Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Is Coming - Bah Humbug!

I have to say that Christmas is probably my least favourite time of year!

It's not that I'm a total Bah Humbug, but there are a number of reasons why I feel this way.

Firstly I'm not religious in any way shape or form, personally I think they (Religion) are very much the fault of why we as a society are the way we are today - No one can dispute that as a society we are all pretty much messed up!

The true meaning of Christmas has been totally lost, all wrapped up (excuse the pun) in a splurge of commercialism that almost makes me physically sick!

This time of year, people spend too much money, that they don't necessarily have, on people who they don't necessarily like, on items the recipient either doesn't want or dislikes!

It's all a bit of a recipe for disaster!

Anyway, why wait till Christmas? I am of the opinion that if you want something now, then I will buy it now, (as long as I can afford it).

Christmas seems to start mid October, this year I saw a pub in August advertising it's Christmas menu! Bloody ridiculous!

In general I find that people on the run up to Christmas are short tempered, stressed out completely because that can't find the right scarf for Uncle Bill. The fact that Uncle Bill has 10 scarfs all ready, has nothing to do with it. He is in a nursing home, rarely goes out and to be honest would rather like a set of bibs as his dentures don't fit that good anymore and he tends to dribble his tea!

Christmas cards! Another great waste of time, money and natural resources! Yes it's nice to hear from Aunty Beryl, but you only saw her last Thursday and she wished you Happy Christmas then! The fact that another couple of hundred hectares of forest have been destroyed to make the amount of cards we send each year is immaterial!

Just to redress the balance a bit as it sounds that I am a real Grinch over Christmas I got my step daughter to decorate my Ural - I would like to think when people see me now at least they may stop, smile, point and say - look at that fat bloke on the motorbike!

If I can make just one person smile a day as a result of looking daft, then I feel I have done my bit to lighten the mood.

The journey continues..........

Thursday, December 1, 2016

1st December Ride Out On The Ural

With a day off today and with the prospect of having to paint the bathroom ceiling later on what was needed was an hour on the Ural!

I had to go into Lymington on an errand, so decided to take the scenic route along the coast.

We really are blessed with some amazing scenery in this part of the world.

However, it did not take long before someone decided to pull out of a junction right in front of me. I narrowly missed him, but had to hit the brakes pretty hard to avoid a collision.

I reckon that if I was on two wheels instead of three I may well of been off at that point as the roads were still slippery from the heavy frost we had over night.

Leaving New Milton and heading for Milford and some fine views across the Solent towards the Isle of Wight I could see up ahead a couple walking on the pavement and they had a dog with them.

As I was about to pass them the dog decided to take a leap at me, the owner not being in control of his dog by having it on a long lead could do nothing to stop it.

I swerved and thought I was going over but managed to hang on, I also thought I had hit the dog as I heard a knock as I passed. I immediately pulled over, I was shaking like a leaf.

I switched the engine off and looked back to see that the dog appeared to be fine, the woman came running up to me and asked if I was ok, where I pointed out to her in no uncertain terms that they could of killed me!

She did apologise, but the bloke who had been holding the dog and who's fault it was said nothing, so I'm afraid I ripped into the pair of them for being so irresponsible.

I rode off and had to pull over in the next car park where I sat for a few minutes gathering my thoughts, it shook me up.

Into Lymington, jobs done, (unsuccessfully) then decided to head home via Keyhaven.

The sun was shining brightly but the air temperature was only just above zero.

The tide was just on it's way in and was about to creep over the road, another hour and the road would be impassable.

Home, where the painting started, but at least I had a blast out on the Ural.

The journey continues........

Monday, November 21, 2016

Baguettes On The Beach - Secret Spot!

A couple of Sundays ago the weather was looking promising, the kids were away and so we thought we would spend a couple of hours out on the Ural.

So me and my monkey/ballast/3bags/Kiera set off for a little ride around the New Forest which we are lucky enough to live in.

