National Trust tour

It was raining when we got up, in fact drizzle had refused visibility to only a couple of hundred yards. Our first stop would be Lanhydrock a fine property. We were there just 5 minutes before the house opened. The Americans described the volunteer the other side of the closed door a pit bull as no one would be allowed in before 1100 on the dot. I could not find my yellow token and was almost ejected by her until a third search of my pockets uncovered the golden ticket to freedom of the house.

I made the most of my 360 camera whilst walking around the rooms. One technique to avoid being in the picture was to hold the stick out into the room round a door way. We headed to the exit and I had a great pasta and pesto salad. Next stop was a chandler’s at Par, to get some bits to make a new swivel bit for my camera strap. I got two bits that would help make something up.

Trerice is down some very narrow lanes but we made it with too many giving way events. The house is quite small so and we had been there before so we did not stay that long. The return journey to the main road, was a bit tedious as there were lots of cars coming the other way it took about 5 minutes of waiting before we got there. We stopped off at some promising shops on the way back for some supplies but they were all a bit disappointing, compared to the pictures available on google maps.

When we got back I went for a run which was a bit of an effort because unlike the  map I planned it on it had a couple of very steep hills.

Treyarnon back to Trevone via Constantine and Harlyn

Helen’s foot was not playing g up, so we decided to have another day walking. The plan: dump the car at Treyarnon bay car park then walk back round the coat to Trevone. Then layer I would walk or run back to get the car using the direct route. The raids were very narrow most of the way there even more so as we left Trevone and approached Treyarnon. We had to give way for a couple of cars, o hate to think what it might that be like high season.

The beach at Treyarnon is very popular I think partly because there is a youth hostel. The car park cost £4 for the day which seems reasonable. We headed out on the coastal path and examined the many benches on the shoreline some of them recent some dating back to the 70’s, some made of standard wood others steel, and some built of Cornish slate.

We noticed a lot more birds than we had the day before, first we saw the ever present Oystercatchers, then when Helen and I took different routs, me across the beach and up the rocks and Helen round the path, I spotted a seal and Helen three Wheatear. On another beach three Turnstone landed on a rock just ahead of me, they called alarmingly when a dog started to chase them.

At the end of Trevose Head is the Trevose Lighthouse, which was looking very white perhaps it had had a lick of paint recently. As we approached Harlyn bay we sat and watched while a couple in an inflatable, tried t start their outboard, and use paddles to get back to shore. They made very slow progress. Eventually Helen thought we should tell the RNLI on the beach, but by the time we got down there they had finally made it to the shore. We passed the guy carrying the broken down outboard on his shoulder and passed the time of day., he seemed quite nonchalant about the whole adventure.

As we left the beach Helen heard a frantic dog whistle and we spied a couple calling for their dog as it paddled out to sea, eventually the man stripped down to his trunks and went in after the dog. I’m guessing it is not such an unusual event because the man had his trunks on and after the rescue he continued to chuck the ball in the sea for the very obedient dog.

We stopped for 7up and chips at the beach car park burger van. Then we did the final mile and a bit back to Trevone. We rested for a bit then I tried to run the direct route back the the car.. I managed to do the 3.3 miles in under 12 minute miles speed which I was happy with, and it was my first time out on the road, up until then I had been using a treadmill.

Trevone loop via Stepper Point, Padstow and Thressilic

We were up fairly early as a result of a Aprilia bed and hanging on to bed early tonight before. rather than using the car we decided a walk around the Peninsula to Padstow and then take the short route back over the hills or have the option to get the taxi or bus back would be a good idea for the first day. I put on an extra layer but once we got two things that were in the sun it proved unnecessary.

Once we left Trevone bay the path flattened,. Out and apart from one drop and climb. The sun continued to shine as we stopped for a rest at Stepper Point, while looking for seals, but didn’t spot any. We waved at the coast watchers in thier hut as we walked past. I resisted the opportunity to drop in a chat about radios. We dropped down then stopped off at the Rest A While tea room for a welcome coffee.

As soon as we could get to the beach we did then walked along the beach until we got to the low tide ferry drop off. Apparently the tide was unusually low, there was definitely lots of sand exposed some of it had green sea weed growing in it. Padstow was Sergio Ramos but we found a wood fired pizza place called embers ( yes it trendily used no caps to spell its name). We shared a pizza and had some slaw and green salad to go with it. Whilst eating Dave from DPD delivered my software defined radio, (more about that later).

