Sunday morning arrived and up out of bed we jumped. First thing we did was to look out of the window and check the weather. Few clouds hovering around but no rain so hopefully this was a sign of things to come.Breakfast of yogurt and cranberries for one, Weetabix for the other and then it was time to load the car up. There wasn’t much as Pod was carrying most things, just clothes, walking boots, rucksacks and wetsuits, fins etc should we be able to snorkel.
Also a few bags of groceries to tide us over at least for the first few days and most importantly LadyB’s bag of ‘bits’ (hairdryer, straighteners and other lady things). Of all the things going in the car, should it have been forgotten the latter would have been the only thing we would have turned round for, so that went in first.
Pod has been with us since 6th June and this will be her second trip. MrB is a dab hand at the towing lark but LadyB hasn’t ventured into this particular arena.. Yet.
So the gauntlet was put down by M.B and picked up by L.B. On doing so L.B may have glimpsed a mild look of terror cross M.B’s face.. maybe he thought ‘she’ll never do it’. But it was picked up with a determined twinkle in her eye which said ‘bring it on’.
Now towing, some of you may say it has to be a doddle with Pod on the back, but L.B’s challenge was compounded by the fact she would be driving an estate car not known to her AND towing. Perhaps M.B’s reservations were well founded. Time would tell.
6am arrived, Pod was hitched on to the car, all electrics checked and goodbyes were said to all as L.B. left the driveway with Pod on the back and a sweaty palmed M.B in the passenger seat. Roads were empty and after a few that curved and the odd roundabout 2B’s and Pod were on the motorway heading south. This too seemed pretty clear.
L.B was at ease behind the wheel travelling along at a steady 60mph, so now it was time for a bash at overtaking (excuse the pun.. no bashing or crashing occurred), a nice big double rigger was slowly getting nearer and couldn’t have been a better opportunity.
Because of the size of Pod additional wing mirrors weren’t really needed, so mirrors on the car were checked and indicator clicked on. The welcoming buzz of the indicator was heard and confirmed that on Pod it was also on. The car and Pod moved into the middle lane and cruised past the artic, once visible in the near side wing mirror L.B popped car and Pod back into the inside lane. A big grin was seen on her face and there would be no stopping her now.
The next part of the journey went on without any problems, roads were relatively empty and L.B was in her element ducking in and out of the middle lane. Not too convinced on M.B though, he said he was chilled and relaxed but 2 ½ hours later when we reached Strensham Services on the M5 he seemed really keen to drive the rest of the way, so after a packed lunch the car keys were reluctantly handed over.
Next stop Taunton Dean Services, last one on the motorway before heading down the Devonshire lanes. We stopped as expected in the large car park which catered for lorries, coaches and other caravans. Pod had some admirers, pointed fingers and the odd giggle thrown her way. She did look tiny but stood out for that reason too, there was no avoiding her. You can’t be the shy retiring type if you own a Pod. Bit like having ‘small man syndrome’ 🙂
Traffic was a little heavier as we headed through Broughton, passed the Surf Museum, towards the coast and Damage Barton but didn’t cause much of a delay. A few pointed fingers and big smiles were seen coming our way but nothing can top the young man in a café with his female companion. As we passed he had taken a mouthful of food and on seeing us nearly choked and elbowed his lady with one arm and used his fork in his other hand to point in our direction whilst mouthing with bulging eyes ‘look at that one’. We had moved on by this point so we’ve no idea if the heimlich manoeuvre was called into action.
We arrived a few minutes before 1pm and booked in choosing a plot on the far right. In the office there were plenty of activity information sheets and details about the working farm. The site was surrounded by 6ft hedgerows and the grassed pitches were well maintained, the hard standing ones were even and clearly marked. Most had electric hook up with the addition of a water tap which we found very useful.
Within an hour we had the awning up and attached. Everything was stowed away in Pod and the awning, storage in Pod is great, everything’s hidden but within easy reach. It was now time to crack open that first holiday beer and decide what’s for dinner.
