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2020 - Chertsey & Devon
Following week we were off again. Firstly, to meet up with Ray and Julie Hankey at a delightful CS at Colyton in Devon. Weather now beautifully warm and sunny. Colyton is a charming, unspoilt village and has the attraction of the Seaton Tramway (right) (below) Gorgeous sunset at the campsite.
In August, we took on another challenge to see if the van would accomodate 4 people. We took the twins away to Chertsey, Surrey for 3 nights. We all took bikes with us which either sat on the bike rack or in the back. Cycled up the Thames path to Staines. Weather was now, at last, warm and sunny. Second day we drove the van to Beaconsfield and took the girls to Bekanscot model village. Parked in local church car park - brilliant! Loads of ticks in boxes. (below) plenty of room for 4!
(left) I took a cycle ride down to the coast at Seaton. It was a glorious summer day. It was delightful sitting and watching the yachts come and go from the harbour. (below) In Colyton village there is aa wheelwrights workshop. They are well known for their traditional skills and have secured contracts with the military for building all the wheels for their display gun carriages. Here they are fitting a steel tyre on to a new wooden wheel. The tyre is heated in a bonfire to make it expand, then it is dropped over the wheel and quickly dowsed with buckets of water to make it shrink and also to prevent burning of the wooden wheel.
We moved on from Colyton to Totnes. We had visited Totnes last year but decided that we need a bit more time to explore. We met up with Jon and Gay Page at the very pleasant Caravan Club site right in the centre of town. This particular site has no electric hook up and so it was a good test of our solar panel. It worked well, another tick in the box. We used the van to drive down to Lostwithiel to meet up with Tony and Angela Smith for lunch. The traffic was horrendous with huge queues around the Saltash Bridge and the A38 was blocked by a serious accident. Our Sat Nav found an alternative route for us but it was along very narrow, twisty Devon lanes. It was a good job we were not in the bigger van!
We also drove into Brixham to meet up with Ian Scott and his partner Candice. They laid on an excellent lunch with locally caught turbot. It was lovely to see Ian again and to meet Candice in their new home. Another day was spent cycling up the Dart river with Jon and Gaye. We were intrigued to watch work being carried out on a hydro electric turbine blade. It is one of a pair that had been damaged by driftwood in the winter storms.
We enjoyed a really good Sunday lunch at The Steam Packet in Totnes. It was our first ‘eating out’ experience since the start of lockdown. The food did not have much of a visual appeal but it was delicious! On our way back home, we stopped over in Winchester for a couple of nights. Our friends Paul and Deborah were wardens at the Caravan Club site and it was good to have a catch up with them. George had arranged to meet up with his school mates, John Roberts and Ant Heckstall-Smith, in Winchester for lunch. The plan was to cycle into the city but it was pouring with rain. So, I took the bus - and still got drowned!! (right) Winchester on a very wet day!