Helen decided that a taxi would be the best way back to the hut. I decided to walk back and meet her at the beach. I chose the beach shortcut and just about timed it right, then Idropped into the coast watch hut and had a chat with the volunteer. Helen had been paddling on the beach when I arrived back.

I was planning on going for a run but I had done enough exercise for the day I had managed 12 miles. We had D nber at the hut.

The road to Trevone via Broadwoodwidger

We are on holiday for a coupled weeks in Cornwall the Dorset. we decided to go A41 then A420 via Swindon and Bristol. The traffic was pretty light though it did get a bit sticky around Exeter. We stopped for coffee at a service station around Taunton then we carried on past Exeter on to the A30 then we stopped just the most northerly point of Dartmoor to have a look at a National Trust Forge.

Finches Forge is a working Forge, although there are only one workstation where in days gone by they were several. We spent about an hour at the Forge time to have a look around the exhibits and get a snack before heading off down the road to Padstow then Trevone.

Back on the A30 we passed a place with an interesting name Broadwoodwidger according to Wikipedia “The name derives from broad wood of the Wyger family and is first documented as Brod(e)wode Wyger in 1306. The manor here passed from the Vypund family to the Wygers before 1273. It was earlier known simply as Broad wood, for example it appears as Bradewode in the Domesday Book of 1086”. We could get into the rental property at 3 so decided to stop off in Padstow to do some shopping at the Tesco’s superstore, which turned out to be no bigger than the Tesco at Tring. After getting a few days supply I decided to drive down through Padstow because we had 10 minutes to waste, it turned out to be a mistake.

We got stuck in pedestrian traffic down near the harbour then took a wrong turning and had to go down a lane that the car barely fitted down then at the end of that LN we had to reverse the car a little bit to get round the corner which took us down a one way street back to where we started. it didn’t take us long to get out of town after we found the right road and we were soon down into the very narrow lanes of Trevone full stop the cottage was easy to find and it seemed like a nice place to spend a week.

We had a sandwich then wandered down to have a look at the beach and the big hole on the other side. There was a couple of small beaches all but one golden sand, the odd one was grey sand. The air temperature was cool but we expected it to get a bit warmer in the week to come. There were a few hardy souls swimming without wet suits. There is a big hole on the site of a hill when I say big I mean 50m in diameter at the top and about 10m at the bottom, where you can see the waves crashing because there is obviously a cave that leads through to the sea.

We sat for a while and watched the world go by and then went back to the hut for a veggie burger and salad, and discuss the plans for Sunday.

The Ridgeway – Wantage to Goring

I planned an early start, not not as early as it ended up. I wake at 5 and finally gave in and got up about 05:30, which meant I left the house at 06:00 on the dot. The roads were clear and I made it to Goring station by 07:00 in good time to board the 07:07 to Didcot Parkway. The train only had two carriages and after a few people got off that left just me and another person on the train.

I was the only person to alight at Didcot Parkway I went out the front of the station to orient myself, there was a taxi so rather than messing with a bus then a taxi I took the bird in the hand and waited for a taxi. One arrived dropping off but would not take my fare the next one said I would have to call his number. Weird I thought,  but he explained that he was not licensed to use the taxi rank only pre-arranged trips. I got my phone out and before I could unlock it he said he would give me a fare any way. At one point he got on the A34 he had misunderstood my destination when I said the ridgeway just outside Wantage, he thought I meant Ridgeway a village nearby. I asked why he was going on the A34 we figured out the problem and he said he would only charge me for normal fare to Wantage. By the time we got to the Ridgeway the fare was £40 but he only charged me £30. It can be expensive this walking lark.

The drop off suited me because I was already high up it had saved me a hard slog up hill. It was quiet at first but after 09:00 there were mre walkers and cyclists. Also a few motor vehicles, 4×4’s and motor bikes, but no more than 10 all day.  Eventually I had to drop down because the path goes under the A34. The place is surrounded by land used as gallops, and I saw a few horses being exercised in the distance.

According to a mural in the tunnel under the A34 East Isley is famous sheep but not wool spinners. It was my destination in the hope of getting some lunch. It was a 1.5 mile detour of the path but I figured worth it. Because of my early start I was going to get there for 11:00, which meant only the Swan would be open. I got there but it turns out they do not do food till 12:00 so I had two packets of crisps and a half of bitter. It sat in the shade as it was getting ht in the sun.

