Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Windsor, and, Rutland Camping and Caravan Site N52.723962 W0.631954

Tuesday, 28th December 2021

A dismal day, heavy cloud, when it is not actually raining, there is steady drizzle.

Approximately 290 miles, mostly light traffic, but, usual heavy traffic from Luton, and, of course, on the dreaded M25.

We are met by grandson, Gabriel, who helps get us parked and plugged in, then, we are joined by Salma.

Wednesday. 29th December 2021 - Saturday, 1st January 2022

Family Time, great to see Gary, Susana, Gabriel and Salma.

Sunday, 2nd January 2022.

All good things come to an end.

Fond farewells to Gary, Susana, Gabriel and Salma.

After all the rain we have had, it is a bright and sunny morning for our just under 120 mile journey to Rutland Camping and Caravan Site (N52.723962 W0.631954).

The weather is sunny and mild, when we arrive, but, soon, the rain returns, and the brisk wind, so, overnight, we have the pleasant music of rain battering on the roof.

Unsurprisingly, I suppose, considering the weather and time of year, there does not appear to be many people here, although the Cafe appears to be functioning with a reduced, but, still substantial menu. 

There are two pubs and a hotel, in Greetham village, The Plough Inn; The Wheatsheaf; Greetham Valley Hotel and Golf Club. So, the plan tomorrow, weather permitting, is a cycle ride, or a walk, and lunch at a pub or at the cafe. 



Monday, 3rd January 2022

After last night's heavy rain, we wake to blue sky and sunshine.

After a leisurely breakfast, we take a walk to explore Greetham.

The village is bigger than we thought, but, little in the way of Commerce, just one village shop (the post office). 

A rather attractive Church, Church of St Mary The Virgin, and, not much else. The Church would once have been a Catholic Church, but, naturally was "stolen by the wicked Henry VIII" (Kathleen's version), or, "released from the scourge of plenary indulgences and being controlled by the Vatican, etc" (my version).

Our, or, my plan, was to have lunch at one of the village pubs, but, in these covid times, they were both fully booked, so, it will have to be the site cafe.

Although there appears to be only about six people staying here, the cafe is running a menu with quite a few choices, and, only one item (Lasagne), not available. We plump for Steak and Ale pie, very edible.

Tuesday, 4th January 2022

After yesterdays clear skies, a heavy overnight frost, and, a very cold day, only 1C at 9:00.

179 uneventful miles home, no road works, no hold ups, an almost unique experience!

We are home by 12:30.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Devizes Camping and Caravan Club Site (N51.356511 W2.072076) and Home

Thursday, 7th October 2021

Dry and mild start to the day, 15C, with a promise of 19C, if the forecast is correct. 

Cannot convince Kathleen to risk drowning, by cycling along the Kennet and Avon Canal (NCN4), to Bradford-on-Avon, so, I go myself, whilst Kathleen reads her book. 

Just over 16 miles, and, I did not quite make it to Bradford-on-Avon Town.

On reflection, not sure Kathleen would have enjoyed it, some sections were very uneven, some rather muddy, and, a few rather narrow,

with a canal to potentially fall into, in fact, all of her pet hates about Cycle Tracks.

The upside was, it is traffic free, and, I saw lots of interesting things.

There are several of these swing bridges, along the canal, they have to be opened for boats to pass. They swivel and are pushed open by one person. 

I notice, that the passing canal boats are usually being steered by the man (husband), while the woman (wife) hops off and operates

the locks and the bridges.

Hadn't seen one of these bridges open, until today, when I happened to arrive at a bridge, just as a bait was about to go through.

Plenty of wild life too.

In the afternoon, we walk to Caen Hill Locks.

This is a series of 29 locks, 16 in the steepest section, which raise the canal by 237 feet over a distance of two miles.

Friday, 8th October 2021.

Similar to yesterday. Dry, cloudy, mild at 15C, with a promise of 18C. 

In the event, the promise of 18C was never realised, cloudy all day, with occasional drizzle.

No "fun" activities today, packing, ready for an early start tomorrow.

Saturday, 9th October 2021

We are up early (06:15) for an early start.

It is still dark, and, a typical autumn morning, cool (10C), damp, and foggy.

Remaining outside stuff packed away, in the dark, thankfully, I had previously purchased re-chargeable head torches (one each), much to Kathleen's amusement, but, they came in useful this morning.

We are at the Motorhome service point for 6:50, and, at the exit barrier for spot on 07:00, which is the time from which it will open.

Very foggy drive, on mostly small "A" roads, with a stop for breakfast at about 10:00, then, more small "A" roads, until we join the M69 at Coventry, then, onto M1 at Leicester.

Other than the morning fog, and one small hold up for road works, an easy drive of about 300 miles. 

