Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Palindromic milage; panoramic views; and preying red kites

Last month, on our way home from Milton Keynes, I noticed that our Volvo's odometer was just about to register a palindromic milage. We were driving along a dual carriageway, and a lay-by appeared just at the right moment for me to pull in and take this photo.

177,771 miles in 26 years is less than 7,000 miles per year. At this rate we should hit the 200,000 mark in about three years.

Two weeks later we pitched up at Town Farm Campsite in Ivinghoe for four nights.

This is part of the amazing panoramic view from our tent. We could see across miles of countryside spread out at our tent pegs.

I don't usually mind being able to hear trains at night, especially from within a boat, but here there were at least ten miles of West Coast Main Line within sight and hearing. The wind direction and the lie of the land magnified the noise, which seemed to be incessant. Actually, it was the wind itself which kept us awake at night: we were in a pretty exposed spot at the foot of Ivinghoe Beacon. The tent - and we - survived, but when we struck camp we found one of the fibreglass poles had split. (At times the windward side of the tent caved in to particularly strong gusts, but it always recovered, I'm glad to to say!)

As well as Mentmore Towers (visible in the top right of the photo above) and All Saints' Church, Leighton Buzzard (not shown) we could see boats on the Grand Union Canal (hooray!)

Almost the only birds seemed to be red kites.

As well as seeing them on our walks they flew over the camp site.

It was good to be camping again. Next time we might choose a slightly more sheltered location!

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