South Dartmoor CTC

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Sunday 13 August 2006
0800-2300
Tour: Switzerland Day 7 Schaan to Pro L’ava Guest House (51 mi)Cloudy with spells of rain
3 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Joe Venables
Schaan-Vaduz youth hostel
Breakfast at Schaan youth hostel
A rollerblader passes Joe on the Rhine path near Mäls
Joe and Tao make adjustments outside Schaan youth hostel (10:10)
Vineyeards in the mountain valley near Maienfeld
Fläsch
Tao outside McDonalds after lunch in Chur
Vineyeards near Maienfeld
Chur Adventure Bath and Pool
Beach volleyball near Camp Au, Chur
Michael advises Joe on how to consume Swiss yoghurt drinks near Rothenbrunnen
The cycle route at Rhäzuns
Tao on the bridge over the Rover Hinterrhein at Sils
Joe still doesn't get it right
Entering the second tunnel of the tour, leading to Viamala
Thusis
Viamala
Joe and Tao at Viamala
The Pro L'ava Guest House at Zillis
Viamala
Video footage from today's ride
Approximate map of today's route
[Report will be written from the following notes taken at the time]

Breakfast was included in the price at Schaan hostel. There was coconut yoghurt (rank!) and Ovaltine to drink. The warden wanted us out at 10.05 and threatened us with a 10 franc fine if we were late! He played kick-out music (Please don’t go, Baby come back!).

We rode at high speed to the Route 9 intersection, rollerblades average 14mph unladen. Heidi village and vines as per 2002 tour in reverse. Nowhere open, so we ate whatever we had near Landquart - Michael had a tin of chocolate dessert and a chocolate bar.

Detour into Chur. There was only one open shop – a MacDonalds - and all the local kids seemed to be gathered around it. So we ate there. Used the kiosk at the station.

Rode out of town, beach volleyball and hot baths. Rain set in, so we rode on to route 6, climbed through woods and golf course. High path built by Polish. Passed Sils where the youth hostel had no vacancies. Climbed through tunnels. Spectacular gorge at Vallhallah. On into Zillis and the guest house.

Owner spoke no English, but a local teacher helped translate, then chatted with us for hour - very interesting. Each Canton in Switzerland has its own rules. Zillis has its own primary and secondary schools in the same building. There are five multi-subject teachers although not all full time, 35 children aged 15-16 and 30 younger children. He prefers the English to the Americans apparently, which makes a nice change. Romanish people live up on hills here. Children spend the summer farming with parents or looking for jobs or holidaying with family. Population of Switzerland is 7 million, with 20% immigrants.

Today's ride included a total climb of 1016m and a descent of 544m.

Monday 14 August 2006
0800-2300
Tour: Switzerland Day 8 Pro L’ava Guest House to Bellinzona YH (59 mi)Sunny and warm
3 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Joe Venables
Joe points to a Romanish settlement on the hills from just outside the Guest House at Zillis
Tao enjoying breakfast at the Pro L'ava Guest House, Zillis
The illustrated ceiling of St Martin's Church, Zillis
St Martin's Church, Zillis, dating back to 840 AD (9:20)
The Mineral Baths at Andeer (10:40)
The combined primary and secondary school in Zillis
Sufnersee Reservoir, built in 1962
A footbridge over the Rhine near Sufers
The descent to Splügen
Sufnersee Dam
Splügen
The descent to Splügen
View over Splügen from the lunch stop
Lunch on the outskirts of Splügen
Tao in Hinterrhein village
A good downhill from Hinterrhein
The San Bernardino Pass - 2066m above sea level
The hairpin climbs to the San Bernardino Pass, from near Hinterrhein
Dressing up warmly for the long descent from the San Bernardino Pass, at La Smita
A very old guest house/restaurant at the San Bernardino Pass
The second hairpin of the descent, at Viganaia
San Bernardino
Part of the very long downhill, approaching Ara
Many more hairpins to come on the way from Viganaia to Pian San Giacomo
View from the bridge over the River Moesa, San Vittore
Roveredo
Video footage of today's ride
Approximate map of today's route
[Report will be written from the following notes taken at the time]

Big breakfast. Michael killed three flies with his lightning-quick reactions.

Looked at church, pictures on ceiling. Michael left wallet there. Volg shop was cheap for a change. Andeer hot baths looked god, but Joe was too young to be allowed in before 11 so we abandoned that idea.

