The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

England Tour August 2013 (2)

Monday 12th August

From The Fox to St Neots (in Huntingdonshire)
In our little handbook from the camping and caravan club there was what seemed, from the scant information supplied, a nice site in the Bedfordshire area at St Neots (the only information being “A delightful site on the banks of a river”). We had selected this as we had a short stop on the way at Mildenhall to visit the widow of a very dear friend who had died a couple of years ago and this was my first chance to visit to pay my condolences in person. We spent a nice couple of hours chatting about the past and the children and the children’s, children. We then set off in the mobile home into the unknown, (it is often the case that the actual area and exact locality are very poorly described in the small handbook provided for overseas temporary members).
But having once found the site what a pearl, it is situated on the banks of the Great Ouse (if only I had brought my fishing gear) a short walk into town, it is a mature site with plenty of large shady trees (if you have a Sat Dish, make sure you get a pitch with a clear southern view).

You can buy your day fishing tickets from the site office (As with all of the site supervisors, helpful and full of information on the locality) you must of course have a national fishing licence, bought at the local post office I believe. The river is teaming with fish of all size and is a wonderful course fishing river, with dace, bream, etc. but also, I am lead to believe, harbour some capital pike.

We needed to stock up with food and other necessities for our trip from here on, though I can assure you we would not starve as we still had cold meats that we had brought with us, alongside the remnants of the picnic, ham, pie, pickles, cheese and other wonderful delicacies. But we did need bread and something for our evening meal. We walked along the river bank, complete with house boats, long boats and pleasure craft, across a couple of pedestrian bridges, through a very nice well-kept park. We crossed the main bridge into town; Linda was in awe at the vivid display of colour that the hanging baskets and street tubs gave to the whole of the main street.

We popped into M&S bought our bacon, sausages and eggs (it was to be a full English, the next morning) we also bought some nice lamb chops that would do for our evening meal the next day. We had passed a fish and chip shop while walking down the main street, as we had not had one of the staples of English culinary prowess to date (on this visit) we decided this would do for our evening meal. So without further ado I popped in, Linda wanted Haddock and I my Cod, 1 large portion (very large portion indeed) of chips, all freshly cooked, mushy peas and two buttered baps (Linda that lady of high culinary taste cannot do without her chip butty). We walked briskly back to the campsite, set the plates, knives and forks on the table, opened a bottle of very nice Cotes de Rhone and devoured our supper with relish in the warm setting sun, life can be so good.

After Supper, I took a walk around the campsite and along the River Bank, watched some lads (young and old) trying their luck with the poles (name for a fishing rod with no reel) in the evening sun.

I saw a skein of geese flying to their evening roost on the river.
I saw a lot of bird life on the river and on the banks, the bunnies abounded all over the campsite, no gun, net or wire so they felt quite safe from me.

We had breakfast and then it was off to Dorset.

Tuesday –Wednesday 13th to 14th August

St Neots to Moreton Dorset

After breakfast (I am an early riser and tend to be showered and ready to move before others are even awake) I was looking through our planned next itinerary and discovered that we had double booked, for Thursday but as normal the staff at the office could not have been more helpful, they phoned our next port of call and without much ado the dates changed. So it was then a nice drive (if that is possible on the M1 and M25) down to the South Coast and Dorset, to visit my Brother and his wife. This was a new experience for us as we would normally be staying at their home in the centre of Dorchester, this time we had selected a site at a place called Moreton not all that far from Tollpuddle, that small village that had been all those years ago the start of the trade union movement and the subsequent deportation to Australia of those brave men.

We arrived at the site, another fantastic display of colour (they really do go out of their way to make the sites colourful), this site is situated right outside of the railway station and it is only 1 stop into Dorchester (for us perfect) and 2 stops to Weymouth (for those of the sandcastle and knotted hanky brigade). Also right next door is a smashing pub cum restaurant, completed with pool room, kids play area, beer garden 2 bars and 2 restaurants, this is a wonderful plus for those not wanting to cook, just have a pint or even have a cuppa and just watch the tele while keeping  the kids entertained.
We phoned my brother and made arrangements for the next day (it was Wednesday and that means market day in Dorchester and a very fine market it is indeed). We had a drive around the small villages and popped onto Dorchester to do a bit (more) shopping at the Tesco Superstore, popped into Halfords to buy a whistling kettle (now that is a blast from the past) and a small 12V handheld vacuum cleaner. That done we headed back to the campsite and cook our evening meal.

Evening meal was lamb boneless leg chops marinated in fresh herbs with a sauce chasseur , new potatoes, sliced green beans and fresh peas. Linda made a smashing prawn cocktail salad with fresh salad leaves, water cress and a French dressing (out of the bottle, I do declare). It was all washed down with a very nice bottle of red French wine, wish I could remember where I bought it as it really was good.

Evening meal consumed and dishes washed (the washing up area being the chatterbox area of all campsites, is one of Linda’s favourite spots), I was at last able to get the Sat dish directed at the right satellite and got the UK free to air channels, up until now we had only been able to get the German channels, as these are nothing new to us (but then neither are the others) but needed to know the cricket result (England and Australia).
We then settled in for the night, watched a bit of tele read a book and then shut eye.

Next morning I was up before most others, showered, (one other in the showers before me, he must have been up all night) breakfast ( portabella mushrooms and bacon in a cheese sauce for me and Müsli and strawberries for Linda) over.  Question how are they going to get the top off this rod access point?
We walked to the railway station, bought our tickets and caught the train into Dorchester passing the bug hotel (bugs must also live but don't tell Linda), the Frampton and across the railway lines.