The path rises for about 4 miles then slowly descends towards Streatley. When you get close there are some very nice houses in the last couple of miles, and the last mile and a half are on the pavement of busy roads. At Streatley I stopped to get some pictures of the buttercups which were in full bloom. I grabbed some cakes from the delicatessen to share with  Helen when I got home.

Considering I had walked 16 miles and the early start meant I was finished by 15:00 an home by 16:00. Last year when I was walking the Thames 16 miles would have been a struggle, but although I felt I had walked a long way I could have walked further if need be.

Kempton Water Works steam engines

With England v Ireland rugby at 14:30, I had a dilemma, I wanted to go and take a look at the Kempton Steam Museum where the engines would be running, but I also wanted to get a walk in, all of which would take place near Twickenham. I took s look at the maps and it would be a bit of a challenge.

When I woke up in the morning the decision was made for me, the mini-beast from the east had arrived and it was snowing and there was a bitter wind to go with it. Sid the walk I would drive to the museum and then get back in time for the rugby.

Kempton’s pair of triple-expansion steam engines were at the cutting edge of water pumping technology when they were installed in 1927-28 to supply 39 million gallons of water to North London. The demand for water in London ramped up after WW1, and was the reason for building the twin triple steam engines to pump water, into the local reservoirs. Later steam turbines were added rather than a third triple engine.

The pumps finally closed down in 1980 and were declare of national importance by English Heritage, an army of volunteers restored them and the building reopened with one working engine in 1984 when HRH Prince of Wales reopened the place.

I arrive at just about 10:30 the opening time of the museum, parking was under the M3. Entrance was £7 and included a free optional guided tour of the non-working engine. The workshop by engine would be steamed up for 30 minutes once an hour. The engines are very big, in fact massive and they dominate the left and right end of the building, they are as tall as the building which makes sense as the building was built to house them. The spectator area is about a their of the way up the building and a balcony all the way round over looked a large pot of an area which contains large values and pipes.

I had a good look around the exhibition of unusual stuff, ranging from measuring equipment if all sorts, radios, computers and loads of other interesting junk. I grabbed a coffee and coconut cake from the cafe, while I waited for the steam up to start and then the tour. The tour was very good in a group of eight we got right up close to the machinery on all the 4 levels of gangways around the engine. It took about an hour and a half, and I left soon after to get back for the rugby.

The Ridgeway – Ashbury to Letcombe Bassett

Time to get back to the Ridgeway, after a few months of absence. I plotted the next 12 miles from Ashbury and determined that Letcombe Bassett and therefore Wantage would be the best place to leave the car. 12 miles would be tough as it was my first walk of that distance for a while and also there were no coffee stops or cafes on the route. One of the downsides of the Ridgeway is that it does not really go through many villages or towns near them but hardly ever through them.

I left the house at 08:10 dropped Helen up the road and headed to Wantage, ignoring the Sat Nav and going south of Oxford to get to the A34. I was hoping the rain/drizzle would stop by the time I got to Wantage but it had now. I sought out a shop to get some cheap waterproof trousers, and found some for £7 on the market. I suspect the vendor could have applied surge pricing as it was the type of inundation that makes you really wet. I grabbed a coffee in Costa to get my bearing and figure out how to get to Ashbury. Uber said there were no cars available so I wandered over to the local taxi rank. An old man seemed to be headed the same way so I held back rather than grabbing the only taxi waiting.

It wasn’t long before a taxi turned up, the driver was not very talkative and when he was he mumble quietly, so there wasn’t much conversation, he dropped me at the top of the hill where the Ridgeway crosses the B4000, which saved me having to walk up it from Ashbury. I headed off down the path the rain continued and I realised that I wold have to put the waterproofs on if I wanted to stay slightly dry.

The walk was pretty uneventful to start with but there were some ancient monuments to take a look at Wayland’s Smithy was the most interesting and the only one where I came across anyone else out having a look. I plodded on and passed a trough with a tap and a notice that said the was was fit to drink and that it was to celebrate the life Peter Wren who loved the countryside. I had a drink to save the water I was carrying. We need more taps like that in the countryside, to go with the benches you sometimes come across. Both would be very welcome on a long walk.

