It’s a dog’s life on the Levels.

So we (LWD and I) continue to investigate our new surrounding in terms of finding suitable off lead dog walking, and I have to report that we are a little overawed by the amount of choice. We have trekked several routes along or near the banks of the R. Parrett, we’ve found a route into town by going around it, and a route on the disused rail line to Yeovil, not that we’ve gone quite that far yet, we stopped at the medieval abbey at Muchelney.

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We’ve discovered The Hanging Chapel in Langport, a 15th century chapel built on top of a 13th century archway at the eastern entrance to the old town. It was a fairly common practice in the middle ages to have a chapel at the entrance of a town so that merchants and other travellers could give thanks for a safe arrival or pray for a safe journey on leaving. It is a Grade 1 listed building and a scheduled ancient monument. The chapel is still in use today as a Masonic lodge.

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East view

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West view

Today we climbed the steep banks of the highest hill in this neck of the woods.

Burrow Mump is a 79 ft high tor standing near the confluence of the River Tone and the old course of the River Cary, joining the River Parrett at Burrowbridge, surrounded by the low lying land, maximum 25ft above sea level, of the South Somerset Levels. Thought by some to have been used by King Alfred, he who according to legend let the cakes burn whilst on watch for Danish marauders, as a lookout point across the levels. Today the views from the top are 360° of drained farmland, in Alfred’s time the views would have been of swampy marshes. A medieval church was built on the hill in the 15th century. The current ruined church on top of the hill was built in 1793. The land and ruin were donated to the National Trust in 1946 as a war memorial to the men of Somerset.

 

All that and I haven’t even had to unpack the wellies – yet …

🙂 🙂 🙂

A social life

We’ve moved. We were in the way on pitch 302 at Camping Tourismo, Espiche – someone had booked it from Jan 21st so we had to go. We moved somewhat reluctantly, Espiche being one of the best sites we’ve ever been on – location 10/10, cleanliness 10/10, efficiency of staff 10/10, friendliness of staff 10/10, amenities 10/10, bar and restaurant 10/10, wi-fi  (   s    l    o    w    ) alone let it down … The dreaded morning of 21/07/2016 arrived, I asked reception to arrange our unhook-up, locked cupboards, put away all moveables and, tears in our eyes, we left.

After a 60 second drive we arrived at pitch 615. Hmm – less trees, great for claustrophobics and sun worshippers, and as for the neighbours … within 30 minutes we had been invited out for a beer at 5.30 pm. What could I do? It would’ve been churlish to refuse. Since then it’s been non-stop socialising – fish and chip night + booze , dog-walking on the beach + beer in the bar, raclette meal at T&D’s + booze, and an invitation to a wedding (hopefully + booze). We have a three course meal planned for later in the week – first course at Ann and Bob’s, main course at mine and desert at Tina and Dave’s (+ booze of course!) and Ann, Tina and I have a Girlie Day Shopping planned. Sorry Bezzies I might not quite make it to Tarifa … well all right I will, but I’ll probably be back here next January – just to see if these over wintering folk are as nice as I think they are (+ booze of course).

Without the hire car Daize and I are doing much walking – along the coast path (8k) to Bergau (very reminiscent of the South West Coast Path in Cornwall and Devon) and into Espiche village, both typical Portuguese villages, and out into the countryside locally. Daize is doing very well off lead and (mostly) recalling well, she does excel when I call her back because of the (occasional) traffic. She has really bonded with Linda and Trevor’s English springer Ruby, they’re wonderful together.

Views from our walks

Linda and Trevor are getting married in September and I’m honoured to have been invited – oh dear, how sad, I’ll have to get a new outfit …

🙂 🙂 🙂