I was heading for a particular spot which is not that well known, but a great spot to to look out across the Solent towards the Isle of Wight.

The sun was shining but the there was a keen wind that took any warmth right out of the day, so we had to wrap up well.

Once there I set up the field kitchen straight off the back of the Ural, and started to fry up onions and sausages to go into the Baguettes.

The smell was amazing, with plenty of walkers going by and looking envious of our grub!

We spent a good hour or more there, but as it was a tad exposed the wind was biting, even with all the layers on.

A great spot, no more than 30 minutes from our house, obviously I cant tell you where it is or it wont be secret anymore!

The journey continues!!!

Dartmoor Mini Adventure Day 3 - Beating Storm Angus November 2016

After a rubbish night's sleep due to Storm Angus, I was rather glad to see that things weather wise were looking up!

But I had survived a bad storm, lots of people on my facebook page cannot understand why I do this, thinking I have lost the plot.

I have asked myself the same question and so I will try and explain the best I can why I feel the need to get away, especially during the winter!

I have always liked a challenge, I guess I would not of joined the Army if that was not the case. As I've got older (50 next year) I still feel the need to prove myself. I like being different, I also like being slightly eccentric. Doing things that not everyone would or could do is part of the fun. Kiera seems to think that some are actually envious, not sure about that as that would be mad!

But, if I was totally honest I really don't know why I need to do these things, it's a combination of escapism, enjoyment, challenging, and maybe, just because I can and that I have the full support and backing from Kiera makes a big difference.

Anyway after looking at the weather online I had decided that I would head home today, as the weather for Monday looked terrible with high winds and rain again! I was also missing Kiera, soppy bugger aren't I!

So I packed up, brewed up and ate breakfast.

It was back out across the Moor's with the sun shining, but bitterly cold. The views were amazing.

There was so much debris on the road, in places it looked as if whole banks of gravel had been deposited on the road, branches down and lots of standing water. On two wheels it would not of been a fun ride, but with three, I was loving it!

The Ural for me is the perfect bike, I can carry loads of gear, it is able to go anywhere and cope with all sorts of conditions and is fun to ride. I so wish I had taken my test years ago!

I travelled back the same way as I came, apart from Exeter, here I went through a totally different set of roads!

I was going to stop in Lyme Regis for lunch, but for a motorbike I found no where to park! No parking down at the Cobb or the little car park at the bottom of the high street. Unfortunately Lyme Regis you lost out on my money as I just carried on!

I finally made it back around 1540, tired and hungry. Kiera was cooking a roast, there were cold beers in the fridge and a hot shower awaited me. Happy days!

Where to next?

The journey continues..........................

Dartmoor Mini Adventure Day 2 - Beating Storm Angus November 2016

I woke a little chilly and badly needing a wee! Not a good way to start the day, but it was sub zero and I was on Dartmoor!

So once I had sorted myself out and made a note to bring in my (bottle to pee in bottle) for the next night I got myself up and had some breakfast!

The sun was shining, but was hidden by the trees, breakfast had to be down at the bike which was situated in the car park below the camping field.

I'm glad I had put the cover on last night! Once I had shook all the ice off I set up the kitchen, brewed up and made my breakfast which came straight out of a can! It consisted of baked beans, some meat in the shape of a sausage and some potatoes. Nothing much to look at but with some black pepper tasty and filling, but above all hot!

Today I was going to explore some wild camping spots, and generally just ride around. I knew that my time today would be limited due to the fact that Storm Angus was on it's way and was supposed to hit my location by 1400hrs.

I set off to hunt down the locations that I had ear marked, but to be honest I had all ready decided that I would spend another night at the Plume of Feathers camp site. It had every thing I needed, especially if I were to get into trouble with this storm.

I rode past the track that I had to turn off on, but it looked well rutted anyway, so just decided to carry on and enjoy the scenery. 

If I was in the camper van, there are literally loads of places where you could pull over and stay for the night, I've done it in the old Pajero, and if you were on foot, you could find some great spots, but with the bike, that's a bit different, so reckon I will stick with the camp sites.

