Wednesday 26th June 2019
Today we are going to our first Rally with the Swift Owners Club. It’s not far from home at Lacock – chosen because visiting Lacock with Voyager and Betty is not easy and we wanted to have a good look at the Abbey and gardens. That and we wanted to check out what the SOC was like – we could always run home if we didn’t like the way they did things.
David had phoned Nigel earlier in the morning to let us know about a road closure near the site – that was a good sign we felt.
When we arrived at the Rally field of Kilima Farm we were greeted by David and directed to our pitch – well pitch marker where we set up. Even in a field you have to stick to the 6m rule.
Everybody seems very friendly and as its one of the smaller clubs we have joined we hope it lives up to its blurb.
Our Rally pack was delivered to us (in exchange for the fees) – now that’s a first, normally we have to go to the Reception table/van. Included in the pack were local attraction leaflets with maps (all available in Tourist Information places) as well as our Rally plaque, which was nice. The best bit about it was the cost – we have never stayed anywhere for four nights for £28 before. Admittedly there was a £2.50 social fee and £5 Rally fee (refunded for first rally) on top of that but even so it was great value. It also contained a sheet with Names, Reg Numbers and home town on it –very useful for folks like us that forget names after a few seconds.
Had a lovely time chatting with a few other members – who we were either introduced to or introduced themselves to us. The weather got warmer during the afternoon but turned chilly again by tea time – at least there was no rain though.
In the evening (about 7pm) we all met up in the gazebos (3 fixed together) for coffee and more chatting, after a brief intro by David.
We got back to Voyager about 9.30 and relaxed with a bit of TV – we have found about 3 hours of TV is fine when we are off-grid and at this time of the year on a good day the leisure batteries are back to 100% by lunchtime.
Thursday 27th June 2019
The weather was gorgeous today if a little windy (but at least it’s a warm wind). So after breakfast and the daily chores we set off for Lacock village.
It’s only a couple of miles – down a steep hill on the way there (and up again on the way back). Luckily on the way we only met one van on the narrow lane and there was a good verge for us to get on while he passed.
We had a good wander around the village had a small tub of ice cream made by the Lacock Dairy (Nigel’s treat while getting a couple of post cards in the village shop) which was remarkably good (and the only vendor we have found with a good tangy Lemon Sorbet).
We met a couple of people from the rally who admired our setup (Bluetooth headsets etc) – they were surprised we had trundled down the main road – we are a bit blazay about that now.
Onward stopping briefly for a jar of local homemade chutney at the wall before checking out the Church and the Ford. The tythe barn wasn’t open today but we have seen it before so that was fine.
We eat our packed lunch in the Recreation ground behind the pub – with a few others doing the same before venturing on to the Abbey.
As I am a National Trust member we got in free (did buy a few things from the shop though) and had a really good look around both the Abbey and the grounds taking loads of pictures.
The 2G’s tackled the hill well on the way back (which was a relief!) although we did take a few minutes rest half way up to snap St Anne’s Church
but we got back to Voyager in good time.
Tonight the social event was described in the itinerary as a Communal BBQ – now as we don’t do BBQ we were just going to skip it but we got it wrong. It turned out that everyone takes a table and chairs – puts them in a long line and eats food they have prepared by a method of their choice in a banquet fashion. Unfortunately we had prepared and were eating our chicken rice dish by the time we were told this.
Just to be sociable we did the table and chair bit, I had a yogurt and Nigel started a bottle of wine.
This while folks around us ate their food and chatted – we’ll know next time and get it right. We did skip the coffee in the gazebo later – by which time the bottle of wine had evaporated (Nigel regretted it in the morning though).
Friday 28th June 2019
As yesterday was busy we thought a short trundle was in order today. First though Nigel decided to erect our new Quest Pop Up Gazebo.
It went up remarkably well (after I had reminded him which bit to pull on first) and was secured with a lot of tent pegs as there was still a bit of a breeze blowing.
We decided that we will buy a ground sheet and a couple of side sheets to cover the fly screens as they let a lot of the wind through. It does provide shade well though.
After lunch we went for a tour of Sandy Lane (only about a mile away). It’s a quaint village with many old houses and thatched cottages – from a bygone age.
The road through it was very busy though but there is a good pavement for most of it – just crossing it was a bit hairy. Its claim to fame is the only wooden thatched Church in England.
The small Church of St Mary & Nicholas is very pretty. It was paid for by monies collected from locals – and still in use for services, baptisms and weddings. We had a good look around and took more photos.
Back at Voyager we relaxed for a while, had our meal and then joined the others in the Gazebos to celebrate Val & John’s 35th wedding anniversary with a glass of punch. This was followed by a quiz that proved very entertaining – not that we do very well with quizzes.
A little TV and another restful night.
Saturday 29th June 2019
Today was warm (hottest this year so far apparently) – long may it last.
We had a really lovely chill out day – it is nice not to have to rush at anything – the sun is hot, 28deg or more. So we sat in the shade of the Gazebo for part of the day and then a nice cooling breeze developed so after our Tapas lunch we moved the chairs into the open, reclined them and had a snooze – happy days.
There was a cream tea social later which we skipped as we really shouldn’t be eating scones with jam and cream – I must have put on a couple of pounds at least already.
We did attend the celebration for Pat & Pete’s 250th Rally – with cheese and wine, not that we ate or drank much. We did have a good go at the quiz and managed to get a few right, but not enough to win.
Another very nice evening.
Sunday 30th June 2019
Home today but first there’s flag – and the drawing of the raffle. We had bought four strips of tickets and there were a lot of prizes so we were hopeful of winning something – but our usual luck prevailed and all the big, good ones disappeared as we waited. We did win something in the end – a Chinese embroidered glasses case – very, um, nice.
The clouds had returned although it didn’t rain so our journey home was short and uneventful.