The pedalling photographer

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Brompton Cycle Tour Days 6–7

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Days 6–7

Unable to believe the weather forecast we were listening to, we peered out the tent this morning; there was not a cloud to be seen and it was HOT! Perhaps our luck had changed. Today, we were cycling back into Devizes in a hunt for the elusive gas canister. We asked a guy at Devizes Wharf, who directed us to a hardware-cum-ironmongers-cum-gardening-cum-bike-cum-outdoor store that stocked … Campingaz canisters only! Fortunately, the assistant had a rummage around and managed to come up with one screw-in gas canister, just what we needed!

That evening we wandered over to the pub and found the Holt Morris dancing group doing a display, and very good they were too. When they asked for volunteers to do a dance with them, Chris and I refrained from rushing forward and left it to a couple of other enthusiastic lambs to the slaughter. Much merriment was had at their expense!

Holt Morris

Holt Morris

Holt Morris musicians

Holt Morris musicians

Holt Morris dancers

Holt Morris dancers

The following morning, after a bacon and mushroom roll for brekky, we packed up and rejoined the canal. The bumpy towpath surface was made up for by the interesting stretch of the canal. There were a lot more boats and we passed pretty, flower-bedecked canal-side pubs. We came off the canal at Staverton to follow the country lanes to our campsite at South Wraxall. While stopped at a junction to look at the map, we could see a blue cap hovering just above the wall opposite us, and then a voice boomed out, ‘All roads lead to London!’ An old chap then poked his head above the wall and boomed out his catchphrase again! Fortunately, he was able to give us directions to our campsite, although, rather worryingly, his parting quip was that, yes, you’ve guessed, all roads led to London!

The Barge Inn, Kennet & Avon Canal

The Barge Inn, Kennet & Avon Canal

We found ourselves at an idyllic spot in the middle of nowhere, with basic facilities. This is going to be a nice and peaceful camp, we thought. Famous last words! When we were requested not to camp in the camping field as it was reserved for a large group of family, friends and accompanying hordes of children who were celebrating a 40th birthday, our hearts sank as we realized that it was not going to be quite the peaceful location we had thought. Then, we were told that there was a helipad just about 100 yards from our tent and a helicopter was due early evening and would be leaving later that same evening. The evening progresses thus: loud music, laughter and shouting from the 40th birthday party until about 2 am; group of lads on a stag do camp next to us, disappear down the pub, raucously return later only to get invited to the 40th birthday party (apparently there was plenty of beer left over but us oldies were tucked up in our tent so didn’t get an invite – were we jealous or what!), return to tent in even drunker state and then fight and bicker to get seven of them squeezed into a two-man tent. To cap it all, the helicopter takes off about 11.30. Have you ever been in your tent when a helicopter takes off, lights blazing, motor winding up, about 100 yards away? I’ll leave that to your imagination! Suffice to say, we were not happy!

Peaceful (eventually) campsite, South Wraxall

Peaceful (eventually) campsite, South Wraxall

Lunch break, Holt village green

Lunch break, Holt village green

Author: Mike McEnnerney Photographer PhotoLink Images

I've had a passion for photography for as long as I can remember and have been running my own photographic business for many years (www.photolinkimages.co.uk). This also carries over into my personal interests: I love the great outdoors and enjoy nothing better than to be outside taking photos and combining this with my hobbies of cycle touring, camping, backpacking, canoeing and just being out in the wilds, or as the Australians say "beyond the black stump" farther into the outback than the city lights.

2 thoughts on “Brompton Cycle Tour Days 6–7

  1. Great Blog Mike – that campsite sounds like my worst nightmare!! Have you ever thought about going down the trangia route? Far easier than sourcing particular canisters.

    • Thanks, Pete. Fortunately the campsite quietened down and became the idyllic site we had hoped it would be (wait till you see the video I’m working on!). Chris says that you obviously don’t know about my cooker fetish, as I have many to my name, even a Trangia. Hope you had a good time in France and look forward to reading your blog about it ;0)

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