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 ........

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...