Hello, I am back at last from my unintentional break from Blogland. I am not sure what happened but for some reason I completely lost my blogging mojo. I fully intended to catch up with everything over the Summer holiday but it didn't happen and here we are almost at the end of the holiday. I will endeavour to make amends and get back to more regular blogging and catching up with all of your blogs.
So what have I been up to during the Summer? My activities fit neatly into three categories - holiday, crochet and a day out. There have obviously been other bits in between but that is mainly boring stuff including some days working at school, shopping etc. This post will be about my holiday and I will be back very soon with posts about my crocheting activities and our day out.
We enjoyed a wonderful fortnight in East Devon returning to Brackens, the cottage we have stayed in before. I guess we are creatures of habit and once we find somewhere we enjoy we tend to return. There are many other places we would like to go but for some reason Brackens keeps drawing us back. I cannot believe how quickly the fortnight disappeared, we enjoyed some of our favourite locations and discovered some places new to us. I will show you a few collages of the many photos I took in this beautiful and quiet part of Devon. We were really lucky with the weather only having one day of fairly continuous rain and managed to fit in lots of walking.
This first collage is of the cottage we stay in. We love it here as it is so quiet and peaceful and has a beautiful garden which we enjoy relaxing in when we are not out and about.
The closest location to Brackens is Budleigh Salterton. This place is like something from back in the 1950's, totally unspoilt with a huge pebble beach with the Otter estuary behind. We have seen the sea here in all its moods, from the tranquil to the really rough - it is always beautiful though.
I have already mentioned that we spent a lot of our time walking, on the first Sunday we decided to walk from Brackens to East Budleigh. We have done part of the walk before but have never walked there from Brackens. We couldn't have had a more glorious day and we thoroughly enjoyed the walk and the stunning scenery. I will never tire of the view looking from the top of the hill to East Budleigh and the coast. I was so proud of myself as before when we have attempted this hill I have been puffing and panting whilst climbing to the top. This time I managed without getting out of breath at all - the power of Slimming World and losing over five stone! We enjoyed a lovely roast lunch at the Sir Walter Raleigh before re-tracing our steps back to Brackens.
|Exmouth and Orcombe Point|
We visited Exmouth on a few occasions. We undertook a walk to Orcombe Point, past the geo-needle and on to Sandy Bay. Again, we had done part of this walk in the past but it was good to walk on further than we have been before. We also caught the ferry from Exmouth over to the other side of the Exe Estuary to Starcross on a couple of occasions and used it as a starting point to walk up the Exe Estuary. The sunsets over the Exe Estuary are something else, part of the joy of being in this part of the world is enjoying the BIG skies and watching the sun go down was wonderful.
A trip to Beer with fish and chips on the beach is a must when we are in this part of the world. Even my DH who is not a fan of walking up steep slopes which you cannot avoid in Beer loves it here and was proud of himself for making it to the top of the cliff. I seldom eat fish and chips these days but this is one treat I had been looking forward to, Ducky's, the beach cafe serve the best fish and chips ever.
We visited various parts of the Exe Estuary. There is now a cycle/walk way all around the Exe which makes for ideal walking conditions (as long as you keep alert and listen out for the bikes which whizz past you on occasions). DH and I have come to the conclusion that there are three types of cyclist that use this cycle way - (a) the serious cyclist who is only interested in getting from a to b in the quickest time possible and not really interested in the surroundings, (b) the tourists and holiday makers, who hire or bring bikes with them and pootle along enjoying the scenery and (c) the locals who use it to commute or cycle into town - we had fun trying to guess which category they all fitted into! On our last day we decided to challenge ourselves to do a longer walk than usual so we caught the train from Exmouth to Topsham and walked back along the estuary - we walked about eight miles in total as we took some detours around Topsham which probably doesn't sound a lot to some people but for us these days it was quite an achievement.
|Starcross and Cockwood|
The villages of Starcross and Cockwood are on the other side of the Exe, we have driven through these places before and bypassed them on the train but have never actually spent any time there so we decided we would rectify that. It is quite a quick journey to make by catching the ferry from Exmouth. On the first occasion we walked from Starcross to Cockwood and around Cofton Hill with a superb lunch in the Anchor which is said to be haunted before walking back to Starcross. We returned on another day as there were two steam train excursions and DH wanted to photograph the trains at Cockwood Harbour. What a good excuse to enjoy another lunch in the Anchor.
|Flora and fauna|
Lots of interesting flowers, insects and animals were seen - some more exotic than others! We visited the Otter and Butterfly Farm at Buckfastleigh, I wasn't terribly successful in taking some of the exotic butterflies but managed to capture a few. The otters were just adorable and I would like to make a return visit one day to try and get some more photographs. However, even after seeing the exotics we still enjoyed sitting in the garden watching the native species and capturing various flora when we were out and about.
To round off my holiday photos I thought I would show you some of the quirky sights that we came across. We couldn't believe the pipework on the side of the cottage - obviously done by someone with a sense of humour and too much time on their hands! There was lot of pebble art on Budleigh beach but I think it is the first time I have seen someone create a bus. The washing hung out on the little beach at Lympstone always makes me smile, it was certainly a blowy day and I am sure they have to peg it on firmly to stop it blowing away down the estuary. Finally as we were walking through the village of Exton one day we came across this bronze gorilla, not really what you expect to see in a garden, he was huge.
This has turned into quite a long post so thank you if you have stuck with it to the end. See you again soon.