Friday, 30 January 2015

Lego Lost at Sea

One story that has really interested me recently is one of little pieces of Lego washing up all round the coast of (mostly) Cornwall and Devon.

Back in 1997 a container ship called the Tokio Express, on route from Rotterdam to New York was hit by a rogue wave about 20 miles off Land's End that rolled it 60 degrees one way and then 40 degrees the other. 
62 containers (you know the ones that are the size of a lorry?) fell off the ship into the sea.

One of these containers contained nearly 5 MILLION bits of Lego. It just happened to be a lot of sea adventure themed Lego as well!
Among the pieces were 418,000 swimming flippers, 97,500 scuba tanks, 26,600 life preservers, 13,000 spear guns, and 4,200 octopuses. Sea grass, cutlasses and dragons were also lost (source)

Since the accident, bits of Lego have been washing up all along the coastline and some pieces have been found as far away as America and the Netherlands.

You can follow their Facebook page set up by a lady called Tracey Williams who is a beachcomber who started to find the Lego washing up on her local beaches.
It seems from looking through the posts that finding an octopus or a dragon (especially a green one) is a real treasure!

I'll definitely be paying more attention when I'm walking on the beach from now on. How exciting to find a bit of Lego that has been floating around the ocean for nearly 20 years!

Westcountry Walkies - The Woods!

A nice change of walk for humans and dogs is going to the woods.

There are a couple of woods not too far away that we are able to walk in and the dogs really enjoy a change. 
The woods is definitely more of a sniffing (for the dogs obv... not me!) walk rather than a racing about walk although there is sometimes a good chase or a bit of hide and seek.

One of the woods is managed by The Woodland Trust and they have lots of places to walk and some are even horse friendly - winner!

The Woodland Trust wood nearby is not very old and when I was younger and the trees were only about 3 foot high, my friends and I used to jump them on our horses and make up little courses. Sadly the trees are much too big for jumping now but it is still a lovely place to be able to ride in.

There is a little woods right on the edge of our local town which is perfect for a quick walk if we're popping into town for some supplies anyway. It is quite steep so is good exercise and a lap of the woods takes about 20 minutes (or longer if every tree and leaf has to be sniffed by the dogs or we meet other people and dogs!)

The other woods we like to visit are in Plymouth. There's a really lovely (but busy) area near Plympton along the old railway line. The river runs through the woods so the dogs can play in the water as much as they like and have a really good tear about.

There is another wood near Plympton called Cann Woods which are very popular but are quite a trek from our house so I've only been there a couple of times.

Cann Woods

Cann Woods

Check out your local Woodland Trust sites and go and explore!


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A Stunning Weekend in Devonshire

Wasn't the weather at the weekend just amazing?

Now... You may or may not know that I go hunting. I'm not a savage and I'm definitely not a stuck up snob which hunters/horse riders are so often perceived as.

I'm not going to get into a debate about it as everyone is entitled to their opinions.

For me, I only go to be able to ride on land I would never normally be allowed to. The riding round here is not very good totally crap so it is nice to be able to have a blast on your horse and a great day out with your mates. 

This season, I have been out several times on Dartmoor with a different hunt and I'm loving it. I've only ridden on Dartmoor a couple of times before and it is the most beautiful place to be and seeing it from the back of a horse is really spectacular. 

I'd be too worried about going up there alone so going with people who know the lie of the land is great so I feel more confident about going up there in future.

I won't mention the time I got left behind and ended up in a bog.... ooops! 

Anyway... here's some pictures of my day on Saturday. I missed taking a picture of a really really stunning view as we were moving too quickly and there wasn't time to rummage about for my phone.

Dartmoor selfie!
Confused selfie...
I could see the sea all round from Torbay to Plymouth

On top of the world!

I accosted some walkers who had just hiked up here to get a photo of me and Fern with the view

Then on Sunday, we took the dogs to the beach and I just had to get a couple of photos from a viewpoint up on the coast path!

