Away Again

Just dropped by to let you know I will be off-line for a week from today. I should be back here next Wednesday. We are off with our motorhome and a load of bicycles down to the New Forest where Saturday sees us take part in the ‘Tandem Tarts Ten Time Trial’. Yes, it’s a race, on the tandem! We are taking our most recently renovated one, a Peugeot, as the electric assist on our main one will be unlikely to be permitted and it is also a much heavier tandem than the Peugeot.

We have never time-trialed before, certainly not on the tandem, and we don’t expect to set any records over the 10 mile course. The event is only semi-serious, although I imagine some ‘competitors’ will take it more seriously than others. It is a bit of a fun event being run alongside a ‘proper’ time-trial, in aid of charity and judging by a few photos we have seen of previous events some of the teams dress up as ‘tarts’. We will hint in that direction but not be going overboard!

As well as the tandem we are taking a couple of solo bikes and will hopefully get out and about along some of the tracks and trails in the area – a part of the country I haven’t visited since I was a teenager camping with the Girl Guides.

The campsite we are staying at is very quiet and secluded, with no facilities and no electricity or WIFI connection so I am not taking my laptop and I don’t do the Internet on my phone (can’t cope with the small screen), hence why I will be off-line. Just keep your fingers crossed for us that we may get some good weather! See you soon.



Red Dawn IV

Goodbye Red Dawn IV

Well, we have finally managed to sell our boat, Red Dawn IV. We went down to the marina last week where both parties signed the documents and we did the hand-over. We understand payment has now been received by the broker but I’m not sure it has come through to us yet! We had to take a drop from our asking price but it is a weight off our minds and at least we no longer have to pay yard fees.

We had gone down to the marina in our motorhome and once we had finished all the necessary details with the boat we headed on up the coast to spend a few days on a campsite near Southwold in Suffolk. This is a place we had always intended to sail to but somehow never did. This time we cycled there from our campsite, a round trip of just under 18 miles, and having looked at the harbour entrance and mooring arrangements we decided we hadn’t missed much. Don’t misunderstand me, Southwold is a lovely place, quaint and old-fashioned, but the harbour is not the most inviting we have seen and seems mainly used by small fishing boats.

Southwold Beach

Southwold Beach

We stopped by the beach, which was being well used but was not over-crowded despite the very hot day. Mostly people were being sensible about social distancing. We didn’t go on to the beach and hadn’t gone prepared to do so. Although the countryside around that area is wonderful the ride in to Southwold was not the most pleasant, being unavoidably mostly on main roads busy with traffic heading for the beach.

On the second day we cycled to Walberswick, a slightly shorter ride at just under 17 miles. This is on the opposite side of the estuary to Southwold and is again a quaint, mostly unspoiled small town. There is no beach here but it is a short distance by ferry or footbridge across to Southwold. We sat for a while on a bench overlooking the harbour for a snack and a drink which we had taken with us, watching children fishing for crabs in the estuary before treating ourselves to an ice-cream in the town centre then heading back. This ride was slightly more pleasant as the roads were a bit quieter on the way to Walberswick.

Our third day was a shorter ride of a mere 10.8 miles, in a circular route to enjoy the local country lanes and scenery around the campsite at Blyford. The day was cool when we started but soon warmed up, turning into another scorcher. We were glad that on all three days we returned to the motorhome by lunchtime and spent the hot afternoons relaxing and reading while trying to keep cool.

The campsite, in a lovely location, was obviously popular with tents and caravans as well as our motorhome, and most of the spaces were occupied but they were very well spaced. Even though the facilities were not in use and people had to be self-sufficient regarding toilet and washing facilities nobody seemed to mind; tent dwellers having also brought toilet tents with them.

Some families were there with children but there was plenty of space for them to run around and enjoy themselves without causing any problems and the site was quiet from mid-evening onwards. One extended family occupied about 3 spaces and had already been there for a week. While parents returned home (and to work) at the weekend the grandparents were staying for a second week with all the grandchildren. They seemed to be well organised with a paddling pool, a basketball basket, plenty of other things to play with and the caravan, tents and awnings all lit up with fairy lights at night. I understand they camp there every year and have done so for many years now, which in itself is a recommendation for the site.

Site content copyright of Elizabeth Leaper (Libby).

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