Lovely sunny day, big drops and viewpoints, all shops shut in Splugen so we had lunch on seat with fine view - Joe ate a whole loaf sandwich!

Hairpins to San Bernardino, tunnel improvements on parallel road, very cold at top, welcome hot drinks. We dressed very warm for the downhill. There were loads of hairpins. We had done 25 miles by the top with 33 to go and it was 4.15!

Stopped at garage and Denner shop at San Bernardino, now Italian speaking, very different. Continuous descent all the way to Bellinzona. We arrived at 7.45 after delay when Tao missed a turn.

It was hard to find the reception, had to ring number on special phone booth! They were having a party! Supper was good and there was an internet room. We washed our clothes,. Hostel was huge.

Total climb 1553m.

Tuesday 15 August 2006
0800-2300
Tour: Switzerland Day 9 Bellinzona to Airolo independent hostel (38 mi)Hot and sunny
3 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Joe Venables
Bellinzona youth hostel, owned by the Sisters of Menzingen until it was converted to a hostel in 2002
A definite Italian feel inside Bellinzona youth hostel
Michael collects his antibiotic prescription from the Sagittario pharmacy, Bellinzona (11:55)
Preparing to leave Bellinzona youth hostel
Bellinzona station
Station Avenue in Old Bellinzona, with the catholic church on the right
Giornico
Liquid refreshments at Preonzo
Joe considers cooling off at Via Gerra playground, Faido
Typical Swiss tunneling between Anzonico and Chironico
Michael cools off at Via Gerra playground, Faido
Joe feels cooler now
Audan Lake, Quinto
The reservoir at Rodi-Fiesso (16:55)
Excellent Italian-style pizza at Borelli's pizza restaurant, Airolo
Ritom Funicular Railway, Quinto
Video footage from today's ride
Approximate map of today's route
[Report will be written from the following notes taken at the time]

Good breakfast. Loads of families staying, so there were kids everywhere. One woman had five under-eights in her cars. Michael had a bit of toothache, reception helped, but today was a special holiday so they had to ring around to find a chemist that was open. We went to the hospital, but long wait so advised to get a faxed prescription. Got that, then Michael has his antibiotics. Left 12.00.

Perfect weather. Flat riding and a tailwind so good speed. Stopped at a garage, then had lunch later by the roadside. Road tunnels and impressive bridges. No water but found park with water, very nice, lake place. Got a text from Gavin who had wanted to come on the tour with us but had to cancel at the last minute.

Arrived at Airolo before 6, good speed. Hostel was OK but no food again so went out for stone baked pizza at a nearby restaurant - poor service but nice food.

Tomorrow’s forecast was bad so planned to use the train.

Today's ride included a total climb of 985m.

Wednesday 16 August 2006
0800-2300
Tour: Switzerland Day 10 Airolo to Fiesch YH (1 mi)Very wet morning
3 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Joe Venables
Breakfast in the basement at Airolo independent hostel
View from our room window at Airolo independent hostel
Airolo independent hostel - Alloggio Girasole
Tao's tasty cereal
View from the cable car on a rather wet morning
The Airolo cable car
Tunnels and roads everywhere as the train approaches Andermatt
Joe and Tao waiting at the higher station for the return car
Andermatt
Tao at Andermatt
Fiesch youth hostel
Joe relaxes on the train as we approach Niederwald
Signpost near reception
Fiesch youth hostel, located in the grounds of the Sports Holiday Resort
Joe takes his shot - and misses!
The Minigolf course at the Fiesch Sports Holiday Resort
16 Table tennis tables tucked away in one of the many halls
Eating in the restaurant at the Fiesch Sports Holiday Resort
Joe and Tao try their hand on the climbing wall
The BMX track at Fiesch Sports Holiday Resort
Tao finally reveals his pawn stash
Chess on the roof of the restaurant
Video footage from today's ride
[Report will be written from the following notes taken at the time]

Raining all night, mountains shrouded in cloud. Still heavy rain by morning, confirming our worst fears, so we were relieved not to be riding the two passes we had originally planned. Breakfast was in the basement. Talked to Swiss chap.

We went to the station to check bus and train times and discovered that train was the only option. There was a train every hour. We booked tickets at 10.30, then rode to the cable car in the rain - trousers got soaked as we were dressed for the train today.

One woman was operating everything at the cable car. Tao and Michael paid 15 francs each to go up, Joe paid 8 francs. Joe messed up the ticket machine on the turnstile. We were told that the woman running the café at the top would be pleased to see us. Cable car was fun. There was only the café at the top as there is no snow at this time of year. The woman in the café was indeed pleased to see us – she had her grandson there helping her. We had nice drinks.