There are some great views to be had from on top of the Moors.

After riding around a bit and getting lost I decided to head out to find some fuel, the nearest place according to Google Maps was Ashburton.

It was a great ride out through some spectacular scenery, with some hair raising hills and descents, covered in stone debris and leaves. So glad I now have three wheels on my wagon!

On my way back from refuelling, (the tank holds 19 litres and I carry a 10 litre jerry can) I could see in the distance some rather angry black clouds. There was no way I could out run them so as soon as I caught it up and took shelter in some toilets conveniently placed next to the river Dart.

As soon as it stopped I took these pictures but by the time I had geared back up again, the heavens opened up for real and it chucked it down! Back into the toilets!

As soon as it let off, I headed off, I only had 12 miles to get back to Princetown, but it threw it down a few more times.

Having a bad beard day!

Princetown is not only known for being the centre of the Moor, but also for it's prison. Construction started in 1805 and is still in use today. To say it looks grim is an understatement.

If there was ever a good incentive not to get into trouble - looking at this place should convince you to stay straight!

I got back to the pub, just after 1400hrs and decided I needed a sandwich and a brew.

They do a rather good steak baguette and don't mind you dripping all over the place and creating puddles either!

As my riding for the day was over, it was just too wet, I covered the bike up and at 1530 settled down for an extended period in my tent!

I was still full from my late lunch but a few brews took place from the confines of my tent!

For this trip I had bought a new sleeping mat, my vango self inflating was only 3/4 length so I thought as it's winter I should get something with insulating.

The Thermarest Ridgerest Classics insulating qualities are second to none, it was brilliant, you could actually feel your own body heat coming back off the matt, but I still lack comfort, being a fat bloke doesn't help in this matter so I may have to splash some cash!

Keeping an eye on the weather, it was as predicted - torrential rain, there was no chance of me going out in that. The only thing that was missing now was the high wind.

I kept checking the tent for water ingress but found none! The Vango Banshee 200 truly is an awesome tent.

I was woken around 0300hrs by the lightening, it was if someone had set a flash gun off right in front of my eyes! - seconds later an almighty crash shook the ground! A few choice words were said, as old habits that are still to die kicked in and I was looking for cover!

Not long after this the rain finally eased off, but only to be replaced by Gail force winds hell bent on blowing me from one side of the Moor to the other!

This lasted for a couple of hours, once more my little tent took everything that was thrown at it.

Finally everything eased off and for the first time in over 15 hrs things were silent.

The journey continues............................

Dartmoor Mini Adventure Day 1 - Beating Storm Angus! November 2016

With a couple of days off work and with the Plumbers in refitting the bathroom, I thought it may be a good idea to get out of the way for a few days.

May rough plan was to head for Dartmoor which is around two to three hours away and take in some stunning scenery on the way.

I had spent some time studying Google Maps and by using the Satellite option identified some places where I could wild camp.

Wild camping on Dartmoor is the only place in the whole of England where you can legally get away with it.  As long as you obey basic rules and camp only where permitted, as shown on the Official Government Dartmoor map.

I also had a back up plan that if that all went horribly wrong there was a camp site at Princetown, at Dartmoor's heart that I could stay at.

Wanting and early start, but not getting one I eventually got away at 1000hrs, at least I would miss all the traffic through Bournemouth so as they say "Every Cloud" etc.....

Here is the bike all packed and ready to go. You may notice the addition of the Givi Top Box which I fitted. I took the mounting plate off of the Varadero, made some brackets up to fit onto the all ready installed luggage rack/tray.

I always like to travel well prepared, I know I take far too much gear, but you never know, and of course anything can happen!

With the mileage at 24081 Km I was ready to go! (The odometer reads in KM but the speed reads in MPH).

This was my longest trip yet on the Ural and I was more than interested to see how it would cope, especially as my journey through Dorset and into Devon meant climbing some big gradients.

