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Travelogue

28th May 2011 - 12th June 2011

Shropshire
Saturday 28th May 2011
Ryton Farm CL, Condover, near Shrewsbury, 52 38 01 N, 02 44 74 W, (56 Miles).

We had everything organised yesterday to leave Gwern-y-Bwlch early as we wanted to arrive at Ryton Farm before qualifying started for the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, we were at Tesco in Newtown at 9:30 am! A perfect place to top up with our now severely depleted larder with a very large car park on the main road through the town and within 45 minutes we were once again “on the road”. Within about 20 miles we left Wales and entered Shropshire, then about 5 miles further at Churchstoke we again entered Shropshire??????? (Looked on a map later, very confusing!). Perfect timing we arrived at Ryton at 11.35 am (qualifying started at 12:10 pm) and parked on the same pitch as when we stayed here last year. After an “interesting” qualifying session we walked along the lanes to the farm complex to pay for a week’s stay with fishing and collect the padlock key for the electric power switch.

Sunday 29th May 2011
A lazy day, watched the Monaco Grand Prix.

Monday 30th May 2011
A very wet morning, but it gave me the opportunity to wash the van in between the heavier bursts of rain and the rain “rinsed” the suds off, as the weather improved towards lunch time I then managed to leather it dry. I then spent the afternoon fishing, whilst Jenny stayed at the motorhome reading and knitting, plus bringing me a nice cup of tea and a piece of freshly made Ginger cake to my fishing spot.

Tuesday 31st May 2011
Our daughter Rhiain had checked on the internet to find where PC World was in Shrewsbury, to hopefully fix the problem with the laptop, surprisingly there wasn’t one, the nearest one being in Telford. We therefore thought we would catch the bus into Shrewsbury and hopefully locate a computer repair shop. We decided to catch the No 835 bus which stops (by waving your hand) at the top of the lane, however we misjudged the time it took to walk and were at the “top road” 20 minutes too early, rather than stand waiting we walked along the road and waited along a straight stretch of road where the driver could easily see us. Right on time the bus arrived and within 25 minutes we were in Shrewsbury town centre. An obvious place to ask about computer repairs was at Maplins and what a good choice, explaining our problem to a very helpful sales assistant he told us that one of his colleagues repaired computers as “another business” and would be back in about 45 minutes. Café Nero was the place to wait (where else) and we enjoyed a mug of Coffee Latte before returning to Maplins. Sure enough “Dan” was back and after once again explaining the problem, he was sure he could fix the fault and we could collect the laptop tomorrow, unfortunately he told us that not all the programs and files could be recovered, luckily I take a back-up to an external drive and although not completely up to date we would at least have most of the information we required. After leaving Maplins we did some shopping before having lunch at “The Town Fryer” the fish and chip shop we went to last year, amazingly the owner recognised us and greeted us like long lost family and we thoroughly enjoyed Haddock and Chips, the large Haddock (like our last visit) hanging off each side of the plate! After further “window shopping” we walked to the bus station to get the bus back to Condover, the driver (the same one as this morning) this time dropping us off at the top of the lane, we then just had the 15 minute walk down the quiet lane to the camp site. Not needing dinner tonight after a large lunch I fished until 8:30 pm at my favourite spot on the “Hugh’s” pool.

Wednesday 1st June 2011
Caught the bus once again this morning at the top of the lane to Shrewsbury, we judged the 15 minute walk correctly and only had to wait for the bus to arrive for 5 minutes. Different bus, same annoying squeaks, must be a built in design fault! It was actually Dan’s day off but he arranged to meet us anyway at Maplins and we arrived about 10 minutes before him. He had managed to repair the laptop and also save the majority of the files, (including all the photos), although some of the programs were missing. Leaving Maplins, we stopped for a Coffee and Danish Pastry in the shopping precinct before catching the bus back to Condover. After spending some time on the laptop, sorting out some of the files and having lunch, I spent the rest of the afternoon fishing until early evening.

Thursday 2nd June 2011
A relaxed day.

Friday 3rd June 2011
* * * A Very Happy Birthday to my brother Brian * * *
* * * Get Well Soon to Nephew Ian after his Motorbike Accident. * * *

We decided this morning to spend some time once again in Shrewsbury, so at 11:12 am we caught the bus into the town, from the top of the lane. The bus stopped in Shrewsbury close to the square, where the local Friday Farmers Market was being held. After free sampling’s of various cheeses, pies and ciders, we bought some freshly churned farm butter, a cottage loaf and some fruit loaf. We would have bought some of the cider, but the man only offered me a sampling of the various tastings and ignored Jenny and I didn’t like that, especially as Jenny likes cider, I think I annoyed him when I passed some of the sampling cups to her! Needing some fishing tackle we went to catch the “Park n’ Ride” bus to Tesco, Total Angling Centre is on the trading estate just behind the superstore. Now here’s a funny thing. Our free passes cannot be used on the park and ride (we could use them last year) and it is £1.60 each return from Tesco to Shrewsbury, but if you don’t have a car OR use the bus from Shrewsbury to Tesco it is £3.20 return! Evidently it is to encourage car owners to use the park and ride not “walkers”. Solution? Walk 100 yards to the bus station and catch a “local bus” to Tesco and use our free passes and there was even a bus waiting for us when we got there. Confusing on the way back though, we couldn’t find the return bus stop, however we enquired of a young couple who explained it went down a parallel street on its return journey and after finding the bus stop we returned to the town centre. Just in time for lunch at ??????? You’ve guessed “The Town Fryer”, this time I had Donna Kebab, whilst Jenny enjoyed Scampi, there is nothing “posh” about this fish restaurant but it is clean and tidy, i.e. the tables are always wiped down each time a customer leaves, not just with a cloth but with a cleaning spray and the service is also first class. After a further “window shop” we caught the late afternoon bus back to Condover.

