some very good quality shots......
Part of that quality was down to it's Zeiss Sonnar lens..... 

What I was looking for when I entered the shop was something similar in size to the Rollei but digital of course and capable of producing really good shots......

Over the past few moths I have been checking out 'Best Compact Travel Cameras' online and the Sony RX100 series keeps coming up time and time again.

Over the past five years or so Sony has updated the RX100 a number of times and the latest model is the RX100 VI. The thing though with Sony is that when they bring out a new model they keep the previous models still available....

The guy in the shop had a flow chart with each model on it and I used that to highlight my requirements and the model that would suit me best.....
Whichever way I used it, it kept bringing me back to the same model....the RX100 III so I bought one....
4K video and long telephoto were not high on my requirement list and the newer models have improvements in those areas hence the reason the RX100 III kept popping up as more suited to my needs and photographic style.....

I won't bore you with all the technical specs except that it measures just 101.6 x 58.1 x 41.0mm and it weighs in at 290g.
It has 20mp and a 1 inch sensor....... 
I have a little Ricoh CX1 camera that I have had for a number of years and the RX100 III is really no larger than that but a lot more advanced with the larger sensor and higher pixel count and many more fuctions and controls....

A number of the reviews that I have read online that were posted two or three years ago rated the Sony RX100 III "possibly the very best compact camera currently available".
As I said that was a few years ago and things move on rapidly in the photo tech world but I am pretty certain that it will still fullfil my requirements and needs pretty well.

It has been said that the best camera is the one that you have with you.... so with it's small size I am hoping that I will be carrying it everywhere just like I did with my old Rollei 35s....
Retro style camera case for the RX100 series

The two panels on the top plate are Flash in the middle & Pop Up EVF on the right.

Zeiss Vario Sonnar means a quality lens.

**NB: I have received no payment or incentive regarding my mention of this product.**

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Trying to Catch Up......

We are currently at the Polstead C&CC site in Suffolk....
We stayed here last year for a couple of weeks and really liked the site but felt that we could have done with more time here. 
This year we have come back to spend 28 days here.... The cycling in the area is first class and with nice walks and a selection of pubs close by it has a lot going for it.....

Unfortunately I am running behind in my posts to the blog and I am trying to catch up so as we are here for a month I hope to be all up to date by the time we move on.

Following our stay at the Osiers CS near Chichester we moved on to the C&CC site at Crowborough....
Now I think that it is fair to say that there is not a lot at Crowborough but our main reason for stopping off for a couple of weeks there was to enable us to visit Royal Tunbridge Wells and also have a trip to Brighton.

I did venture out on my bike when we were there but the condition of the roads was terrible... There were pot holes everywhere and that plus narrow roads and a high volume of traffic made me decide that I wouldn't go out again on the bike during our stay....
So from then on it was walking everyday rather than cycling.......

When we visited Brighton we travelled on the bus.... I find that if I drive I tend to miss out on a lot of the views of the countryside and you can see so much more from the upper deck of a double decker bus..... also when you arrive at your destination you don't have to bother with finding a parking place......

We had a good day out in Brighton visiting the Lanes...the Pier and the Royal Pavilion...
The lanes were packed with lots of small Jewellers Shops with some very high end items for sale. 
Our visit to the pier consisted of having some lunch and a beer and watching some of the braver youngsters taking rides on some of the scary rides..... 
Years ago I might have had a go on those rides but not these days.......

After lunch we then visited the Royal Pavilion.....
It is certainly a very interesting building and Anne had been wanting to visit it for some time....
Some images taken during our visit to the Pavilion are shown below.....






Tuesday, 19 June 2018

East Marden YHA....A Full Circle....

Last year I told you about my visit to a water mill near St Ives Huntingdon that had been a Youth Hostel that I had visited 55 years earlier while I was on a cycle ride with one of my childhood mates....
Well when we were staying near Chichester a few weeks ago I visited another of the Youth Hostels that I had visited as a youngster.....

This time it was the YHA at East Marden West Sussex.....
I remember the ride quite well...
Leaving home at Feltham Middx which is where we were living at the time the ride consisted of Milford YHA.... East Marden YHA.... Portsmouth YHA.... Southampton YHA.... Hindhead YHA and then back home.

This ride was really like a tester for the ride we did the following year when I visited the Water Mill near Huntingdon and although I remember all of the YHA's we visited on that earlier trip it was the one at East Marden that I remember the most....

