On our last day at Wareham we went to visit friends Baz and Claire. They only live about half hour away so was nice as we were so close to go around to see them for a cuppa tea and a biscuit, and cake in this instance. Well done Claire. One of the travellers had left just before us, all the others were due to leave that morning. When we got back in the afternoon they had all gone. I checked over the camper, wheels, engine, lights etc. Yep all still there.
Don’t get me wrong on the traveller front. Proper gypsies and travellers I have all the time in the world for, after all I am a traveller myself in a sense. I have had conversations with old gypsies about there lives and family’s. It’s just some of the modern travellers just give them all a bad name.
We left Wareham the next day and headed for Dulverton. We have stayed on the campsite a few times over the years. It’s a small campsite right in Dulverton village. Yes a village, so this means small town, yes a village, so that means small roads, narrow roads, yes. But we are 43ft long. Yes. But buses and lorries go there. Ok so when you come off the motorway and A roads, the last ten miles or so are a bit tricky in places, including a hump back bridge on a bend and a couple of other tight blind bends. We arrived safe and sound and in glorious sunshine although that last ten miles down the lanes was very wet with a few flooded bits because of all the rain we have had lately. The camper and the car were filthy.
While at Dulverton I wanted to get out on my bike and to get some photos of Tarr steps. Tarr steps on exmoor is a famous clapper bridge, spanning the river Barle. Clapper bridge comes from the Latin name Claperius which means pile of stones. No one knows how old the bridge is but folk say about 3000 years old. It’s the largest example of this kind. It has 17 spans and is 180ft long, and some of the stones are two tons each in weight.
The river was quiet high because we have had a lot of rain over the last week and in the past few years the bridge has had some serious damage in bad storms. You can actually drive through the river next to the bridge with normal river levels But you have to be brave, and have a four by four at this time of year. I have actually biked over it and next to it when I used to go up on exmoor mountain biking. This bike ride to get to it from the campsite was only six miles each way but I forgot how big some of the hills were.
We had friends Rod and Karen coming to visit for the weekend so before they got there we had to go and test the pubs beer and food out, just to make sure it was still as good as it’s always been. To be honest we went and tested it twice before they got there because, well just because we could and we really like the pub. The bridge inn at Dulverton does good beer and food, if ever your passing check it out. Shortly after Rod and Karen arrived we went down there for a couple of drinks and then round to the fish and chip shop for our tea. And the next day we had a table booked for a meal. They were both pleased we had spent the time and money to go and check it out for them. A good time was had by all. I also managed to get some night time photos.
Another nice surprise when we got to the campsite was that there was an event going on in the Sunday 1st December called Dulverton by starlight. This included a load of stalls selling home made things including food and crafts, the Morris dancers were out in force, jangling there bells and bashing there sticks at each other. Local brass band were playing. All the shops in the village were open and all decorated up for Xmas. At six pm there was a big firework display, which I must say was fantastic. And a local band in the main village square who played a good mix of songs.
The village atmosphere was fantastic and really busy.
We left Dulverton the next morning, after de icing the car. Heading for Barnstaple to get the camper and the car MOT done. The roads were still very wet and iced, so care was needed. We are now on a site in south molton. Another site we know well. We have a few things to do in the area and take Nikki’s mum out for lunch etc.