Over the three days I was away, my steepest gradient climbed was 25% which I can tell you is steep. However, I had nothing to worry about, fully loaded the Ural was brilliant!

Following the A35 through Dorchester (where I stopped for fuel and a brew) and Bridport I got to Lyme Regis and the Jurassic Coast a World Heritage Site. I didn't stop a) I've been many times, b) I wanted to get on!

Here I could of followed the A35 up to Honiton and joined the A30 but the Ural is not built for busy dual carriage ways, so I took the twisty country roads which suited me just fine!

I followed the A3052 all the way into Exeter. Now Exeter to me is a bit like Gloucester, I can never seem to take the same road through the town twice.

I eventually popped up the far side of Exeter and on the A38  and had to ride up through Bovey Tracey as I wanted to get to Moretonhampstead. This for me is the gateway onto the Moor.

At Moretonhampstead I stopped to have a think about where I was going to camp that night. It was around 1400hrs and with a little over 2.5hrs of day light left, thought it best to head straight to the campsite and pitch there for the night.

It is more or less a straight road all the way to Princetown, with plenty of hills and sweeping bends to keep me occupied.

The weather up to this point had been ok, a couple of light showers, but nothing too bad. I had been wearing full waterproof gear since Dorchester, more to keep me warm than anything.

As soon as I got onto the Moor it started to rain, first just light drizzle, but there were a few heavy showers to contend with. Thankfully my wet weather gear works brilliant and all though on the outside I was soaked, my inner layers were bone dry and just as importantly still warm!

I pulled into the Car Park of the Plume of Feathers in Princetown which tucked behind it is a small field full of lumps and bumps and on a slope which was the campsite. Due to the amount of rain that they had had there was also very wet patches where the water naturally drained away. Finding a level spot that was dry was going to be a challenge.

I went into the pub, sorted out the pitch fee which was a very reasonable £6.75 and went back out to set up my tent and get my gear into the tent.

Thankfully the rain eased off enough to get all this done and just about managed to do all this as the last remnants of day light disappeared.

Nothing for it then but a pint of the black stuff!

I was feeling a bit knackered so instead of cooking decided to have a simple meal of ham, egg and chips, and of course another pint!

Back in my tent, roasty warm in my sleeping bag I settled down for the evening. Soon after getting into my tent it started to rain, heavily at times but the wind was light. The temperature certainly dropped.

I woke a few times due to the rain, but could also hear a sort of sliding noise of something heavy going down the side of the tent. My first thoughts were that it must be an animal, but soon worked out it was the accumulation of snow and ice being washed off the tent when the heavens opened!

I'd been keeping an eye on the weather via the BBC, even out on Dartmoor I had full internet accessibility via my phone.

This also meant I could keep in touch with Kiera to let her know I was still alive.

Tomorrow the weather was supposed to be clear first thing, but Storm Angus was rapidly approaching!

The journey continues.........................

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Distinguished Gentlemans Ride 2016 - Bournemouth

The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride is an international charity event for classic and vintage styled motorcycles that raises awareness and funds for the Movember Foundation men's health programs.

On Sunday 25th September more that 50,000 dapper riders in over 500 cities across 90 countries united for the world's largest motorcycling charity event, it was an absolutely epic day out!

The two charities involved was Prostrate Cancer and Male Suicide Prevention. Both of which are close to my heart.

I have had a 2cm lump removed from my bowel, thankfully I am ok, but you never know when the cruel hand of fate will lay his finger upon you!

I have over the years been in some very dark places. So know from first hand experience how the darkness can consume you. Your mind plays tricks and no solace can be found or comfort taken from being told that eventually things will work out. All you want is an end to things.

On a lighter note though, this day was all about raising awareness and what better way to do that than to don your fancy clothes and make as much noise as you can on your pride and joy. 

In my case it was the Ural Dalesman 750cc sidecar outfit. Accompanied by my gorgeous wife Kiera or "Monkey" or "Ballast" as she is often referred to whilst in the sidecar!!

