We're now in Bishop's Stortford, at the summit of the navigable part of the River Stort. Barry and Tom travelled with Pete to Roydon on Sunday, where I returned to the boat last night.
Sunday 5 September
Our niece Vicki and her partner Phil (and his parents), along with their daughter Ria-May, arrived in Paignton on holiday for a week yesterday, so we arranged to spend the day by the seaside with them. It wasn't the best weather in the morning, but thankfully brightened up after lunch.
An interesting arrangement of water points for the apartment block they were staying in - imagine what the pipework beneath this must look like!!!
Ria-May wasn't interested in the other conversation going on, just the funny looking photographer
Once we found the apartment where they were staying, we all walked to Paignton along the scenic cliff path, surrounded by vibrant, red, volcanic rock and an eclectic mix of beach huts and houses ...
A lonely wait
The red soil around here is the very old dust and fallout washed down from the when the moors were volcanic, approximately 280 million years ago
All shapes, sizes and colours of abodes
Our first stop was to buy lunch and eat our fish and chips by the sea front, though Barry and I only had chips and curry sauce. I love to eat them out of the paper, dipping the chips into the curry sauce, and once we'd eaten them all I re-wrapped the paper. It had what appeared to be curry sauce on outside of the paper, and I licked my fingers where it'd smudged on them, realising too late it was seagull pooh that must've been on the concrete where we were sitting, masquerading as curry sauce! Yuck! I immediately spat out the offending particles and quickly asked Harry for his water bottle, washed my mouth out a number of times and spat again. It certainly amused everyone in the vicinity, including an elderly lady in a wheelchair who found it terribly amusing, bless her!
Fish 'n chips at the seaside - the best place to have them - beware of curry sauce though, it may come from above!
A typical seaside scene
Recovering swiftly from my stomach turning experience, we headed for the Pier and the penny arcade - always a fun way to spend an hour or so. You don't need much money, just change for a couple of pounds; you know you're not going to win anything or what you do you put back! It's the suspense of watching the two pence's teetering on the edge and occasionally all falling down into the tray below, that's somehow very addictive and so typical of a British seaside town.
After such frivolity we had another stroll then a Devonian cream tea - a pot of tea each, a scone, clotted cream and jam - deliciously decadent and of course it'll go straight to the hips!
Sandra, Ray, Harry, Viv, Phil and Vicki on the pier Sandra holding Ria-May very tightly
Pastel coloured frontages adorn the area - picture-perfect
Phil, Vicki, Sandra, Viv, Ria-May, Ray and Harry before leaving Paignton
Our return journey took a de-tour through Totness, where Ray lives. It was a shame we didn't have longer to look around as it seemed such a charming place, but Ray was working at 0200hrs on Monday morning so we needed to get back to Exeter so he could get some sleep. The weather had taken another turn for the worst and was clouding over, so sadly it wasn't the best light for photos, but Barry still managed to capture some of the essence of the town ...
The attractive Eastgate in the centre of Totnes, and moored boats line-up as if standing to attention on the River Dart
We had a fairly quiet evening, ready to return to Northern Pride on Monday lunchtime following a quick look around Exeter.