Burgh Island
Bantham Beach
It is weekends like this that make me feel so lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country!

What did you get up to at the weekend?


Saturday, 17 January 2015

Westcountry Walkies - The Beach!

The dogs' absolute favourite place to go for a walk is the beach. They run as fast as they possibly can, dibble about in rock pools and dig for treasure in the sand.

I think it must be the springiness of the sand that makes them love to run so much because they never go so fast on field walks!

Dogs are restricted on our local beach during the summer but in the winter, we're regular visitors!
There is a beach about 20 minutes drive away that dogs are allowed on all year round so we spend a lot of time there in the summer!

Both beaches are right on the South West Coast Path so if we ever fancy extending the walk or doing a different route, we can walk a bit of the coast path and usually loop back to the beach.

In the summer, Mother and I did some lovely evening walks down at Wonwell beach and even had a BBQ one evening. Loooovely!

I have been for a couple of walks with Michelle from Life Outside London and introduced her to the lovely Wonwell beach. Pete, Betty, Monty and Dixie have a lovely time racing about!

We're very lucky to have these wonderful spaces to use and enjoy.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Westcountry Walkies - The Coast Path!

The South West Coast Path is what is says on the tin... a path that runs the coast of the South West from Minehead in Somerset, all round the tip of the country and back up to Poole in Dorset. It is around 630 miles long.

There is a section near us that it absolutely stunning. You walk so close to the edge of the cliffs it's a little scary and I'm always keeping the dogs away from the edge!

Before we got the dogs, I had never walked much of the path and I popped up to Bolberry Down one day with the dogs and decided to follow the path to the right of the car park and wow... Stunning views and a lovely walk. 
There are often sheep grazing in the fields which means the dogs have to stay on their leads. I have been up a few times when there was no livestock and the dogs were able to have a good blast.

The path I took went round Bolt Tail (the left hand path goes to Bolt Head and Salcombe).

Looking towards Bolt Head and Salcombe
At first, you just walk a neat path round the edge of a field along the cliff top but for me, the best bit is going through a gate and beginning to head down the hill. You can see for miles. I'm fairly sure you can see parts of Cornwall on a clear day. 

Looking towards Bolt Tail and Cornwall!
The path leads down to the beautiful village of Hope Cove and it is just such a lovely walk. The views across the bay and Burgh Island etc. are just amazing.

Selfie with the hounds
I don't go all the way down to the village but I might do one day as there's a great place that does the best cream teas there - my only concern would be that I'd be too full to walk back up the hill!

I haven't been up there for months as it's always packed in the summer so it's definitely on my list to get back up there with my camera soon!


Friday, 9 January 2015

Westcountry Walkies - The War Horse House

It's January and life is back to normality now everyone is back and work and back into routine. I just need to get back in the habit of getting out of bed before 9am!

Over the Christmas holidays, we were able to take the dogs out for some lovely walks and they really enjoyed having lots of longer walks and going to places we haven't been for a while.

We have been to Dartmoor, the beach, the coast path and the woods.

When we went to Dartmoor, we chose a day when it was hail showers and pretty miserable! We drove to Sheepstor and walked to the house where they filmed War Horse. 

It's a lovely easy walk from the car park along the track they made to allow the lorries and film crew to get to the house. The track is not in very good condition now and has some sizeable holes and puddles!

The walk from the car park is about a mile and you can see the house come into view as you round a corner on the path. 
It doesn't look anything much but when you get up close, you can see the resemblance to the film.

As it was depicted in the film (source)
They had to restore the house back to how it looked originally when they had finished filming so it is just a deserted stone house with boarded up windows.

Dartmoor is very bleak on a dull day so the house looked very sad. It is fun imagining how it would have been when people lived there and farmed the land.

I have taken part in a couple of rides on Dartmoor past this house and there isn't another property for miles! It must have been very hard living and working there.

I took my new camera lens I got for Christmas out and got some nice pictures.

I've also included some other pictures from other times we've been up there either on horseback or with the dogs.