Wandering in the west


 Wandering in the West, a week in the west country 20-27th August

as ever click images to enlarge

It’s a week to pay day, the bank balance is empty, and its wet, so lets go on holiday to the West Country, on the bike.

Accommodation booked (at my brothers in Exmouth) I was all set.

The only main destination was to go to lands End, internationally known rip off tourist trap, but it would complete a John o Groats to Lands End trip within the Year (I am now the 4th of the Scotland Trip crew to complete this trip)

Having taking a while to source motorcycling events from the pages of Back Street heroes, 100% biker and the internet, I had several events to attend, and also an idea of a few standing stones to find.

Visiting the Popham Megameet on the way, it was damp, but I also thought a bit of a waste of £5, I did meet a few friends from Hampshire and the Home Counties there though.

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Two more ABC landmarks Link here and an excellent lunch (Tea and Crumpets in a quaint tearoom) near to a really nice arch, which is just there for the heck of it and I was soon at base camp. Let the Hangovers begin, as I’m sure Long John Baldrey would have said.

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Monday morning and despite losing at the quiz the night before (and shipping a good few pints in the process) Lands end called, it rained all the way there, and the ruined chapel of Roche looked even more dramatic in the rain.

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So poor Milly is now minging as I reach lands end (Thankfully no charge for bikes). A hugely overpriced, evil tasting pastie and cuppa for lunch, a few photo’s taken and I’m soon running back away from the gaudy palace of pain it is now, but satisfied in my achievement.

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 The return journey finds me battling down minute roads looking for standing stones, and hiking in full bike gear for miles to find then. I am glad I did find them though they are called “Men an Tol”, and allegedly barren women can become fertile by crawling though the hole.

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A cracking ride back as the sun struggled through, stopping briefly onto Dartmoor for another ABC sign and back to base, for a night out with David’s dart team.

 Tuesday was left as an un-bike day and the joys of serious “Time bomb” ice creams were found, Devonshire ice cream has to be the best in the world.

Wednesday it was very wet, so a pottery and the marble works called, the marble works is in an old pottery, and has a huge marble run machine that uses pool balls. 

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In the evening was Paington Bike night, and meeting old friends, sadly they could not make it, and after the day being so wet I headed off though showers to the seaside. Paignton Bike night has been going some time now, and as a charity event raised thousands.

Parking right by the sea I watched as bikes rolled in, on sunny days there can be thousands, as it is still a few hundred came, a few bike shops show there wares and a lovely CBX100 won the £500 bike of night prize.

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the Norton rotary was owned by an old boy who wheelied it away, I loved the Norvin

Glastonbury called the next day and so I was soon to be found wandering lost in Somerset, I was disappointed as it is the first time I have looked at the map, while travelling all week, but road works and diversions around Bridgewater are to blame.

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I strolled around the town, found refreshment and had a great chat with a rat bike riding postman, then looked at the ruined abbey, which was destroyed back in Tudor times, allegedly the tomb of King Arthur and Guinevere. The town now is a Mecca for new age travellers and the like, and all the restaurants seem to be vegetarian, but was a nice visit, cracking ride back also.

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 Friday being the good uncle I headed to the town, and then Budleigh Salterton for even more ice creams, in the evening the Red arrows performed over Seaton, it felt as though you could touch them.

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WestPoint at the weekend was the South West motorcycle show, a Tenner to get in, and sadly not a huge amount to see, though I did get to chat with Nick Sanders again, and had strange urges towards URAL combinations again, the Wall of Death provided light entertainment (short video of wall of death here.)

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As ever the collection of bikes in the car park was interesting. This Suzuki must have been fun down the twisty roads. 

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And then I headed off round the pretty local roads, just enjoying the day, the brick cross here, was built in 1746 as a cross roads marker. It always amazes me how much work used to be put into simple things. oh and a road called "inner ting tong" made me smile. 

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Taking a fairly direct route home on the Sunday found me back for lunch, a cracking week away, and still a few days off prior to returning to work, excellent.