I think the main reason for that was because we had met a couple of girls that happened to be staying at the youth hostel when we stayed there and Paul and I were a bit reluctant to have to move on.....
I remember taking a picture of my bike under the old thatched well in the village and also stopping at a bend in the road as we cycled away from the village and looking back at the Youth Hostel.... 

As Anne and I were reasonably close to the village when staying near Chichester I decided to cycle out there for a visit...this would me the first time that I had been back to the village since I was thirteen......

The House That Used To Be East Marden YHA
 The ride out to the village was really enjoyable and it seemed to have hardly changed....
Happily it doesn't seem to have grown at all... no new buildings and everything just as it was all those years ago....
Standing looking at the building that used to be the Youth Hostel that first visit all came flooding back to me.......
East Marden Village Church
 I remembered sitting outside the church eating a 'Fry's Five Boys' chocolate bar while we waited for the Youth Hostel to open on the evening of our arrival. The seat outside the church was still there......
East Marden Thatched Village Mill
 As I sat there eating that chocolate bar we could see the village mill opposite us.....
An image of the mill was used as an ink stamp that you had stamped in your YHA membership card when you visited the hostel.....
It was also used on a badge that you could buy to add to your collection of hostel badges and I remember buying one on the morning that we left the hostel......
Bike Lean Image at the Well...
As Paul and I sat there all those years ago we decided that it would be a good idea to take a photo of each of our bikes under the thatch of the village well.....
In those days the photos were of course in black and white......

On this my 2018 visit to the village I did the same thing..... my current bike is worlds away from the heavy bike that I was riding on that trip as a youngster but I stood it in the exact same spot for the colour shot taken on my phone....

I would never have thought as a thirteen year old all those years ago that I would be re-visiting the village as a seventy year old riding a bike and taking pictures in those same spots......
I really enjoyed my return visit and as I rode away I came to the bend in the road where I had stopped and looked back towards the hostel... I stopped and looked back... the only thing that had changed was that view...the trees have grown and now obscure the hostel...

I remounted my bike and headed back in the direction of Chichester.....

As I rode away the phrase 'Full Circle' entered my thoughts.... I thought of all the rides that I have done since that trip as a youngster and here I was again cycling that same route...In cycling terms it really was a 'Full Circle'

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Around Bosham.....

During our stay at the Osiers CScs site we chose to have a little wander around Bosham...
It was quite a few years since I had last been there and Anne had never visited the area ....

Bosham Quay
We walked down to Bosham quay where everyone is told not to leave their car due to how quickly the tide can come in....
The tide was actually out when we were there and as we had walked we had no problems with leaving a car parked on the quay.....
Bosham Mill
 We looked a Boham Mill House... This is a grade 2 listed building which was listed back in 1973.
The Mill is quite an attractive L-shaped building. Timber framed in the north end and largly re-faced with red bricks...
I really love old Mill houses and this one is in very nice condition....
Holy Trinity Church Bosham
We then carried on to view Holy Trinity Church..... The church has a long history dating back to the seventh century it is Saxon in origin.. it is even mentioned in the Bayeux Tapestry...
Anne and I took some time to sit in the churchyard and take in the peace and quiet..... A very tranquil place......

Drive Slowly...Ducks Crossing....
On another walk we headed across the fields to Funtingdon....
On the way we passed a sign warning drivers to go slowly due to Ducks crossing the road..... Not something that you see everyday.... 
`
Funtingdon Church
The route took us through yet another churchyard...this time it was Funtingdon Church....
It was a blazing hot day and we were headed for a pub/restaurant for lunch.....
We had a very nice meal plus a couple of pints of beer for me (Anne just has soft drinks) and then we headed back the way that we had come.....

It's funny how it is always a bit harder walking back after a couple of pints and a meal but we did eventually arrive back at the site where I spent the rest of the afternoon taking in the sun....

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

A Real Gem......

For the past two weeks we have been staying at The Osiers CS near Chichester.....
We decided to try this little site because the C&CC site at Chichester has building work nearby and this has been causing both noise and dust so that meant we crossed the site off this years list......

The little Osiers Site has won the C&CC best CS as well as the best Hideaway site for a number of years so with the C&CC Chichester site crossed off our list it seemed the obvious choice for us in this area.
I also wanted to try a small CS as although I have stayed on them whilst cycle touring and backpacking I have never taken Eva the Eriba to one......
The middle weekend and following week of our two week stay was a Bank Holiday and half term holiday so we were hoping that the little site would be a haven of peace and quiet and not crammed full as a lot of the larger sites are over the bank and school holidays....

Hideaway can mean tucked away and this site is although it was not difficult to find....

