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An afternoon adventure.

it is sooo good to have my 'extended lunch breaks' back on Weds-Fri! Yesterday, Ben and Iris came to meet me as I finished work for the morning; we then went home the long way round, along country roads and through the Devil's Punchbowl, making it about 6 miles in total. I learnt that trying to photograph from a bike is much harder than photographing from horseback or on foot. :P


Coming down the hill to meet me! :)

Ben & Iris



Iris wore her worry face for most of the lake* section; but she was exceptionally good, considering she has never been here before.
* Oki, not really a lake. Almost certainly a hammer pond - a medieval, man-made waterway used to hydraulically power the bellows in iron forges and blast furnaces.

Ben & Iris
Then she thought maybe it would be safer if she just kept her eyes shut.

Ben & Iris

Coming down the track (looking much calmer now!) with the flank of the Punchbowl in the background.

Ben & Iris

Out on the road. The trees look massive - or Iris looks small.

Ben & Iris

Leaving the narrow road for the slightly wider one; I personally prefer riding on the narrow roads, because they are effectively single-track and cars aren't tempted to try and squeeze past. