Monday, 20 March 2017

More Moor........

Within half an hour of Gids and Angie leaving the site another friend turned up for a stay with us......
Peter Calcutt who I have known for many years from our connection with the Backpackers Club drove down from Bournemouth for a one night stay sleeping in his Hilleberg Akto tent.....

He shared the entire tent field with just one other tent......mind you having the entire field in which to choose a pitch doesn't make life any easier as we spent a good ten minutes trying to pick out the most level and smooth part of the field on which he could pitch his 6'x3' shelter......

We had a good time...catching up on the latest gossip....downing a few beers and eating lots of food prepared by Anne.....
We even managed to fit in a couple of walks on the moor.....
One up to Pew Tor which overlooks our campsite and another to Great Mis Tor.

Great Mis Tor has been called one of the grandest hills in Devon and lies above the River Walkham about four miles north-east of Princetown.....The Tor stands at an elevation of 538m (1,765ft). I had actually walked up this Tor with Gideon just a couple of days before...

Pew Tor sits high on Whitchurch Common and can be seen from all angles on this part of the moor...The summit is made up of three large granite stacks plus a number of smaller stacks.
Although sitting at a lower elevation than Great Mis Tor at 317m (1040 ft) it provides outstounding views all around ......

It is always good to have friends come and visit us on site and I look forward to meeting up with Peter again when Anne and I visit the C&CC site at Verwood in April......

I have posted a few images below taken on our Tor walks together.......






Sunday, 12 March 2017

At Last ...Caught up again...

Some twenty six years and more ago I had a walking buddy who I did quite a few long distance walks with...
We did the Pembrokshire Coast Path.....The West Highland Way.... The SouthWest Coast Path...and many more trips of various distances....
As time went on and pressures of work and family grew we saw less of each other and about fourteen years ago we lost touch completely....

Well the other day my buddy Gideon tracked me down via the internet leaving a message on this blog and also google+.

Well I was really amazed to find out that he and his partner Angie have followed a similar path to the one that Anne and I are on ie: fulltiming in a motorhome /caravan and living life to the full.
The big difference is that Gids and Angie have decided to do it whilst still relatively young Gids being just fifty one years of age....

They sold their lovely four bedroomed house and stepped away from the pressures of life and work (he was an Estate Agent) and are now doing seven months of seasonal work with the Camping & Caravanning Club in order to help fund the five months of touring that they will be doing each year over the winter months...

Last Wednesday Gids and Angie arrived here on site for a three night visit so that we could catch up with each other and I must say that we had a fantastic reunion meet-up.


Gids & Angie with their Motorhome & Smart Car that gets towed behind.
During their short stay down here we managed to down a few beers including some gin & tonics for Angie and also managed to fit in a great takeaway chinese meal which was consumed in the luxury of their motorhome.......

It was great having this unexpected meet-up with a really good old friend and we had plenty to catch up on as well as looking back at some of those great walks that we did together years ago...we even managed to fit in a short walk together with Gids dog Molly as well.....

Like me.... Gids is posting a blog and you can catch up with his travels at :-       gidsandangieontheroad.wordpress.com

I will add his blog to my 'purple blog list' on the right hand column here at purpletraveller.....

Anne & I have promised to drop by for a short stay at the site that they will be working on towards the end of the summer season.... Obviously that visit will be reported on here at PT. 





Friday, 3 March 2017

Rumours Of My Death........

Yes...To (roughly) quote Mark Twain....
"The rumours of my death are greatly exaggerated".

We are still here on Dartmoor alive and just about kicking.....

In my last post way back in early December I said "As soon as I can... I hope to be back out on the bike and do just that".
The 'just that' was referring to improving my hill climbing abilities.

Well that has just not happened.....
Since that post we have been back and forth to the Bournemouth and Wimborne area attending various medical scans....tests and check ups. 
Due to all the medical rubbish I have not been able to get out on the bike at all...

When not travelling I have had to take things a bit easier than I normally do.....

With all of the above I have not had anything to report on this blog..... I really didn't want to bore you all with all the medical stuff and as that has really dominated our overwinter stay down here on Dartmoor I decided to take a break from the internet.......

However we are now into our last five weeks down here before we hitch up and hit the road again for the upcoming season....... 
Although I have to have yet another scan in April plus having a medical procedure carried out
it does seem as if we are seeing some light at the end of this gloomy tunnel....

So I am back and will start to blog again as more and more interesting things start to happen....
It's good to be hitting the computer keys again...!
I have missed it and all my regular readers.......

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Ups and Downs......

Since we have been at our 'over winter pitch' we have had some pretty good weather... It has certainly been a lot nicer than when we were here last winter....

Yes we have had some strong winds...rain....mist and fog.... as well as some icy conditions but in the main it has been pretty good for getting out on the bike...

Before my latest medical hiccup I was managing to get out for a ride on a regular basis....
Mind you it can be pretty hard going....
Down here in the Dartmoor area of Devon it is all ups and downs... You are either cycling uphill or going downhill...there are hardly any stretches of real flat roads at all.

I remember when I cycled Lands End to John o' Groats a few years ago everyone in our team agreed that the Devon section was the hardest and riding around the local lanes has brought it all back to me...

Within just a couple of miles of our campsite there are a number of climbs in excess of 17% as well as a couple hitting the 25% mark...
As if that wasn't enough the road that passes the campsite is part of a climb listed in Simon Warren's book '100 Greatest Cycling Climbs'. The climb can be found on page 31 of the book and is titled 'Rundlestone'.... Simon rates it as 7/10. 