We thought we had missed the “down” car but there was a video camera, so the woman at the bottom sent the car up for us when she saw us waiting.

Michael changed to shorts after the earlier soaking. We rode back to the station for the 11.54 train. Went through tunnel, changed at Goschennen to a ratchet (funicular) train up to Andermatt with bikes in the cargo area. This was quite high and offered good views.

At Andermatt most shops were closed between 12 and 2 for lunch – we would never accept this kind of service in the UK, closing up just when people need to buy lunch. Sports shops were open though: Joe finally bought a pen knife for 27 francs in the new red style. There was a snooty American woman. Tao fell off on kerb. Bought lunch at Coop when it finally opened and ate nearby on a seat near the public lavatories.

After a last look in a shop we caught the train to Fiesch, a journey of 1 hr 20 minutes. We got the train to stop specially for us right outside the huge Olympic Sports training centre that was home to our hostel. This was an amazing place with lots of buildings on an enormous campus. We were staying in Block 6 on the second floor of one of the residential buildings.

We did mini golf for a bit of fun. A huge group of youngsters arrived on the train while we were playing – it’s good to see that Switzerland encourages its younger people in sport like this. Joe was just itching to use the internet for some reason, so we let him do that.

We went to the huge restaurant at 6.45. Loads of kids came in, presumably staying in other blocks, so it felt like some kind of school there. The food was not bad, but we were not allowed a drink with our meal within the price – except water of course.

We then explore the grounds. There was a table tennis hall where all 20 tables were in use by young players. There were several sports courts, squash and a BMX track. We then had a swim in the fabulous indoor pool, which was nice but it had no “toys”, just a diving board, so it was really just for serious swimming. A few local lads were showing off their diving skills. There was a Fat Check machine in the changing rooms. Joe stupidly left his swimming gear in there, but when we went back it was all locked up. We had a good night.

Thursday 17 August 2006Tour: Switzerland Day 11 Fiesch to Sion YH (47 mi)
3 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Joe Venables
The station right outside Fiesch Sports Holiday Resort
The welcome sign at the entrance to the Fiesch Sports Holiday Resort
A train emerges from a circular tunnel climb at Deisch
Co-op near Fiesch
View to Termen and Ried-Brig from Riederalp
The alpine slopes of Riederalp as seen from the first gondola lift from Mörel
View to Rideralp from the second gondola lift to Moosfluh
The car-free alpine village of Riederalp
The Aletsch glacier as seen from Moosfluh - 2337m
Snow canons, ready to make snow during the winter season
The Aletsch glacier
The Iceberg Restaurant at Bettmerhorn
The gondola lift operator takes a lunch break (12:22)
A camera photo of the Aletsch glacier
Tao and Joe try their hand at downhill karting at Riederalp
The gondola lifts going nowhere while the operator takes his break (12:22)
Corin
Michael and Joe on the way down the slope at Riederalp
The fountain at Station Avenue, Sion
The two castles of Sion (18:05)
Valère Castle, Sion, Dating from 1100
Tourbillion Castle, Sion, dating from 1290
Rue du Grand-Pont, Sion
Sion from near Valèere Castle
Video footage from today's ride
Approximate map of today's route
[Report will be written from the following notes taken at the time]

Dairy lorry woke us up early outside our 2nd floor window, sports had been going on into the night. Good breakfast. Joe collected his swim kit from the pool, had to be unlocked specially.

Downhill riding all day. Stopped after 6 miles for glacier trip, which involved going up in a 2-stage cable car. The glacier made a fabulous sight: we walked down to it, took photos and walked back to the cable car station ready to go down. But then the cars stopped! The bloke operating it was on his lunch break, sat in his room with his feet up! Incredible! They charge so much and then make us wait around for ages!

It finally started again at 12.50. We tried the downhill cars in Funland at the intermediate stage on the way down, excellent fun. We also complained that the cars stopped for lunch.

We stopped for lunch at 15 miles. Route diverted by concert but no signs so wasted time. All flat and downhill. Sion quieter, OK meal but Michael’s veggie meal for his birthday was just pasta shapes with spaghetti – very dry!

We walked to the old town: the castle and church were lit making an incredible sight.

Today's ride included a total climb of just 104m and a descent of 686m.

