Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Cabin Fever .......

 Sorry for this week's posting being three days late but like the rest of the UK last weekend saw the arrival of storm Ciara and our internet connection disappeared..

 We were forced to stay in the van for a couple of days..
 Living in a small tin box is one thing but when you are forced by the weather to stay inside a space that is smaller than a prison cell for more than 24 hours you really do start to comprehend the term 'cabin fever'.
 Our 'Jolly Roger' flag flying on the front of our A-frame was beyond flapping..for most of the time it was blown absolutely straight. 


 As I have mentioned before, our pitch faces SSW overlooking the Tamar valley so we were getting the full force of the storm..
 Luckily with the pop-top roof closed and the aerodynamic shape of the Eriba the wind seems to blow over the van quite well and if the direction of the wind does change we are well protected by trees from all other points of the compass ... 

One morning I was looking out of the front of the caravan when a porch awning came flying over the dividing hedge and started to roll over and over between the caravans in our touring van section ...
 Next thing I saw was the owner of the awning come running around the hedge trying to catch his awning.
 Luckily a couple of of campers managed to catch it and managed to tie it down to a service bollard.
 The strength of the wind was such that the owner found it impossible to get it back to his van and had to leave it tied down in a spare pitch and retrieve it later when there was a slight lull in the wind .
 I managed to get a picture of sorts of the goings on but it is a bit blurry due to being taken through a front window of the Eriba ....You can see the awning being caught and tied down in the lower left of the photo ..

Looking at the forecast for this coming weekend I can see that we could well have a replay of last weekend with another storm coming in so it could be more 'fun' on the horizon.......Maybe next week's posting could be delayed as well..

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Making the most of it......

With the very mixed weather that we are getting throughout this winter we have to make the most of it when we do get a short spell of good weather.

 Last Wednesday was one such good weather day.
 I had never been to Bigbury-on-sea so with the improved weather it seemed like a good day to have a short visit.

 It took about 50mins to drive over arriving just after midday. Bigbury-on-sea is a small  seaside village situated on the south coast of Devon.

There is an island just off the coast  called Burgh Island and during lowtide it is possible to walk across to the island via the sandy isthmus.


You can see in the image above the view from Bigbury-on-sea across to the island. The tracks from one of the Burgh Island hotel vehicles can clearly be seen in the sand.
We had checked the tide times and we knew that we had sufficient time to walk across and have lunch at the Pilchard inn which is near to the wonderful art deco hotel which can be seen in the image above.
The Pilchard inn was owned by the same people who owned the hotel up until last year but is now under new management. The food was very good so there has been no lowering of standards with the change of ownership.
 Interestingly the inn has been there since 1336 according to the date on the wall .
If you do get stuck on the island by the tide you can always get the 'Sea Tractor' (seen above) to get back to the mainland. Apparently it is the only one in the world and it is certainly a very unusual vehicle. 
Unfortunately currently it is out of service due to having some work being completed on it... Not a good idea to try and swim across either as I believe that there is quite a strong current to be overcome ..

The island has only three private houses, the Pilchard inn and the Burgh Island hotel so is not exactly a busy place.

 Over the years it has had a number of well known visitors including Agatha Christie who stayed at the hotel and used it for inspiration for a couple of her books.
 Another famous visitor was Noel Coward.
 I was also told that the Dave Clark Five made a film on the island and also a number of TV dramas have been filmed there as well....

We enjoyed are short visit and happily managed to walk back across the sands before the tide came back in.. 
If you are ever down on that part of the south Devon coast it could well be worth a visit if you enjoy places with not a lot going on other than a sandy beach and an island that has lots of peace and quiet...


Sunday, 26 January 2020

It lasted a week.....

Well...the more settled weather had managed to last a week.
 To be honest I never expected it to last much longer but it did give us a really good respite from all the wet and windy weather.

 Like I said in last week's post everyone on the site managed to get out and catch up on all those neglected tasks.
 I was no exception and managed to clean the lower outside edge of the pop-top roof as well as some fiddly little jobs around the rest of the caravan.

 It was my birthday last week and Anne's birthday three days before so we went out for a meal which was very enjoyable. I was very careful what I ordered as I am counting my calorie intake at the moment in an attempt to lose weight.

 So far I have lost almost a stone and on target for my target weight. When I get back into full cycling mode I don't really want to have to drag excess weight up the local hills...

The good weather did bring most people out but it wasn't quite good enough to fill up all the exterior tables at the café's that surround the pannier market in Tavistock when we were there the other day....
 We also noticed that there was a lot less water flowing over the Weir at Abbey bridge ......
So what is the weather doing right now..? It's raining of course..!!

Monday, 20 January 2020

The worst type of unit to pitch next to....,

Over many years of camping and caravanning I finally have to say it.... I have to name the type of unit that in my opinion is the worst to pitch alongside or even  close to......

Yes....it is the loved by many campervan and it's various variants but only if they have the sliding door along the side..

 The sliding door is the problem for me and why I rate them the worst to pitch alongside.
 The constant opening and closing of the sliding door can be a real pain for anyone nearby...
 The noise as the door slides along the runners followed by the thump when the door hits the bump stops destroys any peace and quiet that other campers might be enjoying.