Interestingly, this was not the Sat-Nav's preferred route, it came up with a longer route (340 miles) taking in more motorway (M4, M5). No doubt, it would have been quicker, if travelling by car, and, making full use of motorway speeds. So, for the Motorhome, Kathleen's route was more direct, and, certainly more varied.   

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Devizes Camping and Caravan Club Site (N51.356511 W2.072076) Continued...

Tuesday, 5th October 2021

Overnight rain. Dry and sunny this morning, although windy, 12C, with a promise of 14C.

Bicycles are out, in anticipation.

As the day were on, wind strength increases, no cycling today.

A totally lazy day of browsing the Internet, and, eating chocolate.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021

Dry and sunny, 16C. A nice day for my birthday.

We cycle to Melksham ASDA, for Bread, butter and Wine.  Just over 9 miles.

There is a cycle route, along the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal (NCN Route 4), but, Kathleen was concerned she may fall in the canal, so, we risked the A365. 

I did seek to re-assure her that I would ensure her Debit Card did not get wet (see below), but, to no avail.

Difficult choice, drown or be run over?

As a birthday treat, Kathleen brings her Debit Card out of storage, and, takes me for lunch at the Brewery Inn.

A pleasant walk (1.7 miles) along the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal, to the Brewery Inn. 

A very pleasant lunch, and a couple of pints, then a walk back in the sunshine.

All with my lovely wife.

Brilliant way to spend my birthday.

Monday, 4 October 2021

Leave Windsor, arrive Devizes.

 Sunday, 3rd October 2021

Another cool morning only 10C.

Kathleen takes herself off to church while I pack up, then, watch a cartoon version of the Adamms Family with Gabriel and Salma.

Farewells to Gary, Susana, Gabriel and Salma.

Not a lot of traffic on the 80 mile drive, roughly half on M4, remainder on "A" Roads, to Devizes, probably all searching for petrol/diesel.

Lots of parked cars on the final approach, not too much of a problem to us, but, pleased I am am not towing a large twin-axle caravan!

Devizes Camping and Caravan Club Site N51.356511 W2.072076, our second visit here, first was 2012. 

The site is 100 metres from Kennet and Avon Canal. Wardens had even taken my joking Booking - "Additional Requirements: Some sunshine please" to heart and allocated us a sunny pitch (assuming sun shines of course).

Perhaps, the Caravan Club is going to have to up it's game, contactless checking in, no need to even go into reception, fees automatically taken on day of arrival. Plus, free WifI which actually works!

Monday, 4th October 2021

Torrential rain for most of the night, and, only 10C this morning, but, clear blue sky, and sun is shining.

Hair maintenance this morning (Kathleen, not me), which means, no way is a cycle helmet going to be worn, today.

So, a five mile walk along the (Kennet and Avon) Canal, a slight detour to Seend Cleve, to check out the Brewery Inn.

A drink at The Barge Inn, Seend, and a picnic lunch, sitting on a lock gate, by the canal.

We manage to do all of this, without getting wet, but, the rain starts again, in late afternoon.


Sunday, 3 October 2021


 Monday, 27th September 2021

Heavy, no, torrential rain this morning. It eventually stopped by about midday, but, then a near gale force wind started.

The original plan was to go cycling, with Gary, but weather killed that idea.

Once the rain stopped, I amused myself with a spot of gardening (weeding), followed by a walk into Windsor, meet grandson,Gabriel, after school, and walk back.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021

Dry, then rain, then dry, and so on, until about 20:00, when it just rained and rained!

Booked next site (Devizes).

Did a little more gardening for Gary.

Inflated tyres on Gabriel and Salma's bicycles.

Attended Garbiel's School Music Concert (he was singing). 

Lots of effort put in them all, so good to see.

Very enjoyable.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021.

A dry and sunny morning... amazing. This lasts until about 16:00 when the rain comes again.

A short cycle ride with Gary, along the River Thames, from Windsor, toward Maidenhead, then, across the Thames and back to Eton.

Meet up with Susana and Kathleen, in Windsor, for a very pleasant lunch, followed by watching Gabriel play football, at School. It was an "inter-house" tournament, they came 3rd out of 4, so, not brilliant, but, better than being 4th, and, Gabriel acquitted himself well.

Thursday, 30th September 2021.

Back to rain today, forecast to rain, more-or-less, all day. Temperature down too, only 12C. My plan was not to succumb to long sleeve shirts until October, but, I have had to concede and switch on the last day of September!

The plan this morning was to attend St Georges Chapel, within Windsor Castle, where Gabriel is singing in the Choir. Unfortunately, things did not go to plan. Salma had to be dropped off at school first, and, traffic was horrendous. Result, we missed the "security slot" to be admitted to the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Spent the afternoon repairing a flat tyre on Gabriel's bicycle, plus a few other minor adjustments.

