Sunday, 18 September 2016

Touching Base....

The eagle eyed among the regular visitors to this blog might well have noticed that I am currently back in my home area...
The post box numbers shown in my last post were the give away as BH**** are the first two letters of a Bournemouth area post code....

Anne and I have been back in the area for the past two weeks.....
It's been great to catch up with my Daughter and Husband and my Grandsons and also see the latest improvements to their house that they have been involved with....

The car went back to my favourite garage for it's annual MOT and service and I have also managed to get out on my bike and pedal around some of my old cycling loops in the area....
Out on one of my old cycling loops
Talking about my cycling...... I have struggled a bit this year with energy and breathing problems.....

When we were here last in the spring a medical check revealed that I had a faulty heart valve...
Apparently it is allowing some of the blood to flow back into the heart rather than be pumped fully around the body.... This has cause me to have moments of slight breathlessness as well as a lack of power and energy....

Obviously as you can see from the picture above it hasn't stopped me getting out on the bike but it is something that needs to be investigated further.
During our stay in the area over the following few weeks I am booked in for a number of medical tests to determine what should be done to sort the problem..... as soon as I know more I will let you know here on the blog.....

Friday, 9 September 2016

Post Boxes- Not Just One But Three

After my last post in which I featured a Penfold Post Box Peter Roberts left a further comment giving me the challenge of finding a Fluted Post Box.....

Not being one to pass on a challenge today I went out on a Post Box hunt...
As with any challenge it is always better to exceed the challenge and achieve just that little bit extra....
Below I have posted images of what I found......

Original Challenge- Victoria Fluted Box No:- BH23 5D

Quite Rare Edward V111  No:- BH23 47

Close-Up of Edward V111 Door

George V1 Box  No:- BH23 42
Well there we have it ...... the result of a day spent post box hunting....
I promise that I won't post any more P/O Boxes..... Well maybe..!

Friday, 2 September 2016

First September Ride And A Post Box

Yesterday being the first of September I figured I should tick off my first ride of the new month......
Since we have been at this location I have sorted out a good cycling circuit of approx fifty miles along some lovely quiet and almost traffic free roads and lanes so it has been good for my regular rides....

Some weeks ago Peter Roberts of  thediaryofmybike.blogspot.com  commented on this blog and mentioned unusual post boxes and on this latest cycling route of mine I kept on passing an unusual shaped postbox close to the entrance to Berkeley Castle which is situated a couple of miles from our current campsite.....

Because we will be moving on again in a couple of days... yesterdays ride will be my last in this area so I stopped and took a picture of said post box....

So Peter.... this one's for you....
Note that my Fulcrum Racing Zero Spokes Almost Match The Post Box :-)


Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Busy...Busy..Continues.

Anne and I have still been filling our time with lots of walking and visiting various places of interest and we have been busy everyday....
Add to that the cycling rides that I have been managing to squeeze in between everything else and with the good weather that we have been enjoying recently I would say that everything has been pretty well perfect....
We have even had various people come out and camp with us for a few days....what more could a couple of 'Old Age Travellers' want..? 
It certainly has been a good summer of full time camping......

Following on from my comments about a Cave in my last post.... since then we found an even better cave to visit....
This one was more difficult to get to..... 
Our visit required us to cross a very narrow bridge over an 80 foot gulley and scrambling up a very slippery cleft in the rocks..... Well worth it though because the cave turned out to be a real 'Grotto' of a place.....

Not only could you live in a cave like this you could even hold a party for all your friends.......
Over the scary bridge
Along the narrow and slippery cleft in the rocks
And then into this.....



Sunday, 21 August 2016

Not Had Enough Time.......

Over the past few weeks since my last blog post it seems that I have not had enough time to do everything that I have wanted so my posts (or lack of) have suffered.
This retirement lark is pretty time consuming......

With the good weather that we have been enjoying Anne and I have been out on walks and other trips around the Welsh border country.....(And then don't forget there has been fitting in my bike rides as well).

Obviously I have a number of images captured on our little day trips and I will share them with you over time but to start off here are some shots below of a couple of places that captured our interest......