Here we are going around the bends at Sopley at a comfortable speed, as neither myself of Kiera are hanging on!

It was an early start for us both, the start point was at Poole Quay and we were given instructions to be there by 0900hrs.

As I like to build in a hefty margin of error to allow for all eventualities, we arrived at 0750hrs! 

This did however allow us plenty of time to park up, admire the other bikes and more importantly devour a massive fry up in the local pub and consume a gallon of coffee!

Kiera looking splendid and refreshed after breakfast, it was a rather chilly ride to Poole at that time of the morning. Thankfully the weather for the day was looking good.

There was a briefing by James (the ride organiser) telling us of all the do's and dont's and once that was over 200 plus motorbikes started their engines - a cacophony of the sweetest burble of engines you will ever hear! 

The route was in a number of stages, the first stage took us out along Poole Quay, through Poole Park and out to Sandbanks where we looped around and came back again.

This was my first experience of riding in a large group and it was an amazing experience. People were waving at us and looking in amazement as all these bikes went by with all the riders dressed to the nines.

Of all the fabulous bikes that were on parade these two made me smile the most!

Everyone had dressed up for the occasion,  plenty of tweed, tailored suits, riding outfits and military uniforms. It was a spectacle!

We headed for Bournemouth and hugging the coast, and went past the pier and turned right and headed up the hill for Southbourne. We were heading for Boscombe Pier. Here we rode along the front all the way back to Bournemouth Pier and parked up where the old IMAX cinema used to be.

 This is where my ears first started to ring! The noise from 200 plus motorbikes was deafening! 

We stayed here for a good 45 minutes, chatting away and looking at all the motorbikes, a very friendly crowd with everyone in high spirits.

Once we had driven away from here, which I must say was the highlight for me as there were hundreds of people watching us. Everyone was revving engines, beeping horns and cheering. An amazing experience.

From here we rode back along the seafront to Boscombe Pier, up the hill and along out through Southbourne to Hengisbury Head. Turning in land and down over Tuckton Bridge and into the outskirts of Christchurch. Past the train station and turning left out along the Fairmile and out to Hurn where we stopped at the pub for refreshment and another regroup.

More chatting, laughing and admiring of each others motorcycles took place as we enjoyed a drink in the sun.

Turning out of the pub we headed for Sopley where we looped around the village and retraced our steps where the first photo was taken at the beginning of this blog.

We then basically retraced our steps all the way back to Southbourne and yet another pub where we parked up and relaxed for a few hours. Live music, a raffle (where I won a poker game prize) and food was all laid on for us.

A brilliant end to the day.

We both agreed that it was one of the best days we have ever had. The atmosphere was amazing, we both had massive grins on our faces and to top it all I managed to raise £150.00 for the charities involved.

A fantastic day out. We will be definitely signing up for next years event, this is one not to be missed!

The journey continues...............

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

West Country Mini Adventure On The Ural 750cc Dalesman

Three days off and I thought it about time I took the Ural out on a camping trip.

I'd been flat out at work so had not had any time to prepare for the trip other than book a camp site.

I decided early on that I did not want to travel more than a couple of hours away from from home, so this helped narrow down where I would go.

In the end I went for Somerset and based myself just outside of Cheddar Gorge.

The campsite was called Petruth Paddocks, a large site with a laid back atmosphere. More about this later!

For this trip I'm using the Vango Banshee 200 tent, tried and tested. I could of gone for the bigger tent as space/weight is not so much of an issue for solo travel now I'm on the Ural, but if the wind got up the larger tent would be a bugger to put up or take down on my own.

After what seemed an age of packing and loading I finally got away at 1045 and headed for Somerset Levels.

First stop was Wingreen Hill which has spectacular views towards my beloved Shaston, quick brew from my flask of coffee and I was off again. 

I couldn't resist a drive up Shaston High Street with the Ural. At the top of the town by the Ship Inn there are road works at present and a clearly marked one way system in place. Here I met a girl driving towards me! I got through but the van behind me was having none of it. Stupid girl!