Friday, 1st October 2021.

Woke up to rain, but, by 10:00 it had cleared, to leave sunny with cloud, and a mild 18C.

Walked into Windsor, via a new (to me) route, along some very quaint streets.

Then, strolled along the River (Thames), whilst Gary and Susana went shopping.

It really is very pleasant by the river, lots of swans and geese.

We walked to a little beyond Eton, then, met up with Gary and Susana, for lunch, in a very pleasant independent cafe, run by a Portuguese from Madiera, all very informal, and excellent food.

Saturday, 2nd October 2021.

10C, but not raining (initially) by 10:00, it is raining, and, it continues all day.

Gabriel test rides his bicycle, which I have fixed (puncture). We fine tune set height and he says he is very happy with it, and, finding it easier to ride. He rides about for about an hour, until the rain comes.

Gary has to go to Luton Airport (for work), Salma is going to a friends birthday party, with Susana, so, we are "babysitting" Gabriel, or, is Gabriel looking after us?

Part of Gabriel's morning is spent on Guitar practice, so, we get musical entertainment.

The plan was for the whole family to eat out tonight, but, Covid restrictions means advance booking is in place, and, we were unable to get a table for 6. So, Pizza and Chips, in the house, and, entertainment from Gabriel with his guitar.

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Gale Cruisers CAMC CL (N52.540554 E1.485291) continued...

 Saturday, 25th. September 2021

A dry and amazingly mild start to the day, for late September, 18C at 08:00, totally still, no wind, and, forecast for 23C.

No cycling today,  by order of Management.

A walk along the river, and, back by a circuitous route to the town (Loddon), for a pint in The Swan. There was a wedding reception going on, but we had finished our drinks, before the inevitable loud music started.

Book reading, after the walk, followed by packing away bicycles etc.

Tomorrow, we head for Windsor, that is assuming the M25 is not blocked by Extinction Rebellion, and, there is at least one garage with diesel, before we run out.

Interesting question, what happens if, like us, you are a couple of hundred miles from home, and, you cannot get fuel, and, in all probability, cannot find a place to stay? Do you just drive until the diesel runs out, then "camp out" wherever you happen to be? 

Sunday, 26th September 2021

 A typical autumn morning, misty and cool, but, soon cleared and temperature increased, by the time we reached Windsor, it was "sitting in the garden" weather.  

150 Miles to Gary's (Windsor), diesel situation a bit of a concern, but, we found a garage on A11 with a small queue and plenty of stock. Tank now full, so, enough to get home, and, perhaps, a little more.

A catch up with Gary and Susana, but, mainly, "playing" with Salma and Gabriel.

Salma has progressed rapidly from last time we saw her (only about six months ago), which is so good to see. Gabriel continues to be a delight, updating us on his activities and school work,

Friday, 24 September 2021

Gale Cruisers CAMC CL (N52.540554 E1.485291) continued...

Thursday, 23rd September 2021

 Another sunny and warm day (21C), but, with a stiff breeze.

After two consecutive days of cycling, the troops prefer a bit of walking.

A shopping trip to Loddon, for milk and bananas.

After lunch, we walk along the marked footpath (Wherryman's Way) alongside Gale Cruisers. I tried to find information, on the internet, about the route, but, it would appear there are dozens of marked walks throughout Norfolk, call Wherryman's Way.

A very pleasant walk, first by the river, then through pleasant countryside.

We also find yet another Church (All Saints) within a short walk from the site.
We return to the site to find we have a new neighbour, who is busy trying to erect his air-awning, without the benefit of a pump.

I loan him my Ring electric pump, but, without the correct adaptors (which he does not have either), there is little success.

Friday, 24th September 2021

Another bright and sunny day, 21C. However, there is a stiff breeze, blowing from the South-West.

We have a leisurely morning, and do not set off on our cycle ride until almost 11:00.

We are off to Bungay (where do they get these names from?, Anglo-Saxon apparently).

According to my calculations it is going to be. a round trip of about 18 miles, as usual, I round this down a bit, to 14 miles, before releasing the information to "the troops".

The initial part of the route is NCN 1, as we did on Monday, but, unfortunately, I am too optimistic about my navigation skills / memory, and do not bother to load the route into the Garmin.

Needless to say, this is a mistake, and, we (well I) go wrong at a particular cross roads, adding quite a detour to our ride. 

The good news is, I manage to get us bag "on track".

The bad news is, by the time we get to Bungay, we have covered almost 11 miles, thus implying a total trip of 22 miles.

A picnic lunch, plus a trip to a coffee shop for coffee and cake only partly mitigates my error.

The return journey goes without a hitch, and the total turns out to be 19.4, still a bit more than 14. This us at approximately 17 miles, the smile has returned, just.