Drive to NewQuay

Trip Start Oct 02, 2007
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36
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Trip End Dec 15, 2007


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Monday, November 12, 2007

So I took off this morning knowing I had a long day of driving ahead of me. I could have shaved a 1/2 hour off my trip if I had taken the interstate, however, I have already seen most of that route, so why see it again. Instead, I took the last road I haven't used yet out of Salisbury to go to NewQuay. NewQuay is the 'surfing capital of the UK'. It is a typical resort town where the population swells to 5 times the winter population in the summer. The town is on the southwestern tip of England, about 230 miles west of London.

On my drive today, I decided instead of a planned tourist attraction, I would just pick and choose along the way, since there are always plenty to choose from. About 15 miles outside of Salisbury, I saw a sign for Larmer Tree Gardens (http://www.larmertreegardens.co.uk/ ). Intrigued, I decided to follow the signs figuring there might be some nifty tall trees or something like that. When I arrived at the gardens it was actually within a stand of trees surrounded by farmland and sheep. Lots of sheep. Nothing spectacular about this garden, no rare plant or flower, no impressive building dating back 500 years or more, however it is a beautiful and relaxing garden. From the surrounding buildings I gather there are plays and concerts in the summer time. I liken it to a small Arboretum (in Seattle). I can see why it is a popular place to marry, the facilities and surrounding make it an ideal romantic venue.

One side note about the gardens, as I driving up to the gate, I saw a sign warning not to hit the ornamental birds. As I was gathering my stuff for a chilly walk around the gardens, I noticed a peacock. Not thinking that there might be any more peacocks, I took a few pictures, later on my walk, I noticed 6 adults and several young peacocks. I thought it was interesting be so close to the birds without scaring them away. A garden employee was able to walk right up to one of the birds, I however, wanted to keep some distance (though I was within 5 feet at one point). At the same time I saw 2 macaws swoop down very close to me before flying up to a high branch-I wish I had been able to take a close picture (or had a much longer lens) as they flew by. According to the employee, the gardens used to own several pairs of macaws at one time, but now they are down to 1 pair and of the peacocks, they have about 16 birds total at this time. I thought it added to the charm of the gardens.

After stopping here for an hour I jumped back onto the main road toward NewQuay. I had stopped off at the market in Yeovil and discovered it had one of the those moving walkways between floors. After shopping with a trolley (a cart in American terms), I hoped aboard this walkway. To prevent the carts from rolling down the walkway, the wheels have powerful magnets attached to them so the cart won't move, even with a heavy load. I went up...and down. Very cool.

The rest of the drive was non-eventful. The last 50 or so miles where by a multi-lane highway, so that made it all very quick in deed. One item I have not gotten use to in Europe is that on all roads, unless there is a reason to post one, there are no speed limit signs. A driver is expected to know what the appropriate speed is for that classification of road. It can be a bit confusing at times, especially when you cross country lines, but I tend to go with the flow and have learned that for the most part, the speeds don't really change (except for the interstate/auto bahn).

I got into NewQuay before sundown.

I have added pictures for November 9th and 10th, 2007.
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