Sunday, 22 September 2013

Pick up and first trip - Day 2

Monty the motorhome is sitting at Slapton Sands Camping & Caravanning Site looking out to sea - well he has to peer over a caravan and hedge, but the English Channel is well in sight.

Our first night passed without mishap and we have only had to phone Murvi HQ twice. First time to find out how the front seats swivelled and then to report a faulty air conditioning switch - it just stays on permanently. Initially we were directed to the Fiat dealer in Plymouth, but then after some consideration we were asked to return to HQ. So back we went and after a guy with a screwdriver did something it was all fixed.

Then back to the Devon roads. Boy are the main roads narrow in places. Monty got quite a tickling from the hedgerows, but nothing serious. Arrived at the site to find it quite full, which was a surprise as it is well out of holiday season now. However it is a Friday, with good weather forecast for the weekend.

Our site is under some trees, and even with the levelling ramps we are sloping slightly. However we are very close to the washblock, so Ruth is happy.

After a quick cup of tea we wandered off to the village of Slapton. Picture postcard beautiful, with narrow lanes, whitewashed thatched cottages, gardens full of colour, a C13th church and a C14th chantry tower. 
The village sits a quarter of a mile from the beach, which is the famous Slapton Sands, though for sands read shingle. This is one of those beaches where longshore drift has raised a bar of shingle that cuts off a lake behind it (the Ley). It is the largest freshwater ley in southern England and an important migratory stop for birds, with a ringing station by the marshes. A quick bit of history - the beach was used to train for amphibious landings in preparation for the Normandy landings in the Second World War - all the surrounding villages were cleared of their residents and the area filled with American military. There is a monument to it all on the beach, but sadly it doesn’t mention the loss of lives that those troops endured during this training.

We rounded the day off with a meal at The Queens Arms in Slapton. Fish lasagne for Ruth and breaded fish for me, followed by rich ginger pudding and clotted cream for both of us. Plenty of calories, which hit the mark for me at least, nice tasting, but unremarkable, so no photos. The pub also served some real ales and I tried a local brew - Otter Ale. The bitter was good, but the Otter bright was even better.

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