Looking down the Drive to the Entrance from the Road.
 There is a small entrance off the road with an automatic five bar gate and a long narrow drive from the road to the site itself.......
The owners John and Jackie are a really lovely and friendly couple and Jackie was waiting at the end of the drive to see us on to our pitch.......

The little Facilities Block....
 The facilities were situated in a small and attractive building at one end of the site......
There are a couple of toilets and a shower and as this is a five van site these facilities seemed perfectly adequate..... 
There is a small washing up area set into the building as well....

At no time during our stay were the facilities overwhelmed and we never had to wait to use them......
The rear view of an old stable block...Eva and Awning is just to the left.
 The little site is well looked after and John and Jackie have done lots of things to encourage wild life and during our stay we saw many types of birds.....We spent hours watching the birds going in and out of the numerous bird boxes scattered around the site and the swallows swooping around the site gave us hours of pleasure.... 
In the evening the birds were replaced with bats swooping around.....

At the far end of the site there is a small meadow where Jackie keeps the grasses long in order to encourage insects and small creatures like field mice etc......

As well as the pitches for caravans/motorhomes and tents there are also a couple of Yurts setup in a small area of their own.....

This site was a Real Gem of a find and we really enjoyed our stay there.....
As for our desire for a quiet and tranquil site over the bank holiday and school half term break.... well it could not have been better....

It was quiet......
It was tranquil....
It was perfect......
Just see the image below of how uncluttered and quiet the site was.......
Perfect...!!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Sunshine..A Rasberry and on the Road Again......

Well the past 28 days have flown by....
It doesn't seem possible that we have been here at the Verwood C&CC site for almost a month....

In the main we have enjoyed some very nice weather although our first week here was a little bit 'iffy' with some sudden bursts of very heavy rain... Since then though it has been pretty well perfect camping weather.... It's probably too much to hope that this good weather will continue throughout the summer but it would be great if it did.......

This weekend Peter Calcutt and his wife Alison came over to join us on site and show us their new caravan....
It is a Freedom Caravan......Alison bought it and also chose the colour hence the rasberry red metallic finish.

My other mate Gideon showed Peter & Ali to their pitch and then came up to my caravan to let me know that they had arrived.
I made my way down to their pitch and this is what I saw..........

Peter &Ali errecting the awning...
 Peter and Ali were in the middle of errecting their awning..... Literally in the middle of errecting it...actually in the middle of the awning. All I could see was the awning seemingly moving around on it's own... Every so often one of the panels would stick out and then another one and then the whole structure seemed to collapse in on itself before rising up again.....
Peter and Ali were both inside it and I must admit that the whole thing was very funny to watch....... 
Awning up and attached to the 'Rasberry'
 Eventually everything was sorted and I was treated to a walk through of the new van.....
The colour certainly attracts attention and I don't think that it would ever be lost amongst all the other caravans on a busy site.......

That evening Ali prepared a very nice meal which we all enjoyed together..... it was a warm evening so we were able to eat our meal sat out in front of the awning.....

Over the past three years Anne and I have seen a number of 'Freedom Caravans' on various sites but this is the first red one that we have seen. 
Apparently it is a Limited Edition for the 2018 model year and next year another colour will be introduced....

Peter and Ali ordered it at last year's Caravan and Motorhome show and I believe that theirs was the first to be delivered in the UK.....
Peter... Ali...& the Rasberry leaving the site.
Sunday lunch time came around all too quickly....
All too soon it was time for Peter & Ali to head off back home....

It had been a quick one night visit but nonetheless enjoyable.....

The next time that we hope to meet up again will be in August when we will be pitched at an Adult only site in Suffolk.........
What better place to be during the school summer holidays than pitched on an Adults only caravan site..Lol.

After Peter and Ali had left the site Anne and I started to pack kit away and take down our own awning........  Tomorrow we are on the road again. 

This time we are heading for a small Certificated five caravan site near Chichester West Sussex...... We are booked in for two weeks.
With another Bank Holiday next weekend we decided that we fancied being on a small 'Hideaway' site as we hope that it will be quieter than being on one of the Clubs main sites.....

Apparently i-net connection is not good there so there could be a bit of a delay in replying to comments and also making my next blog post.......

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Tenth Birthday and Good Weather.....

Yesterday was the tenth birthday of this Blog.....
Over the past ten years 'The Original PurpleTraveller' has covered lots of different subjects such as saddle comfort.... favourite tents for backpacking....the pain endured on long distance bike rides against the clock.... caravan life and lots more.....