Friday 18 August 2006
0800-2300
Tour: Switzerland Day 12 Sion to Lausanne YH (63 mi)Sunny and hot
3 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Joe Venables
Sion youth hostel
The dining room at Sion youth hostel
Leytron
The E62 crosses the cycle path and the River Rhone near Leytron
The Migros store finally opens at Saint-Maurice (13:30)
Donkeys on the approach to Saint-Maurice
Grand Rue, Villeneuve
Crossing the Grand Canal between Port-Valais and Villeneuve
Place du Marche, Montreux
The Caux Palace Hotel above Montreux
Place du Marche, Montreux
Joe and Tao by the lakeside at Place du Marche, Montreux
Lake Geneva from Place du Marche, Montreux
The fountain at Place du Marche, Montreux
Sculpture, The First Ride of Bacchus, Vevey
Roussy Quay, La Tour-de-Peilz
Tao and Joe take a rest on The Parade, Cully
The River Veveyse joins Lake Geneva at Vevey
The Olympic Museum, Lausanne
Video footage from today's ride
Approximate map of today's route
[Report will be written from the following notes taken at the time]

At breakfast there were only tiny teaspoons for cereal as usual – you could get two sugar puffs on a spoon if you were lucky, so it took ages to eat anything. Still, there was a nice range of cereals.

We had a quick look at the shops bit stupidly forgot to get lunch! We followed the river, long straight and flat, missed Martigny. Got to St Maurice for lunch at 25 miles, supermarket closed for lunch AGAIN. Michael got food from the bakery (Tao was amazed that he “scoffed an entire quiche”), Tao and Joe went to Migros when it finally opened again at 1.30.

Very hot, almost cloudless sky. Donkeys. Michael bought a pint of iced lemonade. Met English woman and son.

We soon hit the lake area, very busy with tourists. Villeneuve, Montreux, water features where everyone was playing, nice atmosphere (why couldn’t our Lady Di memorial be like this!). More fountains and pools. We were looking for shade, eventually found a single shady tree near Pully. Ice cream, rest. Continued on to Lausanne again where our tour had started, a happy and playful place. Got to the hostel by 6.50 and happened to be in the same room again.

Steak and fish made for us. Cycled to station to check route for tomorrow morning. Collected cycle bags. Good night.

Today's ride included a total climb of 115m and a total descent of 221m.

Saturday 19 August 2006
0800-2300
Tour: Switzerland Day 13 Lausanne to Home (2 mi)
3 present: Tao Burgess, Michael Jones, Joe Venables
Lunch on the station at Gare du Nord, Paris
Tao and Joe on the train back to Paris
Video footage from today's ride
[Report will be written from the following notes taken at the time]

Up at 7.30, left at 8.25, arrived station 8.45. Packed bikes into bags on platform, boarded train with plenty of time, no problems with tickets this time.

Lausanne d 0922
Paris Gare de Lyon a 1324

Hard work at Paris carting bike bags on RER D again. Bought lunch at Gare du Nord, using last of coins and card. Waited in wrong queue for Eurostar for a while, so then had to rush. Just got on the train in time, sat together this time.

Paris Gare du Nord d 1519
London Waterloo a 1654

At Waterloo we reassembled the bikes. Food was good. Just got that train too! Slow train to Exeter, then changed to Newton Abbot, 10.43pm arrival.

London Waterloo d 1820
Exeter St Davids a 2151

Exeter St Davids d 2205
Newton Abbot a 2243

We were all very tired.

Sunday 20 August 2006Morning ride: Cancelled
0 present:
Today's ride was probably cancelled

Friday 25 August 2006Evening ride: Cancelled
0 present:
Today's ride was probably cancelled.

Sunday 27 August 2006Morning ride: Cancelled
0 present:
Today's ride was probably cancelled.

Friday 1 September 2006Evening ride: Cancelled
0 present:
This evening's ride was probably cancelled.

Sunday 3 September 2006Morning ride: Cancelled
0 present:
Today's ride was probably cancelled

Friday 8 September 2006
1900-2030
Evening ride: Hembury WoodsSunny and warm
3 present: Glen Fulford, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones
With neither Glen nor Ryan having lights this evening we only had time for a short ride, along the lower Hembury track and then home via Hawson Court.

Sunday 10 September 2006Morning ride: Cancelled
0 present:
Unfortunately today's ride didn't get off the ground as Michael was occupied all morning and neither Glen nor Jack could make an afternoon ride.