The afternoon turned quite breezy but cleared the clouds away for what looked like a fabulous sunset, so off we set through the sites working farm and down onto the coastal path. The path is very close to the edge and steep in places, with the loose stones and gravel it can be quite slippy but with the right walking boots on it was possible and well worth the effort. We walked westerly towards Woolacombe but cut south across the moorland in the direction of Mortehoe and the local pub ‘The Ship Aground’. A small beverage was had and then a slow walk took us back to Pod.
The two toilet/shower blocks were spacious, well maintained and spotless, but at times the female showers were less than powerful, usually when L.B was about to rinse hair and body of shampoo and soap lather.
The newest block situated near the office and shop housed the laundry and sinks and was a new development, the other block is up for modernisation in 2016.
It was soon to be bed time so the awning had a few things moved around and the Portapotty made its appearance. One, who shall remain nameless, was a Portapotty virgin, but doubted this would be for long.
Along with said potty a toilet roll holder was born (Sorry if this topic offends some, but it is part of camping/caravan life) from a soap dish of all things. Laugh if you must but it’s perfect for the job. During the night, should you feel the need, one is in bed and the other steps out, closes Pod’s door to reveal the toilet roll holder and potty all ready in situ to the side. During the day, potty tucks away to the right of Pod and the holder is hidden by the open door. No soggy tissue ! Very important.
We woke on Monday to a less than promising day, plans for any lounging on the beach were a no-go so thanks to some Facebook friends in the Devon area a few ideas were floated around and a decision was made to head off to Lynton, Lynmouth, Cliff Railway and Valley of Rocks. Turned out to be a great decision.
Valley of Rocks was our first destination. Paid for parking which worked out at a £1 an hour.
It was dry, windy and the sun was doing its best to make an appearance, but the weather looked like it could turn so waterproofs were packed in rucksacks and off we went. Bit of a steep climb up but after 20 minutes we reached the top of the outer hill and were nearly blown off our feet, a gust of wind hit and was powerful enough to knock L.B’s hat off and send her off on a tangent. Once hat was recovered and balance regained the views up and down the coastline were spectacular.
Up the coast a path was seen so off we went to explore. This was a gradual climb on the way up, goats could be spied hiding in the bracken and every now and then one in particular gave a gut wrenching cry which could easily have been taken for someone in desperate need of help. Very funny but eery too. The path continued around the edge of the coast with some sheer drops to our left, all with goats of various ages roaming around, we were sure some must have met an untimely end at some point.
Packed lunch eaten and the clouds began to gather ahead. Now was a good time to head back to the car. Coats were donned in the nick of time as the heavens opened and we drudged back to the warm dry car and set off again.
We seemed to totally bypass Lynton and after taking a sharp left on an equally steep gradient we found ourselves in Lynmouth. What a beautiful place we found this to be. So nice I’m reluctant to share this in the hope of keeping to ourselves for future visits.
As you drive down the road you enter a valley surrounded by tall green trees of many varieties with the odd roof top and chimney popping through the tree line. It beggars belief as to how the houses, never mind the trees have stayed there for so many years.
You arrive at what is a cross road having passed flower draped walls and houses. To one side the Lyn river, slowly trickling by and to the other the whooshing noise from the water cannon which belongs to the Glen Lyn Gorge Power of Water exhibition, then directly in front is the harbour with a rock and pebble beach.
Quaint shops head off in one direction with cafes and pubs welcoming wet soggy dogs and their owners, this was really nice and refreshing to see. The cliff railway was in full flow as one tram whizzed up one side another travelled at the same speed downwards.
Ice creams with a dollop of clotted cream on top were had after a traditional pasty. Delicious, good job we do a lot of walking is all than can be said.
We visited the tiny church and saw the display reliving WW1 and the stories of Lynmouth’s local veterans and the disastrous flood that hit in 1952 when 10 inches of rain fell in 24hours. Very sobering and a remarkable recovery when you see the Lynmouth of today.
Directly next door was a small model railway display, no charge for admittance but donations welcome. Inside was the obligatory railway scene but surrounding it were old Pye radios and other obscure old fashioned wirelesses, all of which were in working order and for sale. Hung along the walls there was railway memorabilia and lamps of various shapes and sizes. This took us back to our childhood and we had a chuckle or too.
Time was moving on and we decided to head back to Pod for spaghetti Bolognese, a game of scrabble and a nice chilled beer.