All the climbs in the book are tough, therefore 1/10 equals hard and 10/10 equals 'it's all you can do to keep your bike moving'....
This means of course that it is a great area for training and improving your hill climbing abilities....
As soon as I can... I hope to be back out on the bike and attempting to do just that.....

Great Cycling Weather...Great Cycling Country...


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Static over Winter...

It has been about a month since my last post on this blog but I have had two good reasons...

We have moved to our winter seasonal site which means that we will not be moving on again until next April.... 
However since we arrived the site has had ongoing internet problems with engineers working up poles etc trying to restore the service.... A few days ago the problem was finally sorted allowing me to make this post...

As well as that I had a bit of a medical scare... I won't go into all the boring details but it does mean I need to have a MRI scan and some further treatment....
How long this will take is difficult to say but hopefully it will all be sorted before we plan to head off again next spring.....

As I have not had reliable internet access for a month I need to catch up on all my favourite blogs as well as making a few more posts here at the purpletraveller blog....
If you have wondered why I have not visited your blog for a while I hope that the above answers that question and I should visit you soon....

Below are a couple of images that were taken as we left our last touring site of the year before  
arriving  here at our winter static site...



Friday, 4 November 2016

Destination Meldon Viaduct....

One of the walks we took just a few days after arriving back down in Devon was along the Granite Way from Okehampton station.
We parked the car in the station car park and had only been walking the way for about half a mile when we saw a cyclist approaching us who looked familiar...

As the rider got up to us Anne said "it's Bill".....
She was right..
It was Bill Turnbull a South African guy who we met last year on our winter pitch at Tavistock..
He had been touring for a couple of years and had decided to overwinter at the Tavistock site just like us...
Being a keen cyclist we had a common interest and we used to exchange cycling magazines and spend hours chatting about the cycling scene....

Due to some health issues Bill decided in the spring that he would have to change lifestyle and give up the touring life... I remember when he had to sell his motorhome he was really upset... He loved the freedom of the road and enjoyed his touring life very much... It really was a major wrench for him to give it all up...
He acquired a flat in Okehampton and I remember him telling me that the best thing about it was that it even had a bike shed....

Anyway.. seeing him cycling along the Granite way  was a pleasant surprise and we spent sometime catching up with each others lives....

After we had finished chatting with Bill he carried on with his ride and we set off again on our walk...... our destination was Meldon Viaduct....
The walk itself there and back is only about six miles but it is a really pleasant walk with some lovely views....

Meldon Viaduct is a Truss Bridge that used to carry the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) across the West Okement River at Meldon near Okehampton on Dartmoor in Devon.
The bridge was constructed from wrought iron and cast iron and was built under the direction of LSWRs chief engineer W.R.Galbraith.
The  dual-tracked bridge took three years to build and was opened to rail traffic in 1874.
The viaduct had an axle load limit and as such was limited to certain classes of locomotive.

Regular services were withdrawn in 1968 but the bridge continued to be used for shunting by a local quarry. 
In the 1990s the remaining track was removed and the crossing is now used by the Granite Way...a long distance cycle track that runs across Dartmoor.....

The viaduct is one of only two such surviving railway bridges in the UK that uses this type of cast and wrought iron construction.

Below are some images of Meldon Viaduct that I took during our walk....






Sunday, 23 October 2016

I Should Keep My Mouth Shut....

Just before we left Dorset I was out on the bike for a morning ride when I achieved another first......
I had just got to the top of quite a steep hill and was a bit out of breath when out of the corner of my eye and in a split second I saw it zooming in on me.....
One of these fellas was heading my way...and at speed.

These Fellas Can Cause Some Pain...
 Yes...it was a wasp.... In the blink of an eye it had gone into my mouth and stung me on the back of the throat....
It caused me to stop riding my bike as quickly as it had stung me....

Bearing in mind the bad reaction that I have when I get bitten by midges and similar insects I was obviously concerned that I might have a similar reaction to the wasp sting....

I have been stung by wasps a couple of times before and I have never had an adverse reaction to the sting ...but this was the first time I have ever been stung in my throat.... I managed to cough up and spit out my attacker without it managing to sting me again. 

My main concern was that my throat would swell up and make breathing and swallowing difficult..... I had a drink from my bottle and waited for about ten minutes.....
Yes my throat did swell to some extent and it was very painful and the pain became worse when I swallowed but after the ten minute wait it did not feel like it was getting any worse so I remounted my bike and continued my ride.....

It was about three days before the pain and soreness had gone......
A lesson learned here.... In future I will keep my mouth shut..!!

Next.....

We had only been at our first campsite in Devon for about three hours when I got bitten on the back of my left leg by a large dog......
I have met this dog a number of times over the past eighteen months and he has never attempted to bite me before... but on this occasion he obviously took a dislike to me and showed his displeasure of my company with his teeth.

I recieved about eight punture wounds on my leg and my leg was also quite badly bruised....
This all happened a week ago and the bruising on my leg is still very painful....

As these sort of things seem to happen in threes... I am now wondering what the third thing will be..... 
Will I get trampled on by Deer or maybe I will be attacked by Wild Boar.....
If I manage to survive my next attack I will post the details here on the purpletraveller blog.....
Dog Bite on my Left Leg....