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2016 .. and into 2017

28th December 2016
Its been a good year. Marion and I returned from the Algarve to pick up our new 5th Wheel Celtic Rambler (the rig), a penthouse on wheels! After a stay near Southampton to load it up and make it home we headed off to Devon as we had a seasonal pitch near Launceston. We only had a short stay before we left the rig in North Wales and boarded the ferry for Dublin with car, tent tandem and its Yak Bob trailer.
We arrived in Dublin and met with friends Peter and Mary who we hooked up with in the Algarve. Peter is a nearly retired professional photographer, and I joined him in the Glendallough Youth Hostel to facilitate a week end photographic workshop (all very good with great reviews). We then set off for Athlone in the middle of Ireland to leave the car with Marion's in laws parents, and we got a fantastic irish reception thanks to Paddy and Julie. We set off from there for the West coast, the 'Wild Atlantic Way', and cycled down the Shannon to Tralee, then Dingle, Killarney, and all the ay back up to Doolin, before crossing to the Aran Islands. We spent a couple of nights over there before heading back to Athlone vis Galway, 500 miles covered carrying and pulling about 70 kg. We returned to Dublin (Peter and Mary's) to take in a fantastic Neil Young concert at the Dublin O2 Arena.
We then returned to Devon for a while, with plenty of woodland bird photography along with trips out to Dartmoor for the landscapes. We were beginning to wonder what to do with the inherited monies from our respective mothers, knowing there wasn't enough to purchase a house outright, but maybe a do-er upp-er? Anyhow we has arranged to return to Trevalgan touring park (St Ives) for summer warden work, and so we began to locate ourselves more in the southwest. It was a good season for enjoying the sights of Devon and Cornwall (we joined the National Trust) and I got to do some night skies photography, and even managed to pull in a visit to Brighton for a friends (Graham Devenish) photographic exhibition, and a festival wedding back in Dorset.
Whilst staying in St Ives we had a look at one or two houses in Pendeen on the North Cornish Coast, but they seemed to sell quickly and were beyond our budget. We worked through into September and enjoyed some great music at the St Ives festival.
It was when we returned to our seasonal pitch in Devon that we frequently cycled or drove to Tavistock and up onto Dartmoor for misty morning photography, and we began spending more time taking in visits to estate agents and small houses in the area. By the end of October we had seen and agreed to purchase a very old cottage in Horrabridge, in the Dartmoor National Park!
In case of any thoughts that travels are over, they are not. We had been planning on a winter in New Zealand using the wardening monies, but we simply got priced out of it by post brevet exchange rates. Just as well as buying the cottage has cleared us out! We still intend to travel using our 5th wheel, and being more flexible in using a berghaus inflatable tent. After spending most of November in the New Forest near our children we caught the Portsmouth Bilbao ferry and sped down to the Cadiz area in Spain followed by Donyana National Park. The rig in storage and we used the tent for a couple of weeks, we have now moved back to chalet in the West Algarve, which will be our abode until we return to the cottage in Devon at the end of February. I have a few camera club lectures lined up in Sussex in March, and we are going to be visiting more in Lancashire and West Yorkshire next autumn. In the meantime we will be part of the time working in St Ives, and part of the time working on our new, but old cottage. I will of course be continuing with the 365, a pic a day, and will have some time to decide on any new directions with the photography. I will be posting dates of talks etc and will update the website as we go..