Summer is definitely here

Yup! Summer is definitely here.

Apparently Daisy’s tantrum from last week wasn’t over. After much head shaking and a bit of male grousing it turns out that she has some funky wiring. Fingers crossed, it’s sorted now. But, summer is definitely here, so we weren’t going to  let that dampen our spirits.

As a result of Daisy’s tantrum we were very late setting off, so decided not to go too far so we could still enjoy the evening. So the site we stayed at ended up being only half an hour from home. It didn’t matter. Moorhaven is a small holding with sheep, chickens, a small new orchard and woodland with deer in it. Absolutely peaceful and to top it all had Marisa’s “aw” factor. The site owners have a white haired, golden retriever pup with the cutest most adorable little face. “AW”. They also have three little lambies (collectively named ‘the gremlins’), that because they were bottle-fed aren’t scared of people. So the girls were able to stroke them. “BIG AW”.

Kingsbridge, Devon, UK
Kingsbridge, Devon, UK

We settled in, had a late tea and then went for a walk in the woods which is completely wild and untended. Fantastic! We went under, over, through and around. We followed deer prints for a bit with no hope of actually seeing the deer, as we were all far too noisy. I was wearing my customary ankle length skirt (which because we were climbing over things spent most of the time hitched up in my waist band, most unflattering but more practical) and walking boots so gained many scratches and a couple of insect bites. Trophies from a great adventure that we all thoroughly enjoyed, getting back to Daisy just as the sun left the sky.

Kingsbridge 13/07/13
We spent the day in Kingsbridge, starting with the shops for the girls. The high street is all up hill from the estuary, where we parked, and the temperature was 32°C. Nik managed to take lots of photo’s for work, which made him happy and us girlies found enough shops of interest to keep us happy. I also managed to find a set of cute froggie salt and pepper shakers to add to my collection of frog ornamentation. (frogs are probably my favourite cold bloodied creature, so much so I have a pair of living tree frogs in our bedroom). Shopping done we went back to Daisy for a spot of lunch before Nik and I went for an explore along the estuary. Marisa and Katie aren’t as mad about the walking part of our trips as we are, especially when it’s hot, so they elected to stay with Daisy and read.
When we arrived in Kingsbridge we dived out of Daisy and started out shopping without paying much attention the what the water was doing and consequently failed to realise the tide was on it’s way out, so by the time we started our walk the estuary was pretty drained. We had already decided to pop back in the morning for supplies before moving on so photography wasn’t a complete loss. The view along the estuary is amazing, we managed to find the house we’re going to live in when we grow up and made a definite decision to return another day.
We set off to our new camping site a little earlier than normal, but it was so hot we fancied settling down for a rest before cracking on with tea. The site it’s self was slightly disappointing as it was billed as being a riverside site, when in reality the river was fenced off with barbed wire and overgrown so we couldn’t see it. It was however cool and peaceful so good enough for us. Didn’t manage much of an evening walk as there were no footpaths and the road was edged with high hedging, so mostly rather uninspiring. We did find a nice steep road to walk up which Marisa wasn’t impressed with.
Next morning I was quietly sat drinking my first cup of coffee, watching the birds catching flies when a buzzard flew out of a tree straight for me and landed in the grass right in front of me. That was my ‘Oh My God’ moment of the trip.


Slapton Sands 14/07/13
Daisy’s outside Temperature gauge is reading 34°C so a day at the beach is called for. Slapton sands is almost 2 miles long with a nature reserve on the other side of the road. Nik and I aren’t very good at sitting still, so once we made sure the girls were happy we set off for the long walk to the other side of the beach. It was hot but the cool sea air kept our walk from being unbearable. Nik managed to get some fantastic pictures of typical seaside scenes and found the obligatory hill up to the coastal path where he got his money shots. Got back to Daisy absolutely exhausted and very hot, well worth it though.
Our site for the evening was in Galmpton. A 1.5 acre site with a well manicured lawn around the outside and a wild area with pathways cut through the middle. This garden must once have been some ones labour of love. You can see where once all the paths separated flowerbeds with trees and beautiful flowers still showing their heads among the weeds and wild grasses. It has now been left to overgrow, which I believe is because the owners are now too old to keep up with such a massive task. Despite this you can still see the beauty in it. There are 5 guinea fowl wandering wild through all of this and several wild bunnies were spotted too. The owners have an old corgi that adopted Marisa while we were there so she found her “AW” in this site. I have decided that when we retire I would love to own this place and set it back to its former glory. The guinea fowl would have to be replaced by chickens though I think, as they make so much noise when bedding down and waking up.