Through Gillingham, and on out through Castle Carey and towards Glastonbury. I tried to park in the High Street but couldn't find a spot so went to the nearest car park, but with a few undesirables wandering around I gave up. Shame as I was looking forward to a wander around the town.

With all my gear on the bike I suspect the temptation may of been just a bit too much for a few light fingered hippy's!

I did stop at Tesco's to buy lunch and a couple of things I'd forgotten such as olive oil and pepper.

From here it was only a short ride to my campsite just outside of the village of Cheddar.

I found the site easy enough, and checked in with no problems. It was several large fields separated by hedges.

I had reserved a pitch with electric, but arriving early on I had a choice of where I wanted to go. Well, to be honest I was limited by the length of my hook-up cable. 15 metres does not get you that far.

There were only two hook-up points, both either side of a hedge. I chose to take the pitch the furthest away from the loo's I didn't fancy every one walking through my pitch to get to them. However this was the wrong choice in the end!

 It was Friday night and slowly the camp site began to fill, all though there was masses and masses of space.

It did not take me long to set up and a brew brewing! The tent takes just minutes to pitch.

On the way over I had spotted a place called "The Cider Barn" so once I had squared everything away, I rode back to see if I could get some proper cider!

I ended up with 4 pints of Riche's Cider at 6%. Easy drinking but gave me wicked cider burn.

I wasn't sure if I should drink it or run the Ural on it!

I headed back towards the campsite, but as it was still fairly early decided to take a ride up the Gorge. Not many folk about so had a clean run up and down. I then headed back to the site to chill.

The site was filling up slowly, but no way overcrowded and I spent a couple of hours or so just watching the others set up. One young couple clearly had never camped before and were really struggling erecting their tent with a lot of arm waving and stamping of feet.

Later that evening I cooked ribeye steak, I sauteed potatoes and heated some peas. On the steak I had a mustard and cracked pepper home made rub. It was amazing.

I sent Kiera a picture of myself and said I looked like a hobo with my beard being a bit wild after riding all day with an open face helmet.

Looking like this the couple to my left brought me over a couple of beers, which I gratefully received and then 10 minutes later the young couple to my right brought me over some incinerated chicken which I politely declined. He looked a bit crest fallen when I explained what I had only just cooked!

Made me chuckle!

Watching the sunset is a great way to relax.

I made a hot chocolate and I was in my maggot by 2130hrs, falling asleep more or less straight away.

The downside to this was waking at just after midnight needing a wee!

Then again at 0430hrs! However, there was a full moon and with the mist across the field it was worth waking up to see.

0830hrs and I was up, the sun shining and a brew on.

I had managed to forget my towel, using a tea towel to dry my ample self off would of been a bit of a challenge so my first task was to call  into the supermarket. I'd seen a sign saying new superstore yesterday so this would be my first port of call.

How wrong can one be!  Superstore my arse! I've been in bigger corner shops! All I could find was napkins or kitchen roll. And so the hunt begins.

Looking on the map I decided to head for the coast and a place called Brean, it looked like it would have beaches and with that fine views. But first a few detours.

I set my GoPro camera up and went up and down the Gorge filming as I went. I mounted the camera on the nose of the side car so the view you see is the same as if you are sat in the chair.

Filled up with fuel and went to find Cheddar Reservoir, it took a bit of finding! I didn't stop as I couldn't find anywhere to park. 

Seeing the sign for Axbridge I pulled off the main road and into the town. Axbridge dates back to the medieval times and has a quaint square at the heart of the village. A couple of pubs/hotels a coffee shop and a corner shop and that's your lot. But worth a visit.

Onwards now to Brean! Well, what can I say?!

A Chav's paradise! Not what I was expecting at all - I went right to the very end of the road, hoping it would get better, but once again I was stumped for parking!

They would not let me onto the beach to park, the one time that riding a motorbike has gone against me.

Tacky is the only way to accurately describe Brean. Such a shame as I was expecting to find peace and tranquillity for a couple of hours.