 Not content with opening and closing it the once campervan owners seem compelled to see how many times an hour they can use it...
 This is probably in an attempt to keep any warmth within the van.

 Most caravan doors only make a noise when they are being closed and even then they can be quietly click shut if you want to be considerate to other campers...
 With the campervan sliding door they make a noise when opening and also when closing so for other campers it's a double whammy of noise...

 The campervan door just cannot be operated quietly because certainly when closing if the owner tries to do it quietly the door will not close properly.

 I think that I am right in saying that the latest campervans have a door system that is a bit quieter so this has obviously been a problem that the manufacturers have been aware of and are now attempting to deal with. 
Hopefully in the future more peace will be maintained on the campsites so it will just be the older vans that will be annoying to be pitched near.....
Currently we are enjoying a spell of good weather...
It is forecast to be the longest dry spell since last September but that is not saying much really as we seem to have had rain every other day for months now.

 Paul who is pitched opposite us woke up and thought that spring had arrived and was out there today cleaning his caravan.....
 Peter the site owner also seemed to have a spring like moment because he was out giving the grass a bit of a high cut as can be seen below....
 However long this weather does last it is much appreciated by all the campers on site.....

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Take it Slowly....

As well as cycle rides I am also managing to get out walking around the Moors and the Devon lanes. 
Most of the lanes around this location are sunken lanes having been used for many many years.
 I do enjoy walking these lanes but one of their drawbacks is that you don't get much of a view.
During the summer it's more of an annoyance than it is at this time of the year because with all the gales that we have had and are still having it does offer a lot of protection from the winds.
When you leave the banks and hedges that is the sanctuary of the sunken lanes and get out on to the open moorland you really notice the difference.
 The shield that the lanes provide you with can make the walk a lot more pleasant in the bitterly cold winds that we get at this time of year.
 As you move out on to the edge of the moor as well as feeling the wind a lot more you can also come across Dartmoor ponies.
 These animals as well as the sheep which seem to be everywhere on the moor have total freedom to roam.
 They are contained on the moor by the use of cattle grids on the roads but the animals don't have any road sense at all. 

As you drive or cycle along you have to be prepared for them to wander out across the road in front of you.
Every so often you will see signs like the one above giving a running total on the number of sheep and ponies that have been killed on that stretch of road by idiot speeding drivers.
 The sign above indicates that during 2019 eight sheep and four ponies were killed and that section of road is only just over a mile long...
If you come to Dartmoor for a visit just remember to take it slowly on the moorland roads.....

Sunday, 5 January 2020

New Plans...

Now that Christmas and New Year have come and gone Anne and I will start to make plans for this year's touring...

 We have decided that we will stay on at this location until after Easter...
 The main reason is that it makes sense to stay here over the Easter holiday period because if we were to book into a club campsite they will charge us an inflated price for our stay as it is a bank and school holiday.

 If we stay here we will only be paying our seasonal rate for Easter which is far less than either of the club's charge for the same period. We will in effect be staying on here for an extra three weeks before heading on to our regular spring visit to Dorset.

 We will be in Dorset for about six weeks but we haven't decided yet which site we will stay at.
 Whilst there we will have the caravan serviced and I as usual will be having various medical checks.....

 We are undecided as yet where we will move on to from there....
 Over the next two/three months we should  start to formulate our destination plans for this year's touring season.
 When we have come up with some ideas I will share the plans with you as always......

 On the cycling front I am now starting to get into improving  my fitness after some very high chocolate consumption over the past month 😊...
 Trying to lose weight is my number one priority right now....

 Below are some images of posters and shirts that were on the walls of a new cafe we found in Tavistock about a week ago...
 The owner is a keen cyclist and even offers a discount on your bill if you arrive by bike...




Sunday, 22 December 2019

The Fifth Year.....


Yes .. this will be the fifth year that we will have spent Christmas and New Year in Eva the Eriba....

 Every winter season we have over wintered down here in Devon and this year is no different.

 For the first three years we spent the season at the C&CC site near Tavistock and we really enjoyed ourselves there with a good group of people and some fantastic site managers who always put on a get together on Christmas and New Years Eve.
 They then moved to a different site in a different part of the country and the new managers didn't exactly fit in with the 'friendly club' tag line...

 Last year we found our current location just a few miles out of Tavistock....
 It's a private site and we enjoyed it so much last winter that we are back again for our second winter season here...

 It's quite surprising the number of people who decide to spend the Christmas and New Year on a campsite in their RV.. motorhome or caravan with some even braving it in a tent.. although with all the wet weather we have been having it would be only the very brave or foolish that will attempt tent camping this year I think......

 Anyway we are now preparing for our Christmas here on the edge of Dartmoor and I would like to wish everyone out there on the 'blogosphere' the very best of Seasons Greetings to you all.

 The Purpletraveller blog will be back again early in the New Year....

Cabin Fever .......

 Sorry for this week's posting being three days late but like the rest of the UK last weekend saw the arrival of storm Ciara and our in...