When it was first started I had thought that it might be a platform for friends to follow what was going on and keep in touch when I was away on some hair brained challenge either on the bike or backpacking or something else......
The truth is that has not really been the case.....

In the main friends don't drop in on the blog all that often but new internet friends have been made and some of those have been regular followers for many years and in turn I have followed their blogs with interest......

I have always made a point of answering any comments left on the blog because I feel that if people have made the effort to read my ramblings and then made the extra effort to leave a comment then the least that I can do is acknowledge that fact.....

How many more years will I continue to make posts on this blog?
That is a difficult one to answer....... 
i suppose I might wake up one morning and decide enough is enough and stop posting entries for good.....

I do go through periods of not having much to say and during those periods obviously make fewer posts and then something happens and I think to myself that I must put that on the blog.....

Anyway..... I would like to say to all those readers out there who drop by on a regular basis "Thanks you are what it is all about"

Since my last post the weather has improved no end and like almost everywhere else in the country we had a stunning Bank Holiday weekend.......

The site was quite busy over the weekend.....
The lower field was the busiest as can be seen in the first picture below.......

The busy lower field...
 By Monday afternoon the lower field was almost empty..... They had come...camped....and gone again!!
Monday afternoon and most campers had gone.....
 So what did we do over the Bank Holiday.......
We kept off the roads.....took the front panel of the awning down and sat around in the sun enjoying all the nice weather....
Good enough weather to take the awnings front panel down....
Oh..! One last thing......
I have now brought Fiona the Felt out of her winter hibernation and am now enjoying the wonders of Full Carbon & Dura-Ace rides.......
Fiona the Felt....My summer ride now out on the road......

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Back to a Favourite......

Last Monday we re-located to one of our regular and favourite sites-Verwood.
Since we have been here the weather has deteriorated again....
The bright sunny weather that we had during part of our 14 night stay at Moreton has changed to dull..wet..and pretty dismal.

All the grass pitches on the site seem to be quite squelchy underfoot however none of the grass pitches are occupied only the hardstandings.....
Tonight strong to gale force winds are forecast.......
Given our dealings with the gale force winds we experienced when we were wintering down in Devon my negative anticipation levels are running high.... I just hope that we are pitched in the right spot to avoid a head on confrontation with the powers of nature.....

Since we have been here we have taken Eva the Eriba over to Automotive Leisure for her annual service and water ingress test... 
Happy to say that she sailed through with no problems.

While she was there for the service they also replaced the shock cord that runs around the middle of the pop top canvas... Over the past three years it had lost some of it's elasticity.
It's important to have a reasonable amount of tension on this so that when you lower the roof  it pulls in the canvas all the way around so it doesn't get caught in either of the scissor hinges at either end or get caught up between the pop top roof and the fixed roof.....

Also while she was being serviced they replaced the 230v element on the refrigerator.
Over the winter we were able to use a domestic fridge in our awning which one of the other caravanners had stored in his own awning.....after the night of the 'Beast from the East' which destroyed everyone's awnings we switched it over to gas which we have continued to use since we left Devon. Now the element has been replaced we have gone back to using the fridge on electric as it works out cheaper than running it on gas plus it is more convenient....

We have also caught up with our friends Gideon and Angie who are working here as Holiday Site Assistants for the season...
We had a great evening on Friday over at their motorhome while we chatted and shared a few beers and a few bottles of wine while demolishing a take away Chinese meal...

They had spent their winter driving around the Iberian Peninsula and had a few tales to tell but both seemed to feel that five months of moving on almost every few days for that length of time was too much and probably longer stays and less travelling over a shorter period would have been a better idea...
It will be interesting though to see what they end up doing next winter.
Like us they are free spirits and can do whatever they fancy..... 

Just touching on our stay at Moreton again.....
While we were their my friend Jon Joynes who was part of the '10in10' cycling team came over for a visit and we enjoyed coffee and 'doorstep' sandwiches at the Moreton Tea Rooms...

Another visitor was my old buddy Peter Calcutt.... He brought one of his bikes with him and we managed to get a ride together over part of the Purbeck area..
He and his wife Allison have recently taken delivery of a caravan of their own so hopefully we will be able to meet up now and again at various sites.....

As promised in my last post below are some images taken in and around Moreton including the Moreton Gardens......






 Now as you probably realise we don't indulge in selfies on the Purpletraveller but we do like the iconic leaning bike shot....
This one taken on my ride with Peter Calcutt.....

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Social Event........

Last Saturday we attended the Annual Social Event put on by Automotive Leisure the suppliers of Eva the Eriba....
It is always good to pop along and meet up with other owners and also see the latest models and gadgets for the Eriba range of touring vans.....