Friday 15 September 2006
1900-2130
Evening ride: Landscove (10 mi)Cool
3 present: Glen Fulford, Ryan Havinga, Michael Jones
With the evenings drawing in it was almost getting too late to contemplate a track, but both Glen and Ryan wanted one so we headed with good speed up Green Lane and the subsequent climb past Baddaford farm. Michael had to prod them a bit to keep them moving as the light was fading fast, but we soon reached the top and everyone enjoyed the bumpy track descent that crossed more than four fields. It was almost dark when we reached the bottom, but nobody really needed their lights switched on, and this added to the fun.

We returned via Abham and Caddaford after a memorable ride for all concerned.

Sunday 17 September 2006
1015-1330
Morning ride: Totnes (15 mi)Sunny periods, warm
2 present: Dennis Ham, Michael Jones
Dennis had a new road bike today, and the resulting improvement in his riding speed was dramatic. This left us more time to explore things of interest along the way, and we certainly made good use of the time.

We took Colston road to Dartington, at which point Dennis noticed that there were two steam trains in the valley on the Buckfastleigh side of Staverton station. Now Michael knew the line was single track all the way to Totnes, so after riding the cycle path through the Cider Press Centre towards Totnes we called in to Totnes Riverside station to find out more. This was the last day of the summer timetable, and there was a packed steam train on the platform waiting for the whistle. Dennis loves trains, so we had a good look around and waited for the train to go before talking the guard. Apparently the single track nature of the line, which means one train has to return to Buckfastleigh before the next can leave, had been limiting their timetables too much, and two years ago they got prisoners from Exeter to help construct a piece of parallel track known as the Staverton Loop. This explained the presence of two trains near Staverton, and also explained how the next train was due into Totnes in under 30 minutes!

When Morrisons cafe had provided us with suitably priced refreshments we set off for the return journey, again along the riverside path, pausing at Dartington to watch an outdoor entertainer who was captivating an audience of children - and Dennis - with his juggling and unicycle antics. We continued via Staverton station, hoping to see the new section of track, but sadly it was hidden from view from all the nearby roads.

Dennis thoroughly enjoyed his ride, and felt justifiably proud of his performance.

Friday 22 September 2006
1900-2130
Evening ride: Skerraton Down (10 mi)Cool
2 present: Glen Fulford, Michael Jones
Glen wanted an adventurous ride, to a place where it was really dark so he could try out his new lights. With this in mind, we chose a ride that took us up Dean hill and along the narrow track to the open moor near Skerraton Down. It was pretty much dark as we entered the track, and with the nettles being more overgrown than we'd ever known them, progress to the moor was rather slow. The views from the top across all the myriad lights of south Devon was well worth all the effort however, and the dark descent past fields of ponies made this a ride that Glen will never forget.

Saturday 23 September 2006Weekend ride: Golant YH Day 1 (20 mi)Sunny and warm
3 present: Tao Burgess, Glen Fulford, Michael Jones
Glen Fulford after the climb from Saltash
Glen and Tao on the Torpoint Ferry
Glen on the coast path
The coastal path approaching Looe
Glen gets used to the seabirds at Looe
Glen at East Looe
Tao and Glen on the Bodinnick ferry to Fowey
The Tasty Corner café at West Looe
The unusual sign on our shower
Arrival at Golant YH
Glen does his washing up after the meal
Our first weekend trip of 2006 should have had six participants, but Ryan was ill, Joe was doing ten tors practice and Matthew, well, he was just too busy in the end. So just three of us set off by car from Buckfastleigh on a warm and sunny Saturday morning.

This was Glen's first weekend trip, so we didn't want to do more than 20 miles of cycling each day. We took the Torpoint ferry to Saltash, then leaving the car near Downderry we rode along the coast road to the beach at Seaton and then on up the long climb to Murrayton. Glen and Tao were both interested in the Monkey Sanctuary, but as usual it was closed on Saturdays, so Glen couldn't even say hello to the inhabitants!

We continued down a steep track to the beach at Milendreath, then Michael had to give Glen some help carrying his bike up what seemed like a hundred steps - a short-cut to Looe. Scenic views from the final stretch of coast path brought us quickly to the busy fishing village of Looe, where we bought lunch from one of the many Cornish Pasty shops and enjoyed it on a seat overlooking the harbour. Unfortunately the tide was out, making everything look rather messy, but a few minutes later Glen had the same problem when one of the many seagulls targeted his left shoulder!