First of all on one of our walks around a country park only a couple of miles from our campsite we came across this cave carved out of the rock....
Apparently a few hundred years ago a local Highwayman by the name of Humphrey Kynaston lived here with his horse.....
From the location of the cave he had a good view of the road to Shrewsbury and was able to see when a likely wealthy traveller was making their way along the road....it was easy pickings for HK and he managed to make a good living from his criminal activities for a number of years....

In more recent times..about one hundred years ago.... a family of nine lived in the cave...
If you check out the steps leading up to the entrance of the cave you can see the years of use have worn away the steps to quite some degree....

Now a nice solid cave could be quite a good place to live to my mind.... Good shelter from the extremes of weather and no worries about it being blown away by strong winds....
The powers that be these days have placed a steel door and bars at the window of the cave as you can see in order to prevent anyone getting inside...this is obviously done under the guise of 'Health and Safety'. 
It seems it is deemed better for anyone homeless to live in a cardboard box on the streets than to be reasonably warm and dry in a nice solid cave....
When on some long distance backpacking trips in the past I have slept in a couple of caves and have always found them to be a pretty near ideal place to spend the night....Anyway I digress....

Humphrey Kynaston's Cave
 These next couple of images are of Whittington Castle which is situated just a few miles from the small town of Oswestry.....
The castle has been revovated and is run on a day to day basis by volunteers from Whittington village.....They run the small cafe and shop and entry to the castle and grounds is free...
Whittington Castle with moat 
Front view of Whittington Castle
 I was chatting to one of the castle volunteers and she told me that they do very well as a wedding venue....
I must say that the castle and grounds would make a great backdrop for those all important wedding photos.......

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Most Motivated....

When out on a ride yesterday I found this church in the village of Melverley....

Melverley Church
It's an exquisite example of the timber framed black and white buildings found throughout Shropshire....
This church was apparently rebuilt in 1406 after it was burnt to the ground by Owain Glyndwr.
Another view of Melverley Church
 It is a bit tucked away up a small side road but is easy to find due to the good signs in the village,,,,
It stands on the banks of the river Vyrnwy and is in a really tranquil location.

Check out the plaque just above my bike saddle.
This last image is a close-up of my bike parked in front of the church... note the plaque above my bike saddle.
I was quite fascinated by this..... What could it have been awarded to the village for exactly?
Motivated to do what..?
Who actually awarded it to the village and anyway if they were so motivated why haven't they won it again in the past 25 years?....

There was nobody around to actually ask at the time so when I got back from my ride I checked it out on the internet.... 
What did I find .....well very little really.

It seems a number of people had asked exactly the same type of questions and the only answer was that the villagers had managed to raise £500,000 in order to stop the church collapsing into the river by reinforcing the banks of the river Vyrnwy....

I have no idea if any of that is true but if it is it still leaves the question relating to who made the award to the village unanswered......

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Doing the Tourist Thing.....

Since we have been at our current site Anne and I have been out and about doing a bit of the tourist thing....

One of the places that I wanted to visit with Anne was the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on the Langollen canal which goes over the River Dee.
It was built by Thomas Telford in 1805 and was one of his first engineering feats....

The aqueduct is 307m long..it's width is 3.4m and it's height is 38m. It is the longest and highest aqueduct in Great Britain. 
It took ten years to design and build and it cost £47,000 which seems cheap today but then of course that amount was worth a lot more in those days.

I first saw the  Pontcysyllte Aqueduct about ten years ago when I walked the Offa's Dyke Path.... the route actually went across the aqueduct. 
I always wanted to come back again and show it to Anne as it is a pretty impressive structure and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site Structure...

A good head for heights is needed if you intend to walk across it on the narrow path at the side of the canal....
There is a hand rail on the footpath side but nothing on the canal side which seems to fuel the feeling of exposure as you walk across......

Below are a few shots that I took during our visit....
The Aqueduct from the banks of the river Dee
Drop-Handrail-Path-Canal-Drop and 307m to walk
Looking up from the river bank
View from the top
Anne(blonde hair) heading off over the Aqueduct- but holding on!