Eventually I came across a lady on a bicycle followed by three dogs, she stopped and told me an old dog was lagging behind a bit. About a quarter of a mile later I came across a setter who looked like he was on his last legs, it was all he could do to lift his head to look at me while he plodded past. next up was another lady and a dog this time both were on foot. The lady explained that she trying to keep off the slippery chalk, however she was running out of grass and was in danger and slipping down, I offered here a hand down but she said thank but no thanks so I left here teetering on the edge of a grass patch.
not many people Old dog

A couple of 4×4 drove up and 4 men with fluorescent orange flags got and walks across a field down to the valley. There were small sections of corn growing they clearly were running a shoot for pheasants, which were quite numerous in the area. Finally I arrived at Letcombe Basset, but unfortunately there was no pub so I settle for a bench at a junction. It had stopped raining for a while so I took the opportunity to take my waterproofs off to let my now slightly damp jeans dry out. While I was doing so a man drove out out of a parking space then moved his van into the vacated space then drove off in the car. Between each move he left a vehicle blocking the highway, there was no traffic.

The walk to Letcombe Regis was along a road because I missed a turning for a foot path, I tough someone had blocked the entrance but studying the maps more closely a complaint would not be necessary as google streetview allowed me to see where the foot path entrance was that I missed. In the village there was a big retirement complex which was run by Bupa. It was quite well done and I guess catered for all sorts of retired people, that that did and did not need care. There was a brand new village shop and cafe, it was a bit strange, clearly run by locals, but there was not much useful produce in the shop cuppa soups cakes and biscuits the sort of thing you would need if you were visiting an elderly relative! I stopped for a weak coffee and move on.

The path back to Wantage was paved but cross country I imagine that maybe it was built by the manor house at Letcombe Regis for staff in the bygone days, I wasn’t complaining it made for easy walking. In Wantage I popped into the cobblers to ask about leather glue apparently Bostik 6092 is the best stuff, but they could not sell me any even though I don’t look like a glue sniffer. In specsaver they did not have my contact lens fitting I was not being successful on the shopping front. I did manage to get the ingredients for Lhaksa at Sainsbury’s.

I dropped by Rory’s to fix his PC and he bought me a pint at the Akeman in return, it was good to catch up. The Lhaksa worked out OK.

Australia – Brisbane part deux

I didn’t feel I had done the city of Brisbane, so I returned via a school run, then a 200 bus. I got off the bus on the bridge near the museums then grabbed a coffee from a stall in the Musem complex. I wandered down to the river and spotted my second big spider of the day with a web attached to the railings. It is hard to get pictures of them because the camera wants to focus on the background and manual focusing would require me to get my face close up to the web and spider.

The Queensland Museum opened first so I went there, it is a great museum mainly dedicated to natural history, specifically relating to Queensland. I would highly rate the museum for its content and presentation. The Queensland Art Gallery was a great building, with some interesting art, it was a great opportunity to serve some Aboriginal art which has great vibrant colours, which reflect the colours you see in the bright sun.

It was turning out to be a museum day, my next one was a 1km walk away, at the Roma Street Police station, where the Queensland Police Museum is housed. It shows presents the work of the Queensland Police since the force was created, as well as details of done crimes some still unsolved and some which were tricky to solve. I headed for the city hall next to take a look at the Brisbane Museum and clock tower. But first I had a fish burger at a Mos Burger.

The Brisbane Museum was very modern and well done, and you could get a tour up the clock tower, which I did to get good views over the city. The large buildings are starting to encroach though. The exhibition covered the history of Brisbane, including the floods, and a survey based on a sample of 100 Brisbane residents.

To get the full house I went to the Commissariat Store Museum, run by the Royal Historical Society of Queensland. The building was built by convicts and the exhibition focused on life during that time. The most famous exhibit is a bottle supposedly containing convicts fingers, it looked like an empty jar with some residue on the bottom, but they had got it tested and confirmed that it did contain a human finger bone.

I got the 200 bus home.

Australia – Brisbane City tour

As I was there it would have been strange to not take a look at the city of Brisbane itself, so I got dropped off at the end of the school run, then caught a 200 bus to the centre where I grabbed a coffee and did some research. Two attractions near by caught my eye, the Brisbane Martine Museum, run by volunteers so would probably be good, and the Boggo Goal tour, which only closed in the 80’s.