Eriba Owners at the Social Event....

Another view at the Social Event.....
We have attended the last three events in order to keep us up todate with everything Eriba....
This year my main interest was in a prototype of a new inflatable awning that is based on the awning that was destroyed in the recent storms.....

This new awning is made from the same material that our previous awning was made from... this was a material that we really liked as it was easy to keep clean with just a quick wipe over with a damp cloth and it also didn't fade.

Our current summer awning made by Kampa fades really badly and it is also not very easy to keep clean.....
The roof being made from a white material shows every mark .... it looks fine from the outside but from the inside you can see every mark....not really a very sensible colour when you think about it.....

The protoype awning which we viewed at Automotive Leisure seems to tick all the boxes for us and it also seems to have avoided a number of the errors in design that Kampa made with our current awning......

Unfortunately the new awning won't be available until after June this year.....
Our plan is to continue with the Kampa awning for this summer season and then buy one of these new awnings in September/October......
The Grave of T.E.Lawrence
 One interesting thing to be found in the village of Moreton is the grave of T.E.Lawrence known as Lawrence of Arabia......
His cottage 'Clouds Hill' is just a couple of miles away from the village and is well woth a visit if you are ever in the area.....
Lawrence once described Clouds Hill as his 'Earthly Paradise'.
He finished writing his account of the Arab Revolt 'The Seven Pillars of Wisdom'here, and he made friends with Thomas Hardy who was then living at Max Gate in Dorchester......
For all you Post Box fans......
Another thing to be seen in the village is something that will be of interest to all you Post Box enthusiasts out there.....
This post box can be found on the outside of the old post office.....

It has been a while since I have posted an image of a post box so I thought that I would share this one with you....

Something else of interest in the village are the Moreton Gardens.... more or less opposite the Moreton Tea Rooms... but you will have to wait until my next post to see a few images of that......

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

We thought that we had got away with it........

On Monday we left the Tavistock site........
It's always sad at the start of our touring season saying goodbye to all the people that we have spent the last five months with......
Mind you it's not as if we won't catch up with them again either at Tavistock or in a different part of the country as we travel around.......

After all the rain that we have had it was a real bright and sunny morning as we hitched up and slowly drove out of the site......
We thought that we had got away with it...... no rain!!

Things never work out the way that you want them to though.... It stayed nice and dry and sunny until we went past Exeter and then the rain came down....it was heavy rain... raining cats and dogs (what does that mean?) and it continued all the time during our journey only easing as we arrived at our destination.... and this is where we are....

Our current location.

Site entrance...
Yes...we are now at the Moreton C&CC site in Dorset.......
Although we have been back to Dorset a number of times over the past few years this is the first time we have stayed at this site with Eva the Eriba.......

I have stayed here before though although that was a number of years ago...probably ten or more and that was with the Backpackers Club on one of our circular walks around Dorset that we called 'The Dorset Round'.

The main reason we have decided to pitch up here is in order to enable me to ride some of the routes that I used to ride when we lived at Alum Chine in Bournemouth......

Anyway...when we arrived it was too wet to put up the summer awning but on the Tuesday we managed to get it up and our timing was perfect as the moment we had finished the rain started again and yes it was heavy.......

This morning we woke up to bright sunny weather and it was dry.... What should I do..?
No need to think twice..... I prepped the bike and set off on a ride in the Purbecks.... I had a complete route in mind but it would depend on whether the military firing ranges were open as my route would be taking me across a section of the ranges....
Yippee....The ranges were open.....
When I got to the start of the ranges as luck would have it they were open......
My route was to take me to Steeple via Creech Hill.....
For someone who hasn't been able to get out and ride much recently this was a bit of a tall order as the hills are STEEP and I am really out of condition...... But I made it...


Up on the Wareham Ridge at Stonehill Down.....

A slightly different viewing angle......
The route to the top of the ridge is one that I used to train on before the Ten Countries in Ten Days ride..... It has a nice hairpin along it which was useful for preperation for the Swiss/Italian Alps.....

When I got up to the top of the ridge there was a guy in a motorhome parked up and we chatted and enjoyed a coffee together..... He comes from the North East of the country and had wild camped in the little lay-by overnight....

We chatted away for almost 45mins and then I headed back along the same route.....
I have to be honest though that I was struggling a bit during the last eight miles of the return.....
First 'proper' ride of the year and I had been a bit ambitious with the distance and terrain but it was a great ride and I hope to have a few more before we move on ........