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Monday, 30 April 2012

Day 20 - Paignton to Fareham - Flood Meister's Day

Actual Miles Driven Today - 210

THE FLOOD MEISTER

 - Last nights storm and the foul weather that I would experience today caused me to choose this additional name for the Mog.

Eight Full Width Flooded Roads, 

Eight Half Width 

and Umpteen 'Across the Road' Rivers. 


The View from Portland Bill to Chesil Beach
These last three days of my trip should be some of the best as I will be re visiting some of my old Home Stomping Grounds from the 1970's. 

However, I find that, on the whole, it does not pay to predict enjoyment. yesterdays storm was still in full swing with high winds and lashing rain. 

Preparing for departure this morning meant stowing a soaking wet Rain cover back into it bag. The Mog underneath was still very wet from yesterday. 

Torbay is out there somewhere
The Weather Depression was forecast to remain today and sadly, for a change, they were right.

The weather inside of the hotel was poor as well as the rampaging of young farmers and late night door banging was only excelled by the fire alarm being set off at 5am on this 'Sunday' Morning.


I had arranged to meet with Talk Morgan friend John Hayes at 9.30 to drive with me for part of the way along my route on his way home to Buckinghamshire . 

Setting Off through Torquay with John leading the way along the coast road to Exeter.

 Crossing the Bridge at Teignmouth
Curving around the Pretty Gardens at Dawlish

John regularly visits his mother who lives in Paignton so we were able to arrange this day, only to have it spoiled by a Gale and Torrential Rain, which John had already experienced driving his two tone Morgan +4 on the way down.



We agreed that at Exeter we would go our separate ways after a quick photo visit to BerryBrook Morgan at Exminster. 

Unfortunately as it was a Sunday, they were closed.




My next call on the route was to the village of  Topsham and its Quay where there is large Antique Warehouse where I made a toilet stop. 

Topsham is a lovely spot normally located on the River Exe.

Topsham Quay

The Antique Warehouse

Just one of the four floors full of Antques

I next pulled into the gateway of the Royal Marine Barracks at Lympstone to ask if I could take another photo against the Camp Name Badge.

 Again it was fine to do this as long as I did not photograph the base itself. 

The security officer apologised that 'they' had changed from the original ornate badge to the simpler one in the photo.

Royal Marine Barracks Lympstone Main Gate.

At my next stop, Exmouth River Front, I was amazed to see the River Trips boat setting off with a few hardy customers. I suppose when it is your business and livelihood, as long as there are holidaymakers who want to go out with you, then you go in all weathers?


A very wet Young Lady Jogger passed by and I said to her that she could have chosen a better day. 
Jogging On.

She told me that she had run all the way from Exeter and still had 20 miles to go on the return loop.

Exmouth Sea Front

We had holidayed here and stayed in the once Imperial Hotel which sits just behind the magnificent Clock Tower.


I drove on along the coast road to lovely Budleigh Salterton and then on to Burrow, Otterton and then Sidmouth. 

People who live there in Budleigh, are said to be a little aloof but unlike Exmouth it has only a pebble beach. 

The onward journey involved some Single Track Lanes which were empty of other cars and fortunately were only just creating small streams. 

It was along here that I would meet some of the Road floods. The fear of stalling deterred me from trying to take photos as the wash would rise up over the bonnet and in one case, right over the hood.

When I think back I am still amazed that the Mog got through them all and no water entered the cab.

Through Budleigh Salterton
The Beach Side road

One of the wet roads
At the top of the hill which runs down into Seaton, there was a large branch which had fallen with its trunk facing along the road so I was able to squeeze through.


With water running off of these steep hills it is no wonder the valley villages get flooded. The run down into Seaton is very steep and a long road. You need good brakes around these places.

The Hill Road down into to Seaton 
On next to Beer and then Axminster

Beer Main Road
Going the wrong way into Axminster.

Back out of Axminster and on into Dorset and another steep decline into Lyme Regis

Another Steep Hill into Lyme Regis



In through the narrow streets of Lyme Regis
I was now heading for new driving territory for me. Chesil Bank and Portland Bill needed investigation as I had never been to either of them before.

Chesil Bank in the mist.
On the way I noticed a sign for the Swannery at Abbotsbury. Having read about the good work they do there protecting the swans, I decided that it was essential to go there as there would also probably be food and toilets on offer.

Abbotsbury Village
The Swannery Entrance.
I first made a visit to the cafeteria below, where I realised I was the only customer. Well not quite.

I began a conversation with a lady, also from Buckinghamshire, who had adopted two of the swans in memory of her husband. and was making one of her frequent visits to help feed the swans. 

The time spent in conversation resulted in my soup going cold and having to take my Carrot Cake with me to eat later. 

It was never my plan to go swan watching in the downpour outside.


The Cafeteria
The Island of Portland was my next call needing to run to the top of the hill and back.

Crossing the Causeway to Portland
The view from the Top and the Old Fortifications below.



Chesil Beach in all its splendour

The Mog at the Top

After a bit of juggling with the one way system there, I finally found the beach road at Weymouth, famous for the Beach Sand Sculptures. Not today though.

Weymouth Beach

In order to get to Swanage and Bournemouth there are a few choices of road to use. 

As it was Sunday I was certain that the Gunnery Range Roads at Lulworth Camp would be open to allow crossing so I headed for West Lulworth where I  would first visit the Lulworth Camp for a photograph with the tanks. 
At Lulworth Ranges Camp

Tanks on Show outside on the Green

The Range Roads were fairly clear as I headed for the village of Corfe of 'Castle' fame before heading for the Ferry to Sandbanks on the Bournemouth side of Poole Harbour, where the most expensive properties in the UK are located.

Corfe Castle
Waiting in the Queue for the Ferry at Studland Bay to Poole & Sandbanks.
Boarding the Sandbanks Ferry
Harry Redknapp's House is in the mist to the left across Pool Harbour in the distance.

 Though Bournemouth along the Beach Road

The Avonmouth Hotel, Mudeford. Another of our past holiday venues.
The journey now took me through Bournemouth, Christchurch and Lymington before crossing the New Forest to Beaulieu where I always stop at the Classic Car Garage opposite Lord Montague's Palace House.


At the Beaulieu Garage


Beaulieu Palace House under the Hood.

Southamptons Royal Pier Head



I now had the long run through the forest roads until I reached Southampton where i new that the road layouts would confuse me.


Never fear, I sailed through the docks roads and back out again heading for my overnight stay at Fareham and a visit to see my Sister and family.

Another Fine Building near the Cunard Docks now a casino.
I finally arrived at my Sisters house for a welcome cup of tea before finding my Hotel B&B for the night. I was looking forward to a good rest now to be ready for the run to Dover in the morning

Nephew Paul's daughter Amey trying out the Mog 




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