Saturday 4th June 2011
This morning we walked down to the farm, we have decided to stay an extra week at Ryton, same as last year we book for a short stay and stay longer, but with the peace and quiet, good views and excellent fishing this is the type of place we love to stay at. We spent the hot afternoon fishing at least I fished, Jenny sat underneath the umbrella close by reading and listening to music, with Marguerites one side of her and Yellow Irises the other, a thorn between two roses? Slap, ouch that hurt! Unfortunately late afternoon (as promised by the Met’ Office) it clouded over and started to rain so we returned to the motorhome.

Sunday 5th June 2011
Another wet day, although I did fish in the afternoon.

Monday 6th June 2011
A pleasant walk today to the village shop at Dorrington on the main road about 2½ miles away as we needed some milk. On the way back we stopped in at the farm office to collect the post that Rhiain had sent us, including the CD for my Adobe Elements computer programme. At last I will be able re-catalogue the photos back into Elements and edit the photos I have taken recently. Problem when we got back, the laptop would not read the Elements CD (nor any other CD) back to the drawing board!

Tuesday 7th June 2011
A relaxed day. At least I sorted the laptop out, I took a chance and cleaned the DVD/CD writer with the camera lens cleaner. I was most surprised, it worked!

Wednesday 8th June 2011
A day out today to Ludlow catching the No 435 bus at top of the lane at 11:10 am, we are certainly getting our “monies worth” out of our free bus passes as the cost of the fare would normally be £3.00 one way. It was like a “mystery tour” turning off the main A49 down narrow lanes to small villages that we have never heard of or obviously been to before, the funny thing was nobody boarded the bus at any of the villages on the hour long journey. Alighting at Ludlow we walked towards the castle, along the castle walks and down to Dinham Bridge over the River Teme, unfortunately from the bridge there isn’t a clear view to take photograph of the castle and as it started to rain and rumble with thunder, we beat a hasty retreat back to the town and the shelter of the Information Centre. While we were there we enquired on the return bus times back to Condover evidently the bus departed from outside the “Assembly Rooms”, we then asked the rather unhelpful assistant “where are the Assembly Rooms”? She answered (without a smile), “You are standing in them”, well we thought it was funny! By the time we had enjoyed lunch, a “Steakwich with chips and salad the weather had improved so we once again walked down to the River Teme and after taking some photographs (by climbing over a fence into a field) of the castle and showing Jenny where I camped when canoeing the river when I was lad of 17, we continued our walk along picturesque Whitecliffe a riverside path which goes between the two River Teme town bridges. Walking back up to the town we “window shopped” for a time, had a Latte and Muffin at Costa Coffee, before catching the 3:50 pm bus back to Condover.

Thursday 9th June 2011
A relaxed day. Saw something really amusing tonight, a young Rabbit, being chased by a Stoat, being chased by a Crow on the grass near the motorhome. They all survived to fight another day. It was so funny!

Friday 10th June 2011
* * * A Very Happy Birthday to our wonderful Grandson Charlie * * *

Caught up with a few cleaning and tidying chores on the motorhome, fished and relaxed.

Saturday 11th June 2011
Cathedral Grange Camping and Caravan Park, Lichfield, 52 41 86 N, 01 50 57 W, (52 Miles).

First stop this morning and almost on our way was “Toys R’ Us” to collect Charlie’s Birthday present, the store is only about ½ mile from the A5 and the parking was very easy, in fact at 10:00 am we had the large car Park almost to ourselves. As Sainsbury’s was only 100 metres away, we left the motorhome in the car park and walked over to purchase a few groceries for the next few days, came out with 5 bags full! We were at Lichfield by lunchtime and found a hardstanding pitch available, not on the “prettier” part of the camp site, but we are only staying here for the weekend so it doesn’t really matter. After lunch we walked down to Lichfield intending to go to the bank, unfortunately they were closed, (Jenny thought they were open until 4:00pm) the walk was not wasted though, we went to the library for a reference book on Word 2007, the previous version we had on the lap top before our problem was Word (and Excel) 2002, obviously a great deal has changed since then and we both want to understand the new functions on the later Microsoft program that Dan installed. Perfect timing back in time for final practice for the Canadian F1 Grand Prix, before qualifying 2 hours later, no guesses what I shall be doing tomorrow.

Sunday 12th June 2011
A really wet morning and I had an appointment at Specsavers to see the Audiologist, getting soaked was inevitable as we walked into Lichfield from the camp site. After an important chat with Paul about this evenings Grand Prix, we got down to the mundane task of discussing my hearing and purchasing some filters and domes. Out of Specsavers and straight into Yeoman’s the camping shop for a(nother) pair of walking trousers, before walking back to “Cathedral Grange” Michael Sharon and Charlie arrived shortly afterwards, the first time we had seen them since February and we had a great afternoon with them. Marathon F1 session this evening started watching at 5:10 pm and because of rain interruption it finished at 10:20 pm and there was a fantastic win for our own Jenson Button, brilliant!