"When Piggies Fly" Part 3: An Autumn Coddiwomple

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Rhode trip, Jul 8, 2017.

  1. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    I'd like to try a Lumix especially for the 1 inch sensor. I am always reluctant to spend much on the p&s because I just don't seem to be able to hold onto them. Literally. I have been through a half dozen or so because I drop them so much.

    Ha, that would be great. Too bad Mrs. Trip can't be trained like that.

    Yes, that was interesting and unfortunate. When I googled it, I read of their financial woes, and they were working on a last minute buy-out by a Chinese travel company. I guess that fell through. An interesting note: The number of stranded travelers made it the biggest repatriation effort for England since Dunkirk!
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  2. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

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    I always see Mrs. Trip sitting on her bike not doing anything and thought she could do something useful.
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  3. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    :lol3 This conversation is going to end up on the super secret White House server.
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  4. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    Whoa.....

    :imaposer

    :bow
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  5. dc_ok

    dc_ok n00b

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    I have enjoyed your ride reports. A dummy question (me), have you tried setting the cameras time so they are synced,then putting all in the same folder and sorting by create/modified time?

    i appreciate all the time and effort you put in your pictures.

    Dwight
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  6. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, Dwight. That's a good suggestion syncing the two cameras....they definitely are not at this point....
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  7. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Sunday, October 7th.

    I love the smell of petrol in the morning....

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    Like most days, we'll be riding the hinterlands today, so we topped off the tanks when we had the chance.
    Then south-west-ish out of Stratford-upon-Avon.
    Rolling farmlands... here and there an open vista.

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    Its the Cotswolds, England's largest designated AONB: "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty"

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    The Cotswolds are known for their rolling hills and farmland. "wolds" is an Old English term for hills... where it gets it's name.

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    And its also known for it's buildings, built of 'Cotswold Stone'.
    Quarried from the local hills, the stone is a beautiful honey-golden color. Here's a farmhouse, set amongst it's fields.
    The stone buildings almost seem like amber with a warm glow under the leaden skies.

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    It's a beautiful thing.... a TW200 approaches warp speed.

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    Quick as a wink, and through another little village built in golden Cotswold stone....

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    And more farm fields, close mown for autumn and a long winter's nap.

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    Batsford Stud, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire. I don't know much about horses. So I was pretty surprised to find out that their stallions command "fees" of £1500 to £5,000
    for their services. With additional charges if your mare wants to sleep over rather than just getting a 'quickie'. Heck, I think the horse will do it for free!

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    A country crossroads.

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    Another little village, this one crossed by a shallow ford in the center of town.

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    Stow-on-the-Wold, a popular town for visitors, with cafes and B&Bs and lots of small shops.

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    Another village on a quiet Sunday.

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    Hmmm.... which way?

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    A grey heron wades into a languid river.

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    A "holloway" (or hollow-way) is a road with a surface lower than the land on either side. The word comes from the Old English, "hola weg" meaning a sunken road.
    These ancient byways have been worn down by centuries of rain, and by traffic... foot, hoof, and wagon since early days.

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    The Great Coxwell Tithe Barn is all that remains of a 13th century "Grange" or a farm owned by a monastery and operated for it's benefit. This huge barn was built around 1300 by the Beaulieu Abbey. William Morris, the architect and founder of the Arts and Crafts Movement of the late 19th century called it, "the most impressive building in England" and "as beautiful as a cathedral." It stands on the edge of the village of Great Coxwell.

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    Of course, we had to go see Great Coxwell's 12th century church as well...

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    Turn left, past Puddleduck lane....

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    ...and past Pear Tree Farm.

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    and up the path to the old church.

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    Its not all that old, but if you walk up further, through the cemetary,

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    you'll find the 12th century structure that still stands after 800 years.

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    We left Great Coxwell and rode on through more of the idyllic countryside. Soon, a tall line of hills rose up in front of us. And there, glistening from an upper slope, we saw
    The Uffington White Horse. This thing is amazing.

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    It's 360 feet long. To get a clear view, you need to see it from the air ( or steal a photo from the internet)

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    It's 3,000 years old. It's cut into the turf of White Horse Hill, and filled with chalk to make the white lines. We rode up Dragon Hill Road to get closer.

