In the end last night was spent on the large concrete hard-standing area belonging to a local farmer, which suited us just fine. It was also surprisingly quiet, well until about 06:00 that is, when squadrons of geese flew overhead, I assume to spend the winter here on the local salt marshes, having flown from places like Siberia.
We set out for Wells-next-the-sea at about 10:00, the cunning plan being that we'd go to one of the two large car parks there for a few hours before booking in to the campsite any time after 13:00.
In order to give the motorhome a run at the end of July we came here for the day and spent it parked on the car park near the town with no problem at all. In fact when we left I made a point of thanking the staff for providing parking facilities for motorhome as it doesn't happen very often. So imagine our disappointment when we arrived there to see a sign saying 'No Motorhomes, no caravans, no overnight parking', and they had also installed a height barrier which could be swung in to place or not. A huge disappointment, but never mind, we'd go down to the car park next to the beach. But no, on arrival, there was the same signage and height restriction. Oh how we laughed.
The campsite we had booked was right next door and so we tried our luck there to see if they could take us before 13:00, but no. So all we could do was make our way back to our hard-standing about five miles away and park there. Not only did we park there, but we ended up having lunch there as well. Never mind, come the magic hour we made our way back to the campsite - Pinewoods Caravan Park and Leper Colony (N52.969689° E0.849755°). The kind of place we would normally avoid at all costs, but at the moment it's all that's available. Just 41 rules listed for us to obey, but we do at least have a good sized pitch, and so it should be for thirty-five pounds a night.
This afternoon was spent walking up to the town and a wander round. The Chef pushed the boat out and bought two nice sausage rolls and a couple of sticky buns which we'll have tomorrow for lunch whilst out for our walk along the beach.
So a bit about Wells then, courtesy of the internet:
There are really three parts to Wells, though it is hardly larger than a village – the quayside, the old streets behind it, and the beach area a mile away to the north.
The quay is a bustling jumble of cafes, amusements arcades and ship’s chandlers, with a harbourmasters office and a few fishing boats to give a nautical flavour. Quayside stalls sell local mussels, dressed crabs, cockles and samphire. The narrow High Street winds downhill to the large parish church of St Nicholas. Nearby is the attractive tree-shaded green called The Buttlands, a grassy rectangle surrounded by dignified Georgian houses.
Access to the beach is by road, on foot along the sea wall, or by miniature railway. The main beach faces north and is sandy, but swimmers should avoid the spit of land on which the lifeboat house is built. There is a tide time indicator in the car park, and a beach lookout sounds a klaxon as the tide begins to turn, warning visitors on Bob Hall’s Sand to return to the main beach or face being cut off by the tide.
While in town we opted for some fish & chips as an early evening meal. It used to be a cheap meal for working folk but now at over nine pounds a portion it makes it pricey to feed a young family. The last time we were here we had a portion each and struggled to eat it all and so today we shared one large portion, and we both agreed it was just the right amount.
This evening we're indoors as it's too cool and breezy to be outside, and I've rigged up my digital TV aerial on the roof, with the cable fed through the skylight and it's working a treat. It's enabled us to watch the news where we were reminded kids have finally gone back to school today after about five months in lockdown. This has no doubt greatly upset many teachers who have been on full pay sat at home with their feet up. Some worked to be fair, as key workers were entitled to keep sending their children to school whilst they went to work. I wouldn't be at all surprised if teachers had a 'Baker Day' for teacher training where life-size cardboard cut-outs of kids sat behind their desks were put in place and the teachers slowly introduced to them, just to remind them of what it is they're supposed to do for a living, rather than their unions trying to make trouble for the government. Meanwhile, our fantastic NHS health workers, carers, shop workers, dustmen and transport workers etc, the now proven important people within our society, continue to work through it all.
Tomorrow we shall go for a nice log walk along the beach, though looking at the weather forecast I think we'll be taking our waterproofs.