It was full of static holiday homes, theme parks, amusement arcades and pubs catering for the egg and chip brigade.

For the life of me I really do not see the attraction for such a place, yet it was heaving with folk!

Heading back towards Burnham on Sea I realised I was going past the area where I had bought "Lucille" my Honda C90.

I turned around and went in search of the house. I had bought it from an old boy who was mad on motorbikes. His house was full of trophies he had won years ago. He was heavily involved in the scrambling scene.

I wasn't sure if he still lived here or even alive! I found the house, knocked on the door and he answered! We had a good chat and he was clearly pleased that I had turned up and that his C90 was still in safe hands. It also made me feel extremely good.

Sadly though he has be diagnosed with Parkinsons.

Into Burnham and along the sea front which had a much better look to it. The town itself was a little run down, but the views across the water were good. I say water, sand really as the tide was out!

Here I got chatting to an old boy who was also a keen motorcyclist, he was intrigued by the Ural.

I do enjoy chatting to these old boys about the bike and their old bikes, it's like a fire is lit in their eyes as soon as they start remembering their bikes and what they used to get up to.

It was here in Burnham I finally found a towel!

Heading back towards Cheddar via Wedmore I was starving, so decided to go to Cheddar Gorge once more and buy some Cheddar Cheese and eat it in the Gorge! Had to be done really! Along with some lush chutney, crusty bread, ham, salami and tomatoes still on the vine I feasted as I watched the countless bikers, boy racers and cyclists go up and down the Gorge

One thing did wind me up, and this was watching the cyclists. It's obviously a steep climb in places and they have to go slow as it's hard work cycling up the hill, so why not stay in single file instead of 3 or 6 abreast making cars coming down the hill swerve to avoid you!?

let alone the cars, coaches and motorbikes struggling to overtake you. Rant over.

I went back to the campsite and to my surprise find a VW camper parked right next to my tent!. The pitches are clearly marked so either the couple thought they could intimidate me and I would not say a word, or they were half wits.

One thing for sure is that they were not expecting a big fat hairy biker to turn up. I growled as I pulled up and I have never seen a pair pack and scoot off as quickly as they did.

Opposite me a party of chav's had set up. Music blaring, loads of shouting and the language was terrible.

I swear, in fact I swear a lot. I'm ex forces where the "F" word was used as a term of endearment, but one thing I do is kerb it in front of kids. I must say their kids were better behaved than they were. 

After 2300hrs the wardens had to come and tell them to turn off the music, which they complained about, but still carried on singing and shouting till the early hours.

Then at 0730 they were up and the music was back on again! 

No consideration for others what so ever, sad really.

As I was awake, brew on, and started to pack up my gear. It didn't take long. Yet again I packed too much clothes. I never wore half of it, in fact apart from clean underwear I stayed in the same gear!

I didn't really have a plan for heading home, but I did want to see Wells Cathedral.

As I dropped down the hill, which is a very long hill, I was greeted with an amazing view across the valley towards Glastonbury. You can just make out Glastonbury Tor if you look closely enough.

Wells Cathedral is amazing, I could of spent ages looking at all the stone carvings, there are just so many to look at. I did not go into town, I will save that for another day when Kiera is with me.

From here I headed through the lanes and picked up a sign for King Alfred's tower, a folly built as a grand and final gesture by the same man who built Stour Head gardens and it's many folly's. An imposing tower, which to be honest gives me the creeps!

I didn't hang around here at all. Not sure what it is about the place, just sense a bad feeling about the place.

Just outside of Shaftesbury is a set of hairpin bends called Zig Zag hill. I wanted to capture this hill with my GoPro. Set it up, hit record, and went up and down the hill. It wasn't till later that I discovered for some strange reason that it had not recorded!

Always another day!

And then I was home. 232 miles completed, not a massive amount of miles by my standards, but I really did enjoy my time on the Ural. Such a fun bike to ride.

The journey continues...........