Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Busy...Busy..Continues.

Anne and I have still been filling our time with lots of walking and visiting various places of interest and we have been busy everyday....
Add to that the cycling rides that I have been managing to squeeze in between everything else and with the good weather that we have been enjoying recently I would say that everything has been pretty well perfect....
We have even had various people come out and camp with us for a few days....what more could a couple of 'Old Age Travellers' want..? 
It certainly has been a good summer of full time camping......

Following on from my comments about a Cave in my last post.... since then we found an even better cave to visit....
This one was more difficult to get to..... 
Our visit required us to cross a very narrow bridge over an 80 foot gulley and scrambling up a very slippery cleft in the rocks..... Well worth it though because the cave turned out to be a real 'Grotto' of a place.....

Not only could you live in a cave like this you could even hold a party for all your friends.......
Over the scary bridge
Along the narrow and slippery cleft in the rocks
And then into this.....



Sunday, 21 August 2016

Not Had Enough Time.......

Over the past few weeks since my last blog post it seems that I have not had enough time to do everything that I have wanted so my posts (or lack of) have suffered.
This retirement lark is pretty time consuming......

With the good weather that we have been enjoying Anne and I have been out on walks and other trips around the Welsh border country.....(And then don't forget there has been fitting in my bike rides as well).

Obviously I have a number of images captured on our little day trips and I will share them with you over time but to start off here are some shots below of a couple of places that captured our interest......

First of all on one of our walks around a country park only a couple of miles from our campsite we came across this cave carved out of the rock....
Apparently a few hundred years ago a local Highwayman by the name of Humphrey Kynaston lived here with his horse.....
From the location of the cave he had a good view of the road to Shrewsbury and was able to see when a likely wealthy traveller was making their way along the road....it was easy pickings for HK and he managed to make a good living from his criminal activities for a number of years....

In more recent times..about one hundred years ago.... a family of nine lived in the cave...
If you check out the steps leading up to the entrance of the cave you can see the years of use have worn away the steps to quite some degree....

Now a nice solid cave could be quite a good place to live to my mind.... Good shelter from the extremes of weather and no worries about it being blown away by strong winds....
The powers that be these days have placed a steel door and bars at the window of the cave as you can see in order to prevent anyone getting inside...this is obviously done under the guise of 'Health and Safety'. 
It seems it is deemed better for anyone homeless to live in a cardboard box on the streets than to be reasonably warm and dry in a nice solid cave....
When on some long distance backpacking trips in the past I have slept in a couple of caves and have always found them to be a pretty near ideal place to spend the night....Anyway I digress....

Humphrey Kynaston's Cave
 These next couple of images are of Whittington Castle which is situated just a few miles from the small town of Oswestry.....
The castle has been revovated and is run on a day to day basis by volunteers from Whittington village.....They run the small cafe and shop and entry to the castle and grounds is free...
Whittington Castle with moat 
Front view of Whittington Castle
 I was chatting to one of the castle volunteers and she told me that they do very well as a wedding venue....
I must say that the castle and grounds would make a great backdrop for those all important wedding photos.......

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Most Motivated....

When out on a ride yesterday I found this church in the village of Melverley....

Melverley Church
It's an exquisite example of the timber framed black and white buildings found throughout Shropshire....
This church was apparently rebuilt in 1406 after it was burnt to the ground by Owain Glyndwr.
Another view of Melverley Church
 It is a bit tucked away up a small side road but is easy to find due to the good signs in the village,,,,
It stands on the banks of the river Vyrnwy and is in a really tranquil location.

Check out the plaque just above my bike saddle.
This last image is a close-up of my bike parked in front of the church... note the plaque above my bike saddle.
I was quite fascinated by this..... What could it have been awarded to the village for exactly?
Motivated to do what..?
Who actually awarded it to the village and anyway if they were so motivated why haven't they won it again in the past 25 years?....

There was nobody around to actually ask at the time so when I got back from my ride I checked it out on the internet.... 
What did I find .....well very little really.

It seems a number of people had asked exactly the same type of questions and the only answer was that the villagers had managed to raise £500,000 in order to stop the church collapsing into the river by reinforcing the banks of the river Vyrnwy....

I have no idea if any of that is true but if it is it still leaves the question relating to who made the award to the village unanswered......

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Doing the Tourist Thing.....

Since we have been at our current site Anne and I have been out and about doing a bit of the tourist thing....

One of the places that I wanted to visit with Anne was the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Langollen canal which goes over the River Dee.
It was built by Thomas Telford in 1805 and was one of his first engineering feats....

The aqueduct is 307m long..it's width is 3.4m and it's height is 38m. It is the longest and highest aqueduct in Great Britain. 
It took ten years to design and build and it cost £47,000 which seems cheap today but then of course that amount was worth a lot more in those days.

I first saw the  Pontcysyllte Aqueduct about ten years ago when I walked the Offa's Dyke Path.... the route actually went across the aqueduct. 
I always wanted to come back again and show it to Anne as it is a pretty impressive structure and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site Structure...

A good head for heights is needed if you intend to walk across it on the narrow path at the side of the canal....
There is a hand rail on the footpath side but nothing on the canal side which seems to fuel the feeling of exposure as you walk across......

Below are a few shots that I took during our visit....
The Aqueduct from the banks of the river Dee
Drop-Handrail-Path-Canal-Drop and 307m to walk
Looking up from the river bank
View from the top
Anne(blonde hair) heading off over the Aqueduct- but holding on!


Lot's of Changes Ahead ....

I thought that it was about time that I posted another entry on this blog, although to be honest most days have seemed a bit like Groundhog...