Day 515 – Dorset – 30 Jul 11

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Day 515 – Dorset – 30 Jul 11
For piccies see
Hi Clo,

Great to see you and the family Tanswell last week. As usual we were hosted brilliantly and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The BBQ on Friday was great and it was nice to meet Bracken the new puppy. Hope you like her as much when she gets bigger. Saw several foxes and woodpeckers in the garden. Foxes looked hungry and had really long legs. Greater Spotted Woodpecker was feeding with its baby. Excellent Italian for Les’s birthday. Thanks.

Journey to Alan and Mary’s on Sunday was OK apart from a few thunderstorms which gave the roof of the van a good cleaning. My spare parts for the wag arrived and I fixed the towbar electrics with no problem. New picnic tables arrived so we got rid of the old broken ones. Saw Claire and the children on Sunday! Enough said. Saw Pauline and Brian at their home in Littlehampton and they both looked on good form. New caravan to boot. Hope to see them on the road in Spain this year.

Having a quiet week and setting off for Dorset on Thursday. Looking forward to seeing the Morrises and Englands again.
Left A and M on Thursday morning and had a straightforward transit to Crossways CC site near Dorchester. Bit of a narrow approach road but turned out OK. Warm welcome from the staff and we wound our way through the windy woodland link track to our pitch, which is spacious and gets the sun. Quite crowded here but the site is divided up into small, separate areas which give it a nice feel. Get settled in and went to the local – the Frampton Arms for a carafe of Spanish red. Very nice and only 500 yards. Good menu as well and very crowded – which tells a story.
Toilet Facilities:
Our first experience of Dry Composting Toilets. Large, cavernous bowls with a drop of some 10 feet to a pit where the compost is joined by waste. 3 large extractors take the odour away and the toilet room is pleasantly scented. Not quite sure what happens ‘down there’ but it is not an issue. Aerobic and thermophilic I’m told! About 10% can be re-used in agriculture – oo-er!

The railway station to Bournemouth is next to the pub and we visited the Church at Moreton where T E Lawrence (of Arabia) (aka Aircraftsman Shaw, also of 20 Sqn RAF, my old Squadron) is buried. Nice church and we saw a woman who was 100 today and was married there in 1933. She knew Lawrence as well!

Then to Tolpuddle to see the story of the Martyrs of 1834 when 6 men were transported to Australia for complaining about working conditions. Their real crime was to swear an illegal oath. Public opinion freed them eventually.

Visited Dorchester which is a quiet market town of little note. Thomas Hardy makes it of some interest but a one visit place really.

Weather still average, but we set off early on Saturday morning in Smartie to catch the Steam Train to Swanage. Only 5 stops and 23 minutes (£10.50 return). Great views of Corfe Castle en-route. Swanage is quiet but pleasant. Had a slow walk round and then trained it back to Corfe Castle for Shirl’s Cream Tea. Got to be done! Bit pricey at £7.50 to walk round the ruin so we gave it a miss and walked back through the woods to the Park and Ride (£2 all day).

Then off to Durdle Door which is near Lulworth Cove. Loads of people walking along the cliffs and a large campsite on the hill overlooking the ‘Door’. Quite an impressive site and reminds me of the inland sea in Malta.

Then back to camp for a glass of wine. By Jove, we did some touristing today! Day off tomorrow. Phew!

Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhh! You mother is trying to kill me! We caught the train to Bournemouth and we marched 10 miles – yes miles not kilometres – to Poole. I was allowed 2 stops for sustenance – including a nice beachside lunch – before continuing the hike to Poole station. Actually I think it was more like 20 miles!

As a result my foot swelled up and I was limping around the wag all night. However, I think this was due to a surfeit of crumpets and white flour. All OK today and we are off to the market at Portland Bill. Weather yesterday was great – today cloudy again. Bournemouth has a nice beach and not crowded or tacky at all. We actually saw a Punch and Judy Show on the beach. Very pleasant stroll really, along the prom. Only joking Shirl!

Eeeeek! 2am and son of Earwig strikes. Bill woken by giant earwig biting his nether parts. I knew that this would happen. Shirl only laughed..but I was right. There’ll be another tonight and it will eat my brain…………..not Shirl’s or it would go hungry. Ha-ha!
Traffic in and around Weymouth very heavy and many of the motorists are clearly tourists wandering around lost! Sigh!
Anyway, got to the market and topped up at the shit shop stalls and then went for a viewing of the Chesil Sands which stretch away into the distance. Then off to Portland Bill – so named cos the land in profile looks like a birds beak! Nice lighthouse which reminded me of taking position fixe when we were swanning around the south coast in our Tornado. Happy days!
Last day tomorrow and the Salisbury to see the Cabopino Crew! Huzzah!

Got to Summerlands, near Salisbury and after an horrendous 1 mile rutted access road we were met by the Morrisons in the corner of the field – in a triple size pitch parked at the wrong angle! However, we parked up and had a great afternoon and evening reminiscing. Paul, Max and boys look in great shape and have only one week left of their travels before returning to Yorkshire. They all need a haircut!!

Went for a 4 mile return walk to the local pub and sat out in the lovely still evening in the camp field with fantastic views over the Wiltshire countryside. Sue and Bill arrive on Saturday and it will be good to see them again.

All for now,
M and D
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