The Boogie Gaol was a timed tour only and I got myself on the only daily tour at 11:00. That gave me some time to take in the Maritime Museum. I only had about an hour before I would have to go to Boggo so I checked I could get back in later. I enjoyed the museum, I did the outside area first then the indoor exhibits later. They have a few boats that has taken part in endeavours for example the pink boat a 16 year old sailed round the world in and a boat some guys had built from a flat pack and rowed across the Atlantic. The Boggo Gaol was a good tour, you got to see all the graffiti still on the cell walls. The tour guide was informed, ttpld us about the notorious roof top riots, and attempted escapes.

I walked through the the Botanical gardens but they were nowhere near as good as Sydney or Perth. Next I was walking through part of the city centre offices area, before getting to a pedestrian bridge over to the Southbank where Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art or GOMA is. Modern art is veryuch a love it or hate it thing, so I passed a lot of the stuff. There was a great film I saw years ago call power of 10, and I always have time to watch it.

I had done enough walking so I headed back to G&Ls on the 200 bus, I would have to find time for another day in the city.

Australia – Maleny to Brisbane and my final weekend

I request breakfast at 07:30, eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes, interestingly the eggs were poached in shallow water so looked like fried eggs except without the fat, I will try the method myself. After a brief chat I bid the hosts farewell and drive to the centre of Maleny for supplies, I had a mountain to climb.

Mount Ngungun is the sixth tallest of the Glass House Mountains at 253 m. There are others which look more spectacular but these cannot be climbed or, as was the case on the day were closed due to the bad weather. I parked up at the start of the trail, some people were just setting out on the trail, they sprayed themselves. I figured it was mosquito repellent. Finished my coffee and started up the path only to be bitten twice by mosquitoes. I turned back drive into town and bought some spray.

Suitably kitted out I returned sprayed myself then just the path again. It was quite humid in the forest at the base of the climb until most of the way up. The sun being out contributed somewhat. The path is relatively short but the net result is a steep one. Lots of steps are cut it of the path and protected by rocks. Half way up there is a big overhang which looks like a a cave. The last few hundred metres the path flattens out a bit before a final little kick, which is a bit of a bottle neck.

On the top it is all orange rock and the ridge stretches for about 75 metres to a small pinnacle, interestingly infested by flies so I did not stay there for long, retreating about 10 metres away. I rested for a while taking a timelapse and taking on some water. I got chatting to a guy flying a DJI drone, he told me about the best Glass Mountain to climb Beerwah, which although is very steep in places he said it was perfectly achievable.

At the bottom of the climb two guys asked me about mosquitoes, I gave them the use of my spray. I spent the rest of the day driving and taking in the scenery, stopping off a a couple of small towns. The final leg back to Brisbane took me along a motorway that was being widened, and the traffic was heavy, such a contrast to the roads just a couple of 10’s of km west and inland.

The Friday evening we went over to the other cousin-in-law and caught up. I was invited to play poker on the Saturday night, I wasn’t sure given my lack of knowledge of the game.

The next morning we went for breakfast near G’s boxing gym. I had scrambled eggs on toast, G had a Rbens bagel, corned beef and sauerkraut, L had the fitness bowl which looked the best of our chosen dishes. The fitness bowl had a cornucopia of items, yogurt, haloumi, eggs, nuts avocado and seeds. We also were offered a sample of cold brewed black coffee, which takes 50 hours to prepare, it tasted like cold black coffee. Not my cup of tea.

L dropped me off at SD&P’s where I helped them get setup for the poker night, there was a lot of preparingvand cooking going on, they were expecting 22 players and about another 10ish family members. I set up a new Bose networked speaker for D.

Everyone arrived but there were. A couple of no shows so I agreed to join them all and play. $40 is the going fee and you get a pile of chips. The ante went up over the evening as did the small and large bets. I was a bit lost but managed to be the person with the most chips on the table at the mid evening break. After some dessert and ice cream we started playing again. I did not last long, after the break it only takes a few hands to lose a lot.

Sunday I spend over at SD&P’s we went for a ferry ride followed by a walk in the peak and lunch at an Italian deli. In the evening we went out for a Thai meal in West town, I had seafood Lhaksa which was very good. After we stopped off at a trendy coffee shop and had dessert I had citrus tart again very nice.