Wednesday, 1 March 2017

We're Still Here!

We're Still Here!

Friday 24th February 2017

That is, we're still here on The Golden Coast Campsite near Woolacombe - and we've still got 2 weeks of our booking to go!  However, we're beginning to wonder if it was a bit of a mistake to stay so long in one place - mainly because of the site's location in relation to easy access to other places.  I think I've mentioned before, the road way down to Woolacombe isn't brilliant  for walking because it's along a fairly busy road with no pavement, and the only other way on foot is via muddy steep fields, but either route adds 5 or 6 miles to wherever else your going!  Hey ho, stop complaining Lin - at least we don't have to go to work!

So what have we been up to?  Well after Storm Doris on Thursday, Friday dawned with bright blue skies and lovely warm sunshine, so we decided to have another little excursion on the Tarka trail, but this time our journey was only 38 miles with our destination being Instow and back.

Along the way we stopped off numerous times to watch all manner of wading birds feeding on the estuary, as well as to read the 'numbered posts' that inform you that the trail is part of North Devon's UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.  From these you can learn about work that is presently being done and what is planned for the future, and at each post you can scan the QR code into your phone to find out more!

After about 2 hours we arrived in Instow, and after cycling along the sandy estuary edge we found a comfy bench where we could put our feet up on a wall while we sat and munched our sarnies. Just across the water we had a lovely view of Appledore, and for our additional entertainment, we watched the tide rushing in, along with loads of dogs and owners playing with their balls on the beachπŸ• ⚽πŸƒ!

We lozackedπŸ˜‚ there till about 3ish and then set off on our return journey but on the way home we had another unfortunate incident!  No - I didn't fall off this time, but once we'd left the Tarka Trail we'd got about 5 miles to go down little country lanes that lots of 🚜 use, and many of them were extremely narrow.  Now, you can imagine how wet and muddy everywhere was after all yesterday's rain - then add in a generous amount of πŸ„πŸ’© that a recent passing 🚜 had just dropped across the whole width of the road for a distance of about 100 yards - and an on coming car that required us to stop and put our feet to the floor! However, at least it didn't spray us, so other than uttering an odd expletive, we didn't think much of it at the time, and when we got home we followed our usual routine of taking our shoes off outside and popping the bikes away in the garage.  But all evening I kept thinking 'what's that horrible smell', and when John opened the garage door on Saturday morning the whiff nearly knocked his socks off - our bikes definitely needed a good clean!

Saturday 25th February 2017

Well, you can imagine what the first job today was!  However, it was another horrible day with heavy rain forecast for the afternoon, so we decided it would just have to be a 'work' day.  John did outside and I did in, and literally, everything got washed and cleaned including T4rdis2, bikes and clothes - but it was all done in a couple of hours so we had the rest of the day for a bit more R & R 😁.

Sunday 26th February 2017

Flipin winds back and the skies are overcast and dull, but looking on the bright side, it's not raining...... YET. So what should we do on a windy dull Sunday when nearly everybody else on the campsite had gone home! We definitely wanted to go out after being cooped up all day yesterday, so after dithering about all morning we finally decided to nip down to Woolacombe for lunch at the Red Barn (pub).  We arrived about 2ish and indulged in a pint + fish and chips for John and a Jacket spud for me, and once that had been scoffed we decided to TRY  to go for a walk on the beach.

Woolacombe Sands
However, the squally gusts were fiercely blowing sand in our faces and attempting to push us in the opposite direction to the one we wanted to go - and then came the rain - cold driving and very wet!

So as we'd achieved our goal of getting out for a couple of hours, we were quite happy to turn tail and start making our way home - but by the time we got there we were more or less soaked through - and as we sat and sipped our warming cuppa we noted that the wind was shaking T4rdis2 so much we'd got waves on our tea!

Therefore, I think it's going to be another night where we need to batten down the hatches and hope that the wind rocks us to sleep rather than shaking us awake!

Monday 27th February 2017

The Hail was Bouncing at this point!
Well, I'd almost decided not to bother writing about today cos it really was a 'write off',  and I think I'm getting a bit boring just whining on about the weather everyday!  However, just for completeness, I'll have another little moan!  Today's wind driven  rain was accompanied by hail - and boy oh boy did it clatter on the outside of T4rdis2.  The drenching storms arrived with amazing regularity all day - every hour and just about on the hour, so it was another day where we chose not to stray from the warm safe confines of our little home.   And in the end we both agreed, that even if we lived more conventionally in bricks and mortar,  it would have been unlikely that our day, or even our week so far would have been any different.

Tuesday 28th February 2017

At last - some sunshine, but still accompanied by strong winds -' hooray πŸ“£πŸ‘πŸ“£πŸ‘πŸ“£πŸ‘', we were certainly going to go out and enjoy it!  However, the weatherman advised enjoying it with caution because he foretold  that the day would spoil itself for a short while around mid-day, and that prediction was absolutely spot on!

We left T4rdis2 around 11am and 🚴 down to Woolacombe, and then up Marine Drive which is a little lane that traverses over Woolacombe Warren and leads to Croyde.  And it was just as we were arriving in Croyde Bay that the heavens opened to produce more driving rain and hail that hit so hard it resulted in partial blindness and resulted in us having to take refuge in a convenient 🚌 shelter.  To keep warm we sipped hot coffee from our flask, and while we were doing that we watched the black clouds flit across the sky above us, followed by much lighter ones with blue skies beyond.

Therefore, once we got going again after our enforced break things got much better, and we were able to proceed to the absolutely stunning Baggy Point which was gifted to the National Trust by the Hyde family in 1939.  The point itself forms a craggy headland that is pitted with secret coves and from one side it's heights overlook Croyde Bay, and more distantly Hartland, and from the other side Woolacombe sands are clearly visible. Additionally, it also has far reaching views out to the Island of Lundy.  However, we didn't go right to the top of the point because the path wasn't really suitable for our bikes and we really wanted to ride over to Saunton Sands where we thought we might have lunch.

Can you tell it's still a bit cold?
Our ride over to the sands took us up and along a road that very closely follows the coast, and from our vantage point the views of the huge bay and beach were breathtaking.  However when we eventually got to the beach we decided it was to cold and windy to actually sit there for any length of time, so we retraced our tyre tracks to a spot that overlooked the whole vista.  Here we perched on a sheltered bit of wall, and with  the warmth of the sun's rays we were quite comfortable while we munched our lunch - it was bliss - and even though the weather hasn't always been kind recently, and although we're not anywhere exotic, we are still unanimous that we wouldn't change our life style for all the tea in china!  We might not be rich in terms of money,  but we're very well off and lucky to be able to live like we do and experience the freedom to do just as we pleaseπŸ˜€!

Saunton Sands
We returned back to Woolacombe via the way we came, and paused again there to watch the incoming tide battering the jagged rocks, and then it was back up the hill and home for a warming hot chocolate. However, at this point the sun was still shining so we left our door open, mostly because John was still pottering about outside.  But this nearly resulted in us having some unexpected guests in the form of 3 πŸ¦†πŸ¦†πŸ¦† (ducks) who  were quite determined they were coming in to share our goodies.   They made it as far as our second step, but when I shooed them away they left us a little pressie on our doormat πŸ’©πŸ˜.

Wednesday 1st March 2017 πŸ‡πŸ°

I'm only going to write a quick note for today because our plan is not to do very much at all (more ☔🌧☔)! However, this evening we're going to nip down to 'The Old Mill' and treat ourselves to Sunday Dinner! That's one of the problems with living like we do πŸ˜• - you never quite know what day it is πŸ˜‰

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