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November so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Owner: squiz

Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1814

6th September 2018
Mt. Biking:  Weybridge to Hampton Court and beyond.
Wind Direction:
Wind Stength:
Surf / Sea State:
Air Temperature:
Sea Temperature:
Weather: Sunny and hot :)
Max Speed: 14.63 (knots - unless stated otherwise)
Distance Covered: 20.50 mile (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)

Thursday 6th September ***** Weybridge to Hampton Court and beyond Ė sunny and hot:)

After three fantastic days looking after the lovely Grandson Arlo, he is just a dream with an ever-increasing vocabulary and he is absolutely sprinting from one end of the room to the other behind his walker, he is so close to walking unaided! We stayed a day extra at Sayers croft but when Rob finished work today at 4 we said our goodbyes, set the sat-nav for Tadworth 21 miles away to pick up yet another yellow F2 windsurfing board, a Ride 277 with bag bought off Ebay for the princely sum of £21:) We soon crossed the M25 and picked up the board but as the motorway was very busy we decided to park up for the night and headed back to Weybridge where we saw the Dunkirk boats on Sunday. We parked in the small carpark by the Thames that was full of Rolls Royce cars on Sunday, it was a tight fit getting under the height barrier but we made it, parking in the perfect spot in the corner! As we had been snacking on cheese and biscuits we decided to go for a walk along the river. In the end we did a couple of miles passing moored boats and loads of people rowing - Thursday must be practice night - and the large eight boats are always impressive. We even spotted a Kingfisher whizzing past always a pleasure:) On returning to the van the road was now nearly traffic free, there were several fishing into the night but we didnít hear them leave.
We had a really good night, just the faint sound of a nearby weir and planes leaving Heathrow, then at about 8.30 the Chelsea tractors arrived full of children with a nice uniform going to school, probably their first day back after the summer holidays! My original plan was to bike up river towards Windsor and save Hampton Court for another time later in the year but it was such a nice day and we were not sure the foot ferry was running so we decided to go down stream to investigate Hampton Court, a place I visited on a school trip when I was 11/12! The impressive Thames Path goes all the way to Central London which must be 30 miles from here. Setting off at 9.50 we had an easy to ride as the path is flat and wide. There were only a few others out, the odd bike, joggers and mums with buggies enjoying the wall to wall sunshine. The far bank had a wide variety of property from beach hut style places to more imposing structures. It was just a pleasure to see and makes a nice change from our usual canal bike rides. We saw several fishermen and a few boats mainly cruiser style but narrow boas too. There are a few new cuts which include a lock to get past drops in the river. We passed a large marina at Walton-on-Thames and came across two wardens hooking out swans by their neck to check their rings, braver men than me! The Thames meanders along then at East Molesey we have to cross over the Thames and enter Henry VIIIís magnificent Hampton Court and the great thing is you have to pay to get in the house, formal garden,maze,and magic garden but you could enter the grounds for close up views of the house and the beautiful kitchen garden for free:) We locked the bikes and spent an hour exploring on foot, first the rose garden, followed by a park full of squirrels and the odd parakeet which you could hear even if you didnít see them! After a visit to a top toilet we made it to Lion gate Across the road is the long straight road through Bushy Deer Park which we explored later on our bikes! Then with no packed lunch as we had no food left in the van we headed to the popular and posh tea room and really pushed the boat out, hit the emergency credit card and treated ourselves too two pieces of delicious chocolate cake with two coffees for £13.20 but it was very yummy and we sat in the garden watching the Jackdaws scavenging titbits from the tables! Refreshed we set off back to the bikes but found the best part, the Tudor Kitchen Garden bursting at the seams with fruit and veg! Mag chatted to a lovely old lady who had been in an horrendous accident 6 months ago! Back on the bikes we headed around the road and entered the Deer park which had recently been closed for deer culling:( It is a huge green space dissected by a long straight road with Lady Dianaís fountain in the middle! Nearing the far gate, we spot our first deer a large female who was not bothered when I biked over to take a picture. Then over by the wall there was an old stag with huge antlers in the shade of the trees who sat down, posed and barked loudly for us:) We asked a friendly lady which was the best way back to the Thames, she said we could go down to Teddington lock under a mile away but we spotted a large herd of deer and decided to stay in the park so we could get a close up of the many deer including several delightfully spotty young:) We left the park and found the Thames at Kingston upon Thames, a large meander lead us back to the gold gates of Hampton Court. Then all we had to do was bike the 6 miles back to the van as it started to cloud up. What a 5-star bike ride that was, out 4 hours 40 minutes covering 20.50 miles and we are keen to cycle to the Houses of Parliament, turning at Tower Bridge in the future! We found a tin of soup in the cupboard for lunch, relaxed for a bit before heading for home - a journey we were not looking forward to as it included the dreadful M25 and A12! The M25 was surprisingly good but the A12 was a stop/start nightmare, the highlight being when some aggressive dickhead threatened to give me a slap before gesturing out of his window at me!! We just hate travelling, odd really as we love being away in the van, we just hate being close to other people and busy roads! So a nice 5 nights away in the van, the forecast winds for Friday and the weekend seem to have dropped but I might get a sail at Levington tomorrow???

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Toys Used:
Cannondale Trail 5 29er



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