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    Most amazing to me... the Horse requires maintenance to keep it from becoming overgrown. Stretching back into the foggy recesses of time, the local people held
    "scouring festivals" every seven years, documented at least between the 16th and the 19th century, and most likely for far longer. They would gather on the hillside not only to clear the vegetation, and add more chalk, but also to engage in 'climbing greasy poles, rolling wheels of cheese down a hill, pipe-smoking marathons, and other peculiarly English funtime activities.'
    During WWII, they obscured the horse to prevent Luftwaffe pilots from using it as a landmark. It's by far the oldest hill-figure in England.
    Here's Dragon Hill Road just below the horse, taken near the top of Dragon Hill, a small conical hill that's been flattened on top by human hands.

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    It's purported to be the place where St George (the patron saint of England) slew a dragon who had been preying on the local maidens. That's a grateful princess looking on as George skewers the evil beast.

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    And this is from the side of Dragon Hill, looking across to the undulating hillside known as the 'Giant's Stair' Those are walkers on top to give a sense of scale.

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    The Square, Aldbourne

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    Aldbourne from Ewin's Hill

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    This area is the Berkshire Downs, sparsely populated and crossed only by some minor roads and tracks, gently sloping down to the River Kennett valley.

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    We wandered along the narrow paths.

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    A BOAT sign. The track continued, but we turned here onto a narrow paved lane (or metalled road, as they say.)

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    We met the A4 west of Fyfield, and followed it past West Kennett to the foot of Silbury Hill.

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    Silbury Hill, at 131 feet tall, is the tallest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe. Its estimated it took 18 million man-hours to build, or the equivalent of 500 men working for 15 years. The base covers an area of 5 acres. It was built in stages between 2400 to 2300 BC. No knows why, or what purpose it served. The sheer size indicates a well-organized society existed to be able to undertake a project of this size. We parked our bikes and walked in to the base of the hill... you can't go on it, and much of the surrounding area is protected as an unusual chalk grassland.

    It's only one of the wonders of the Avebury World Heritage Site.

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    When we got back to our bikes, we found we'd been surrounded by a gang of bikers. On Groms and Kawasaki Z125s. They'd noticed our Rhode Island plates and quizzed us about getting them so far from home. We laughed about being the 'big bikes' in the crowd.

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    Gotta run though... we're on to Avebury and evening is coming on.

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    It was just a mile or so... but when we got there, the parking area was closed. We walked a bit, just enough to decide that we needed more time. Peeked through a gate into one of the gardens along the path. We'll come back tomorrow and have a better look around.

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    So we took the A4 back into the town of Marlborough. We had a booking at The Marlborough, a 15th century inn that has been restored and remodeled to modern standards. Its really amazing what they can do with some of these old buildings, and the craftsmanship that's required to make it work. It even had parking for the bikes around back in the courtyard.

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    Marlborough itself was an interesting town. It has the second-widest High Street in England. Plenty of restaurants to choose from.

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    We walked both sides of High Street, checking out the restaurants. That one's too fancy, that one's too greasy... until we found one that was just right.
    While our level of excitement may not have equaled this guy's, here's a short look around. "We're in Marlborough, Wiltshire!!!"

  8. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    I laughed about rolling wheels of cheese but rolling wheels of cheese down hills is apparently still a thing.
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  9. Shaggie

    Shaggie Unseen University Supporter

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    My home province in NZ is Marlborough :clap

    Loving the update

    Shane
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  10. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Ha, ha. I didn't know it was still a thing, either. Those Brits know how to have a good time!

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  11. Bobbrecken

    Bobbrecken Been here awhile

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    Great to see you back as I can’t get enough of your pictures.
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  12. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    I’m so lucky to ride where I do but I’m still so jealous of your whole UK trips. Great pictures and narrative.
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  13. Rhode trip

    Rhode trip guided by voices Supporter

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    Thanks, Bob. Glad you're enjoying them!

    Thanks, Admiral. Hard to top Idaho and your neck of the woods, but the UK has been a great adventure. I'd like to get back there one of these days, and finish the ride we started before Lynn's bike broke down. Sure was great of you to ship and store our bikes! :beer
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