Saturday, 17 October 2009

Friday 16th October 2009

Burford Caravan Club Site

It suddenly occurred to me, that many people might not know where Burford is (I didn’t), well it is in the Cotswolds at the junction of the A40 and A361, about 10 miles from Bourton-in-the-Water. A very pretty area in a sort of chocolate box English way.

Today started as yesterday finished, dull and drizzly, but by 11:00 it had all cleared and the sun was shining again.

It does tell you in the site literature that we are near RAF Brize-Norton here, well as the day cleared it became apparent that we are very near, since for several hours huge RAF transport planes passed overhead. They are not noisy, just a bit disconcerting as you peddle along a country road and they pass overhead at just a low level. It must be the approach to the airfield, since they are not making much noise. At first we thought it must be a series of aircraft coming in to land, but given the state of the nation’s finances, it occurred to me that we cannot possibly have that many transport aircraft, so I think it must be pilots learning to take off and land and just doing circuits of the airfield. Did not spot any “L” plates however.

After lunch we cycled to Burford village. The object being to buy some mushrooms, and to find the Catholic church which Google told us was there. It is about two miles via the A361, but that is a busy road with no cycle track, so we took the scenic route using a map we bought from reception. This was 5 miles via a couple of other small villages, but nice and quiet, and almost flat.

Burford is on a hill, and the Catholic Church is at the top of the hill. We cycled past it without seeing it and did not realise until we had reached the bottom of the hill. I offered to push the bikes back to the top of the hill, whilst Kathleen wandered the usual collection of shops selling overpriced tourist stuff. What is it with women and shops?, even pushing two bikes up a steep hill is preferable to looking at more shops when you know you are not going to buy any of the stuff.

I park the bikes at the top of the hill, and find the church, then wander back down the hill checking out the pubs and coffee shops on the way. When I find Kathleen again we go into “The Mermaid” pub and have a couple of drinks. There is a real log fire burning, one of the old regulars appears to be in charge of it and heaps logs onto it as if there was six feet of snow outside. Since he and his pals are discussing where they want to be buried or cremated (when the time comes), we conclude he is auditioning for a place down below.

After the pub we find what appears to be the only “real” shop in the village (ie one selling food, beer and wine) and buy our mushrooms, before heading back to the van.

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