Thursday, 8 July 2010

Thursday 8th July

Good morning
This is my 4th day back in Chudleigh and although I am missing being out on the road I am also enjoying being home.
Everyone has been very kind and welcomed both Simon and me home( not forgetting Murphy) with quite a few donations coming in.
A BIG thank you to everyone who has donated but I also realise that there are so many charities out there that to give to all of them would not be possible.

I will now finish off the last few days of the trip.

Friday :
Packed everything up, sat in the sun with a cup of tea and read my book then I drove to Corfe Castle, Elsie followed in her car.
While Elsie stayed in the car park painting a picture of the Castle I walked with Murphy up the hill to the Castle, had a good look around then walked around the village and back down to the Camper.

Entrance to the Castle and the railway station

Our next stop was Lulworth Cove, heaving with tourists and school groups studying the coastline.
Walked along the coast, took some photo's then met Simon and Noel for a drink before they set off cycling again.
We dove past Weymouth and set up camp at West Fleet on a flat piece of grass, unwound the awning, put out the table and chairs, sat in the sun and waited for the cyclists to arrive.
Had Dinner, relaxed had a drink and a chat until bedtime.

Saturday :
Simon and Noel set off about 9.30, we left Fleet and made our way to Abbotsbury Swannery, spent a couple of hours watching hundreds of swans feeding, learning about the history of the Swannery and finding our way around the Maze.
We then made our way to Charmouth to look for fossils, the place was full of people all with the same idea so decided to return another day.
Stayed there for lunch and again met Simon and Noel as they cycled the coast.
Made our way to the campsite at Salcombe Regis, set everything up and took it easy in the sun.
Swans at Abbotsbury
Part of the Maze
Prototype bouncing bomb from the Dambusters recovered from Fleet Estuary.

Sunday :
Simon set off with 4 friends for the last leg of his epic journey around the coast of Britain.
Elsie left at about 10.00 and I left at 11.30 making my way to Exmouth, Starcross, Dawlish, Teignmouth over Shaldon bridge to Babbacombe, Torquay, Paignton and arriving at Dartmouth via the ferry from Kingswear at about 2.00.
Had lunch with Jean, Ken, Joanne and Steve, Guy, Lisa and Stanley. then waited as other friends and relatives arrived.
Met up with Harriet and Dean and waited for the cyclists to arrive.
At about 4.15 the group which had increased in number arrived with Simon at the front to a grand reception from all the well wishers.
He was presented with a cake decorated with "Cycle the Lights" made by Kate.
 A BIG thank you to Alf Resco's who stayed open for the afternoon giving them drinks etc.

I then returned home to Chudleigh, unloaded some of the camper, parked up and went indoors to find that Harriet and Dean had got the house tidy and dusted.
Harriet made me a cup of tea and Dean presented me with a Bargain Bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
A great end to my trip and I will resume my diet tomorrow.

Bought some flowers, went down the cemetery, sat for a while trying to decide my plans for the future and decided take life as it comes and see where it leads.
I am sure there many good things ahead.

I would like to finish by saying how proud I am of Simon's great achievement as only I know what he really went through on parts of the trip so WELL DONE.


Thursday, 1 July 2010

Thursday 1st July

Hard to believe we have been away for three and a half months with only 3 days to go.
We have had a brilliant trip and I will be sorry when it ends but I am also looking forward to getting home and sorting everything out.

Monday :
I drove to Southampton to the Red Funnel Ferry Terminal in plenty of time, boarded the Ferry and took Murphy onto the top deck for the 55 minute trip to East Cowes Isle of Wight.
Lovely weather and great trip with calm water and plenty to see.
I drove around the east coast of the island to Ryde, Bembridge and Sandown reaching the campsite near Shanklin just as Simon and Noel arrived from a different direction. Elsie arrived half an hour later.
The pitch was on grass (which we prefer if it is dry ) large and flat with plenty of room for the camper, one car, 4 people, 1 dog and 2 tents.
The site was Ninham Country Holidays touring park Tel. 01983 864243 who very kindly allowed us to stay for half price so a big Thank You.
Sat around in the evening eating, drinking and talking until bedtime.

Tuesday :
Simon and Noel set off fairly early, when we were ready Elsie followed me in her car around the rest of the island.
We went to Ventnor, Niton and stopped at Blackgang Chine where we went around The Disappearing Village with a new exhibition based on the tv series " Coast".well worth the 4.50 entrance charge.
Took us about 2 hours to see everything then drove to the Needles lighthouse at Alum Bay where we met Simon and Noel who stopped for a cup of tea then off again as they still had a long ride to East Cowes where we all stopped for the night.
Wednesday :
I caught the Ferry at 11.00 to Southampton, Elsie caught hers to Portsmouth at 9.00 and Simon and Noel caught the 10.30 to Southampton.
We each went our own way, I went to Lymington, Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole before making my way to our next campsite at Herston near Swanage, had 2 large pitches on grass so I set up the camper, wound out the large awning, put out the table and chairs, put the kettle on and waited for the rest to arrive.
Great evening just chilling out in the evening sun.

Thursday :
After Breakfast we sat around reading then we all ( including Murphy ) walked to the train station and caught a Steam Train to Swanage where we spent about 4 hours looking around, had lunch and sampled the local Piddle Ale.
Did a shop then caught the Steam Train back to the campsite where we all collapsed in the heat and in no time we were all asleep.
We are now preparing the evening meal, they are having Curry and I am having hot smoked Salmon Ploughmans.

Hope to see as many as possible on Sunday 4th July in the afternoon at Alf Resco's
All for now