Wednesday, 16 September 2015

A Bit of Devon and a Bit of Cornwall

A Bit of Devon and a Bit of Cornwall

Sunday 13th September 2015

First things First, and we would like to wish our  Son Ben a very Happy Birthday, hope you had a lovely day Ben xxx

Today we weren't quite sure weather to go for a walk over Brean Down, or go for a ride, but as the sun was shining we decided on the later and  cycled from the campsite to Weston-Super-Mare and beyond - around 27 miles in all.

I said the sun was shining, but I think it must have been watching us, because as soon as we put our feet on our peddles, the rain began to pitter patter, but it was fairly short lived, and as we road along the twisty windy lanes to Bleadon Level the sun managed to peep out fairly often.  After about 4 miles we picked up an off road route that skirted by, of all things, a sewage farm (needed pegs for our noses), and a little further on, a wildlife reserve.  We hid in the bird hide for a short time but the only thing we saw were 2 swans with their 6 Cygnets - they were very cute. 

The Cygnets are on the right, and mummy and daddy on the left
We carried on down the trail and eventually came to a lovely peaceful little marina that facilitated camping right on the water’s edge, possibly a place we will return in the future.

From there we cycled into Weston and along the sea shore promenade which was heaving,  but we managed to dodge and weave our way through, until we felt the need to stop to gaze at the magnificent sand sculptures.  Mostly there were hidden behind a large screen, and to see them properly, you needed to pay an admission fee, however the one below was accessible, so we posed together!  

We then cycled on towards marine lake where people seemed to be walking on water!!

And then past the old burnt out pier that now stands like a ghost of it’s former self, and I  suppose, in the fairly near future, the sea will claim it completley.

From here we could also view the small islands of Flatholm and Steepholm, both of which can be visited by boat trips.

We continued onwards via an old toll road through Weston Woods and eventually down into Sand Bay where we stopped for lunch, and it was here that we did our good deed for the day.  An elderly gentleman on his small mobility scooter tried to get up onto the sea front path over rough ground, but unfortunately he'd misjudged the terrain and he toppled over onto his side.  He wasn't hurt but his wife was unable to help, so John and I picked him up, and then because his buggy wouldn't restart, we pushed him back to his car in a nearby car park.

Following this little event we retraced our steps back to Weston, and again traversed the crowds along the sea front, which became more dense around the old Lido, where long queues had formed to enter ‘Dismaland’  a Banksy (famous street artist) event.

A mermaid and castle by Banksy at Dismaland.
Courtesy of Google
Just passed here we stopped again for hot choc and cake and from our seat we could see the coasts of South Wales (Cardiff) and the heights of Exmoor to our left - an area that we are quite likely to drive to tomorrow!

By this time the afternoon was wearing on so we set off for the last leg of our journey, back over our previous tracks to the Tardis, where we will cook our ‘Barnsley Chops’ (obtained from The Tissington Butcher) and maybe watch a film later.

Waste not want not!!

Monday 14th September 2015

Well, that was a rough night!  The rain rattled on the roof and the wind rocked the van for most of it, and when we got up this morning there were several areas on the grass that looked like mini lakes. The skies were mostly grey and overcast, but there were several small patches of blue peeking through - so we were hopeful it might brighten up, but it was't to be.

Today we planned to move on into Devon where we would meet up with John’s sister Val and her husband John.  We'd decided to drive up over Exmoor in the hope of seeing spectacular countryside and maybe some ponies, but neither materialised!  As we left the camp site at Brean the rain started again and the wind began to strengthen, and apparently this was because we were caught up in the tale end of tropical storm Henri.  The further  south we drove the worse the weather seemed to get, and Exmoor didn’t really live up to our expectations either.  Many of the narrow uphill and down dale roads were enclosed by tall hedges that blocked our views, and this, along with the awful weather, made our journey rather bleak, and  to add insult to injury, there were no ponies either.

I think the highlight of the trip was the pretty little town of Dunster with it’s castle standing on the hillside, it’s little flower filled streets and numerous quaint shops, but we were unable to stop because it would have been impossible to park our van.

We eventually arrived at our next camp site near Mortehoe, just above Woolacombe, and although the storm was still raging, we spent a very pleasant afternoon and evening with Val and John. However, unfortunately we had another bad night as the heavy rain and winds continued until about 2am, maybe now we've chosen this life style we'd better get used to it!

Tuesday 15th September 2015

Today we walked with Val and John along the coastal path, first to Bull Point Lighthouse, and then on to Morte Point.  Initially we were walking in squally showers, but they soon gave way to broken sunshine and this made our walk very pleasant indeed. The trail was often challenging with many ups and downs and both John’s nearly had more downs than they bargained for when they took little stumbles - luckily no harm done.  

The views were spectacular and we found a fantastic spot for lunch where seating was provided and we played spot the seal - we eventually decided there were 2 but it was quite hard to distinguish between them and the myriad of rocks and bunches of seaweed as the waves crashed over them. 

After lunch we proceeded on our way until we came to Morte Point where we turned off the coastal path and headed back to the hamlet of Mortehoe.  When we reached the village we had a big decision to make, - should we go to the pub, or should we head back to the vans and indulge in a little rewarding beverage there.  We decided on the latter and spent the next hour or so sitting outside John and Val’s van sipping a very pleasant 'drop'🍺🍷. 

Later in the afternoon we went for a swim in the site’s lovely warm pool, and later still, we went for another walk on Woolacombe beach with John and Val’s dog Floss.

We rounded off our evening in Val and John’s van indulging in chatter, laughter and another little beverage.  It was lovely to have their company and we will look forward to seeing them again soon.

Wednesday 16th September 2015.

Today was moving day - about 60 miles down the coast to a Certified Location near Delabole, but on the way we had a couple of stops.  First at the Lidl in Barnstaple to top up our food supplies, and then at Widemouth Bay.  We'd visited Widemouth Bay a couple of years before when we did a 450 mile cycle tour of Cornwall with our friends Sharon and Paul, but on that occasion the visit was very fleeting.  Today we stopped on the car park just above the bay for lunch, and then indulged in ice cream (salted caramel for me and honeycomb for John) while we took a short walk along the headland.

We then continued on our way to our present resting spot at Delabole, and very lovely it is too,  with lots of summer flowers spilling from numerous planters and far reaching views towards Bodmin Moor.

After we had settled in we decided to participate in a little more exercise and set off to walk to the coast. Initially this was on small B roads, but after about a mile we picked up a track that led onto the coastal path, and then it was down, down and a bit more down until we came to some steps that led onto the rocky outcrops above Tregardock Beach. 

We sat on the bottom step for a while watching the incoming tide crashing and foaming against the rocks, and then retraced our steps, up, up and a bit more up and then back to the Tardis for tea.

We're booked onto the this site for the next 3 nights so our plan is to explore around and about either on foot or by bike, but we'll see what the weather brings tomorrow before we decide.

To see our UK camping spots click here