When we had checked out the local joke shop and Glen had bought himself a £1 pellet gun we set about the steep climb out of Looe. Tao did the map-reading for the next section, taking us through some fairly quiet and mainly flat roads to Bodinnick on the river Fowey. As we descended to the ferry we could see the gigantic china clay loading terminal, used to transfer china clay onto large boats.

We expected to be charged nearly £2 each for the short 2-minute crossing, but in the end the ferryman didn't charge us for the bikes at all. Arriving on the other side with plenty of time to spare we decided to explore the picturesque village of Fowey and purchased some refreshments to prepare us for the final climb to the hostel.

Glen led us down the final track descent to the hostel, a large country mansion set in its own private grounds overlooking the river Fowey. We were greeted at reception by an Australian with very large holes in his ears who told us of the YHA's plans to sell 35 hostels over two years. When we asked whether YHA was in some financial difficulty he thought a sarcastic reply was most appropriate, so we made our way to our top floor dormitory and set about the business of showering. One of the showers was closed "for health and safety reasons" - the large notice on the door explained that the cold water supply to the shower cuts off randomly, leaving the occupant showered with boiling water!

An interesting New Zealand family kept us company in the members' kitchen, having emigrated from the UK several years ago. They watched with interest as Glen prepared his can of meatballs, but in the end he decided that Michael's vegetarian opinion of them was probably correct and moved on to his second course of packet rice. Once the dishes were washed and the kitchen was tidy we spent some time playing pool in the games room and running around the garden in the dark, exploring the wigwam and woodlands at the far end. And of course, Glen wasn't scared at all!

Sunday 24 September 2006Weekend ride: Golant YH Day 2 (21 mi)Mainly sunny
3 present: Tao Burgess, Glen Fulford, Michael Jones
View of the River Fowey from Golant YH
Glen Fulford at Golant YH
Golant YH
Glen and Tao at Golant YH
Glen Fulford at Polperro
Returning to Bodinnick on the ferry
The steep climb from Talland Bay
The coast path from Polperro to Talland Bay
One of the Woolly Monkeys at the Monkey Sanctuary
Next morning we were expecting rain and had planned a provisional route that included a cheap train journey from Par back to Looe. Instead, sunshine and blue skies greeted us, and it was still dry when we had finished our breakfast with our New Zealand friends. They were travelling by car to Salisbury and wanted an interesting stop off point along the way, so we suggested the steam trains at Buckfastleigh which seemed to be exactly what they were looking for.

Our new plans for the day involved riding back to Looe and calling in to the Monkey Sanctuary, but this time we would ride close to the coast and call in at the quaint fishing village of Polperro. The ride was a little hillier than Glen had expected, so he was glad to reach the village. Once again the tide was out, but we stopped to admire the view and eat some refreshments before heading out along the coast path.

Once again the views were excellent, and we all enjoyed the ups and downs that the path offered us. Sadly Glen didn't see the Basking Shark he was looking for, but with cloud cover increasing and the occasional light shower dampening our spirits, perhaps it wasn't quite the weather for basking!

The hill from Talland Bay was challenging to say the least, and we were all grateful to reach the top and the familiar Looe road that we had climbed the previous day. Michael was overruled regarding ice creams at the local cafe, so we bought lunch again in the old East Looe and enjoyed it on the same seat as before, Glen taking care to watch the seagulls this time! He finished his lunch before Tao and Michael, and helped some local boys catch crabs from the harbour side.

We retraced our previous day's journey along the coast path and up the steep climb to the Monkey Sanctuary, arriving with just 55 minutes left to look around the many enormous cages at the selection of Woolly Monkeys. The Woolly Monkeys were originally unwanted pets, and the sanctuary always planned to release them back to South America. We were sad to learn that the plans proved impossible ti implement, as the monkeys kept looking for food on the ground, so they took the decision to stop breeding and let the colony die out. Ollie, the last baby born at the sanctuary, was now half grown but still having a lot of fun.

But the sanctuary won't be closing: they are now taking on unwanted Capuchin monkeys, the favourite monkey pet of the moment, and they certainly seem to be a lot of fun to watch!

With the time now at 4.30 we sped back through Seaton and Downderry to the car and headed for home, only to be delayed 45 minutes at the Torpoint ferry which had mysteriously stopped working for no apparent reason!

Congratulations to Glen, who performed admirably on his first youth hostel trip. He's looking forward to the next, when hopefully his friend Ryan will be able to join us too.

Friday 29 September 2006Evening ride: Cancelled
0 present:
This evening's ride was probably cancelled

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