01 August, 2006

Devon Holiday - Day 1 (Tomtom, Torcross and Tank)

So, set the wayback machine to last Friday (28th July), we set off from home (far too) early and for some reason this time I just couldn't sleep on any of the journey down there (despite my magic NY neck cushion), in fact, I think the reason was actually that we had borrowed Flyingpops' brother's Tomtom navigator for the break, and it makes the same noise as the USS Enterprise going to "Red Alert" whenever there is a speed camera coming up...the first part of the journey was along the M25, so it was rather noisy, as you can imagine... >;(

Anyway, ("In 800 yards bear left"'s and "As soon as possible turn around"'s aside) made it to the West Country in record time, the Tomtom was *awesome* only leading us astray when concentration was lacking (so I think we are going to buy one)...it dropped us off ("You have now arrived at your destination") literally 2 yards from the entrance to the camp site, sign right in front of us, and avoiding all those nasty motorways too...! Pulled on site leaving a plume of dust behind us and parked up to give Vodqueen and Al (who were to be our companions for the weekend, being here already on an extended break) a call from the mobile...tent was pitched, fridge was lit (in LPG mode), bed was pumped (although our pump had died, so Vodqueen had to come to the rescue)...and then into the 4x4 for our first trip out, to see Kingsbridge (name bit close to Kings Cross for my liking while on holiday though)... ;)
Kingsbridge, Devon #1
...which was beautiful, learned something new too -
Kingsbridge, Devon #2
- (click it if you like for a bigger version, but) - it read "WHITE BREAD CAN DAMAGE THE HEALTH OF BIRDS - Please do not feed the swans with white bread, as this can cause serious vitamin deficiences, especially in younger or older birds", passed this sign also -
Kingsbridge, Devon #3
- apparently calling me a pig, but luckily it's just a case of mistaken identity (see here)...anyway, we bought some lovely ribs and minty lamb chops from a local butcher, went to the supermarket and bought breakfast goods, spices, more ribs and beer, returned briefly to the camp site to stick said items in the fridges, then off, once more guided by Tomtom to Slapton Sands over "the longest four miles you'll ever experience" - tiny, tiny roads...
Slapton Sands
Wonderful view when we got there though, we had ice creams on the beach (looking out for the ticket guy, as our stop was brief), I asked for a "Lemon Lolly" and was told the only options were "Cherry Brandy" or "Orange", shuddering at the prospect of the former, I settled for the latter, and then spent ten minutes looking for a bin for the sticky wrapper and lolly stick...anyway, after a quick look at the monument erected by the US to thank all the locals for running off during WWII we hopped back in the car and zoomed up the coast road (which information signs informed us would have vanished years ago if not for human effort, swallowed by the sea)...
Torcross #1
...look towards the top of the picture and you can see just how narrow the gap between freshwater lake on the left and ocean on the right really is...the other thing to note is quite how rapidly the ground drops away once the sea starts...apparently there is virtually zero difference on this beach between low and high tide, and take more than two steps out and it's a vertical drop!
Torcross #2
This is also the home to a rare example of a(/n aquatic version of the Sherman) tank rescued from 85 feet of water by a local diving nut...you see, the US forces didn't occupy the area for no reason, they were training hard for the D-Day landings, one day a bunch of Nazi torpedo boats spotted them and came in to spoil the party, making a real mess of everything and thus changing the Allied landing tactics for the better (unbeknownst to the Germans ;), this tank wasn't involved, but was like a lot of those sunk in the attack...this one, according to the sign, was all kitted out to float, but one of the crew forgot to close the engine plates, and it sank...they managed to "abandon tank" just in time though... ;) Which this young girl was thrilled to not listen to her dad telling her, preferring to play with gravel and mope ;) -
Torcross #3
We took a short walk up the cliffs past the pill boxes still evident, watched some small children being hounded by a ravening hoard of ducks and swans -
Torcross #5
- and then returned to feast on the spoils of Kingsbridge (all locally reared produce apparently, some sort of local initiative) -
BBQ #2
- lit some insect lights -
Insect candles in the awning...
- drank a few beers/pimms/vods respectively, and then off to bed... ;)

1 comment:

devon holidays said...

It's good that aside from enjoying the holiday, you learn something new too. I also learned that a guide for all types of Devon accommodation and tourist information would speed up my holiday experiences. It's good that Devon holiday guides are now online for inquiries.