After tea we embarked on our evening walk thinking that we wouldn’t be gone long as it looked like farmers fields without many footpaths surrounded us. The girls wisely decided not to come with us. Walking down a country road we were just about to turn back for lack of inspiration when we came upon a road sign pointing down hill, telling us it was ¾ mile to Hope Cove. We considered how much it would hurt when walking back up said hill, as we’d already walked long and hard today and decided if there was a pretty little cove at the bottom it was worth the pain. It turns out it was ¾ mile to the sign for Hope Cove; we estimate it was about another ½ mile after that. It was worth it though. At the bottom of the hill was a pretty little cove, the sun was starting to loose some of it’s heat and was leaving a lovely colour across the hills. Just sitting on the sandy beach while Nik took photo’s with the waves gentle lapping against the beach was so calm and peaceful I could have stayed there until the sunset if I didn’t know I still had that walk back up the hill. We thoroughly explored all around the area, found a little harbour which was equally as pretty, up over the cliffs along the coastal path we discovered a public footpath that led back to Gulmpton, so as we were already half way up the hill thought it might be the less painful route back. It was definitely pretty with less effort as the hill was a lot flatter, however it was a more circular route so by the time we got back to Daisy and the girls, Nik and I were shattered. Happy! But shattered.

Hope Cove
Hope Cove

You would think that after such a busy day with all our energy zapped, that would be the end of it, but no! I decided to give everyone a bit of extra entertainment. It was almost dark, so I was shutting the curtains at the front of the van, one side done I lent onto the back of the chair so I could turn round with little effort only to discover that it wasn’t there. They tell me my face was a picture of shock and surprise as I crashed to the floor like a sack of spuds. I lay there on the floor tangled in a fold up chair and scattered smelly shoes, and realised that I really didn’t have the energy to get back up, so instead imagined what it must have looked like to everyone else. I think I must have laid there for about 5 minutes just laughing, mostly with relief that I hadn’t broken anything but also because I have a weird sense of humour and I definitely could see how funny it would have been if I’d watched someone else take the same fall. Next morning I could barely move without the help of neurofen.

Salcombe 15/07/13
Before going to Dartmouth for the day we decided to pay a little visit to Salcombe as we were so close it would be rude not to. Oh how the other half live. Salcombe is pretty, busy and full of people with more money than sense. All the shops are designer boutiques, the majority of people wondering the town are weekend yuppie types dressed in designer sailing clothes trying to look rich. Women sport handbag dogs and talk to them as though they are babies. Marisa and I amused ourselves by spotting the most badly dressed and silly looking people. Had to be done! The highlight of the trip was just before we left for Dartmouth Nik and I sat on the harbour wall watching little green crabs climbing up the seaweed stalks and running along the surface of the water using seaweed as their path. So cool, never seen them do that before.

Dartmouth 15/07/13
When we arrived at Dartmouth we decided to use the park and ride to get to the town, mainly because a sign said all town center parking was taken. It’s about a mile out of town so we were going to walk it. However, the bus turned up just as we were setting off, which was very good luck, as it was all down hill. The girls were somewhat relieved to know they wouldn’t be walking back up. Dartmouth is a beautiful place. The town was bigger than we expected, but not too big, so we could happily wonder through the shops with the girls without getting bored. The view across the water was spectacular although a little hazy whilst we were there. Nik managed to get a goodly amount of pictures to pay for the trip. The only disappointment was the discovery that across the water was a train station and the track ran along the edge of the water. We realised this because a steam train came along the track. Nik loves steam trains, especially when they are somewhere scenic, as they make superb and very commercial photos. Unfortunately the stretch of water was quite wide and combined with the many yachts in front of the track made it very difficult to get a good photo. The girls had much fun at Nik’s expense as where ever we go we seem to find trains and they’ve decided Dad is a train spotter.

Teignmouth pier, Devon, UK
Teignmouth pier, Devon, UK

Teignmouth 16/07/13
As we had to head back home the next day we decided to take a big step up towards Teignmouth. We spent the night in Newton Abbot so we didn’t have too long a drive the next morning. Teignmouth had a somewhat large town with many, many shops to occupy the girls. The town did well out of the girls this day, they lumbered back to Daisy with big smiles and bags full of new purchases. Books and clothes. We find it’s always best to do the shops first, that way in the afternoon we have as long as we like for walking and the girls can choose if they come with us or not. Teignmouth isn’t the prettiest seaside town, a bit run down to be honest, but we still managed to have a lovely walk and explore before we had to head home totally relaxed and happy to have had such nice weather at last.

For more blogs about our adventures, click HERE

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