Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Eriba Adventures (Western Scotland)

Touring Scotland has been a bucket list item of mine for many years, but especially since "moving back" to the UK in 2019. We all know though what happened in early 2020 "Covid-19", so 2022 is really the first time since then that "most" Brits have been able to roam "freely". Camping has seen a real boom during the Covid period, and appears to be here to stay, so it seemed fitting that we toured Scotland in our little Eriba Puck (our first caravan, but certainly not our first camping experience).

The Eriba brand dates back some 60 years, and has a somewhat cult like following (similar to VW campervans). Our Puck is the smallest model, and is no longer manufactured, so is quite collectible, and a real head turner on campsites.

Our little Eriba Puck "Daisy Mae"

Thursday, October 14, 2021

2020 - Lockdown in Dorset

Many times through 2020, I often thought to myself "what a year to choose to re-settle back in the UK", having spent 20 years in the USA, moving to rural Dorset (southwest England) in December 2019. 2020 looked like being a year of few adventures, and a lot of couch time.

But, despite 2020 being extraordinary, unprecedented, and often frustrating; the one thing that remained the same was the natural beauty that surrounds us all. This natural beauty we were all still allowed to access thankfully, albeit with certain restrictions.

As is common these days in Southern England, the winters are wet and mild, and often cloudy; but when you get a crisp clear winter day, the Dorset coast is a great place to head for virtually tourist free (even in normal years) stunning scenery.

Golden Cap

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Dartmoor National Park - Northern Section

Dartmoor National Park is the fourth oldest in the UK, being established in 1951. The park lies entirely within the County of Devon, and is 368 sq. miles in area. Similar to neighbouring National Park Exmoor, the landscape is one of high moors, rocky outcrops called "tors", and wooded valleys. Dartmoor is a magical place, and a true wilderness in SW England.

Along the northern edge of Dartmoor National Park lies the beautiful Teign Gorge, home to the National Trust's Castle Drogo (a modern castle), and the stunning 17th century Fingle Bridge. The gorge is deep and winding, formed by the beautiful River Teign that snakes its way through a canopy of deciduous trees.

Teign Valley

One of the most popular Dartmoor walks (stunning especially in Autumn) is along this stretch of the Teign valley. Starting at Castle Drogo, you follow the top of the gorge, passing Sharp and Hunters Tor, and descend to follow the river below. At 4.3 miles +/- it is not too strenuous, but does involve some steps, steeper descending, and some ascent back up from the valley.

Teign Gorge loop

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

St Aldhelm's Head & Winspit

Every respectable hike ends at a pub (at least that's how I plan them), and this wonderful Dorset circular walk starting in Worth Matravers is no exception. Resisting the urge to pop into the "The Square and Compass", a mere minute stroll from the village car park (£2 parking donation) as you stroll by is hard, but the reward post-hike is much better tasting.

This loop walk is approximately 5 miles, but closer to 6 if you take the odd side detour, and I would allow around 3 hours. Expect to see spectacular coastal scenery, numerous historic sites, plenty of wildlife, and if hiking during a weekday, very few people.

St Aldhelm's head loop

Saturday, October 5, 2019

7 Days in Tuscany - by bicycle

October, 2018, a month that will be forever etched in the memory banks of Nineteen (19) cyclists from the USA, for better or worse - I hope for better. One year and 5 months prior to this date the first ever epic St. Vrain Chain Gang cycling club "SVCG" European escapade took place - London to Brussels, this second epic adventure to Tuscany, Italy was just as awesome!.

All Nineteen (19) riders (one coming via Morocco) arrived into different regions of Italy at staggered days/weeks prior to the bike tour, yet descended into Florence with military precision on October 5th and 6th, 2018. The next 8 days would turn strangers into friends, strengthen friendships, bring out great camaraderie, challenge and inspire, and most of all create memories that would last a lifetime.