Sunday, June 26, 2011

Greetings from the New Forest

Well after a few days of camping out in the New Forest without 3G service, I finally discovered from the camp chef a location on the top of a local hill where there is reception! It's nearly midnight here and it's lucky I can touch type, 'cos I can't see the keys in the dark.

The van is going well and is nicely setup and apart from a few nuisance problems we're very comfortable. The New Forest is a great introduction to UK wilderness, such as it is. Very pretty, extremely unpredictable weather and a pub around every corner. This is what I call touring.

The bikes are now pretty much set up and we've had them up in the hills a few times now, as well as down to the coast. There's plenty of great paths, altho' the Brits don't seem to have learned how to signpost anything. Just in case the Krauts invade again I suppose!

This night time typing is really testing my skills!

Ok, time for a photo. Here's one of us on our bikes, riding thru one of the remoter areas.

And another one of the Princess outside a Durotrige Hill fort that we found in the hills. Unsignposted of course, but the perimeter defences around the top of the hill are a dead giveaway. Linda's relatives on her mother's side still live around this area. "The Kitcher's live all thru the forest" says the old bloke at the garage in Sway.

Linda loves all the little cottages and especially the New Forest thatching. Very ornate and has little birds and other decorations on each eave.

I've only got two bars service on the dongle, so I'm having to re-size all the photos so that they don't take 15 minutes each to upload! I hope the quality is still good enough.

The weather has been pretty awful this last week. We've been in our winter gear still from Australia, and I've bought some cold weather gear. Mornings are typically rainy, windy and cold, and the afternoons clear every second day into a nice afternoon and evening. Let's hope things improve.

I've hit the wrong keys in the dark and seem to have actually published the blog. This is all edit.

Today was really wet this morning, so we decided to take the van into lymington for a visit to the market and then go to Hengistbury Head. The rain cleared on the way, and then proceeded to turn into one of the nicest days we've had by about 2pm.

Here's a photo of Linda in Lymington.

And another of us bpoth in one of those typical English pubs. This one was called "The Gun".

Ok, that's all you're gonna get tonite, 'cos it's all too much hard work and I've got to get up early tomorrow. We're off to South Petherton and then Exmoor for a bit of cycling on the moor. Stay tuned for the next adventure...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday Monday

Got up early and caught the train into St Pancras this morning then walked for 3 miles (well it seemed that far) through station concourses and tunnels to catch the tube to Kennington to pick up our camper. Yay! Pics soon.

Then we drove through London (with the help of a Garmin till it went flat) - very slow going due to excessive traffic - to pick up Ian's bike from Dorking.

I've just bought a bike too! Yay! Just have to pick it up from a country area near here and we're ready to head off on the Tour de Angleterre!

Monday, June 20, 2011

What a wonderful weekend in Verulamium - sounds like a Roman holiday brochure doesn't it? We got up early on Saturday for the eye popping pageant about the matyrdom of St Alban -who boastsone of the largest cathedrals in England - and the sun came out for it too!

We didn't buy any eyeballs in the cathedral shop though...

And a merry cold time is being had in Ye Olde Englande - these old buildings are gorgeous and this area is full of them.

Sunday was a visit to the Roman Theatre, a climb up the clocktower and then a visit to the amazing Verulamium Museum - followed by lunch at divine Cafe Rouge.

and then a yummy dinner of haddock at Ye Olde Fighting Cock - which claims to be the oldest pub in England

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday June 17

Well, finally here! Sydney airport was a ghost town due to the airport closures, which helped us get away on time. The usual 22 hours of hell followed, but i'll spare my readers the details. Instead, some eye candy. Here's myself and the princess about to begin our great adventure...

Arrival at Heathrow was very welcome, but something of a nasty surprise. It was colder than Sydney! 10 degrees celsius. Welcome to summer in Britain.

Well you can immediatley see where you are in the world.  We caught a bus out to St Albans, where we're staying for five days. The capital of Adminius before his expulsion by Togodumnus and Caractacus and the first Roman capital of Brittaniorum before Londinium. It was called Verulamium in those days.

Things have changed a bit since then. The town has moved up the hill and the fights are in the pub not the amphitheatre. Here's a photo of our favourite pub in the middle of town.

That's all for now, as I have to go and have breakfast.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Are we there yet?

Just over a week to go now and the excitement is building. Planning and preparations are growing apace and I have just bought my bike. It's name is +1

It's waiting for me in Dorking, Surrey. This is the place where people go to dork. If you want to be a right dork, this is where you must go. .Until you do go there, you're just a bit of a dork.