Dorchester market is always a pleasure to visit, it still has local produce, that are sold by the farmers and cheese makers that come in to sell their wares as they have done for hundreds of years. Alas the cattle and sheep market is long gone, but at least they have put the area to good use. In between the Market and the railway station on the site of the once massive Dorchester brewery is a new complex that will become (if the advertising blurb is to be believed) the new centre of Dorchester, I cannot for the life of me see what is wrong with the existing one, it has real shops in it. The new one has a cinema complex, 4 Italian restaurants including a Carlo Carlucci, a wagarama noodle place, they are in the process of turning the old Oast House into an Arts complex so that should be very nice, the brewery itself will be a large hotel that befits a county town.

We then popped back to my brothers, Linda done a bit of shopping and I got my PC back online and was able to check my  e-mails, get a post about the picnic on the wildfood website and get a blog away with my pork, veal, ham and pistachio nut pie recipe. It was then time for lunch and we popped into our favourite Thai (well it is my brother and sister in laws really), I must say the food is always impeccable as is the service, not to say anything about the very reasonable priced lunchtime menus.
Then it was a walk around town (following the old Roman walls) back to my brothers, a cuppa, Linda a nap and then we headed off back to the railway station and Moreton.

Having seen the menu the evening before, we had decided that we would eat out at the Frampton, the pub/restaurant adjacent to the campsite.

The Frampton

It is a pub that is situated right at the level crossings and is quite away from the actual village of Moreton, there are actually only a few houses and the campsite so I believe it can only live from the campsite and the occasional tourist passing and wanting a stop off for lunch.

We ordered Portland crab salad, this was meant as a main course so we shared it between us as a starter, it was more than enough and very tasty indeed, as the empty shell vouches. 
Linda had ordered chicken breasts done in a chasseur sauce with vegetables and new potatoes.
I ordered the 14oz Rib-eye steak (ordered and served bleu) topped with a fried egg, this came with grilled mushrooms, onion rings, grilled tomatoes and the ever present garden peas. The steak was cooked just to my liking though did lack seasoning, so I had to ask for the salt and pepper.
I drank a couple of pints of the very nice beer and Linda had a glass of tap water (she had had her G&T while waiting). All in all a very nice meal, well cooked, well presented and the service was first class.
It was then back to the campsite to watch the England-Scotland  friendly-ish football match, watch a bit of more read a bit and then off to beddy byes.

Thursday 15th  to 19th August

Moreton to Coverack Cornwall

We had our breakfast, washed up and then set of in search of T.E. Shaw, Ross or Lawrence or whatever he called himself. It was my brother who told us about him being buried in Morten Church Yard, the final resting place of one of Britain’s last romantic hero’s. A true larger than life boys owns character, a one who grew out of the pages of a Biggle’s novel, only he had been real and had done all of those things that even today are still held in such high esteem by the peoples of the Arabia. The deeds are in all probability honoured more than in his own homeland.

The grave is simple and honest, I have visited the graves of some truly great men and most are not adorned in marble or great mausoleums, these are left to the insecure, the pompous, Emperors and Kings, the true heroes are in the main laid to rest in a plain grave with but a plain tombstone or cross to mark their final resting place.

As always when visiting these places, I stop and reflect, I do not offer up a prayer, as those days of religious Shinto worship are long past, I just reflect on life’s journey and the passing of this mans (or woman) life.
We then retraced the route that T.E. Lawrence on his motorbike took on that fateful day, all those many years ago, until we arrived at the small house in the wooded copse beside the winding road that leads to Bovington Camp. It was alas not open until 11:00 and as it was not yet 10:00 we decided the time was best spent getting on our way, as we had many miles (though measured in KMs in our van) to travel to Coverack on the Lizard in Cornwall.

We travelled the journey without incident, the directions given by the campsite gave implicit instructions not to go through the town to reach the campsite but to turn off before and follow a smaller road, I am thankful for this small but very useful piece of information, as there is no turning areas in the town, little or no parking and the exit UP to the campsite is steep, exceedingly steep.

The Little Trevothan campsite is another wonderful, well kept, C&CC site, with exceedingly helpful, friendly natives. By now we could have the Van set up and ready in a matter of minutes (well tens of minutes), so that done we headed down into town.

Now it isn’t far down the road into town only about a mile, but it is steep and winding, it was at this point that we thanked the campsite for pointing this out on their website.

It was a very nice afternoon and there were still a lot of holiday makers about and plenty of kids frolicking in the surf (it was low tide just on the turn), we went to the small convenience store cum post office and bought a few things, as wild rabbit stew was to be on the menu that evening.
So it was post cards, carrots, a leek and some peas, then a stroll back along to the harbour to have a pint in the Paris Hotel (a rather strange name for a small hotel/pub in deepest Cornwall). I only went in to be able to use their free Wifi, but as in the pub decided to make use of their victualing facilities and had a very nice pint of real ale (Linda not knowing any better, had a coffee).

We then trudged the very steep road back up to the campsite, I cooked our evening meal (wild rabbit stew, rabbit not shot by me but from the Dorchester Market), which we ate with great relish washed it down with a smashing bottle of French red.

We sat out in the wonderful evening air, enjoying the bird song, and then it was time for a bit of TV and shut eye.  

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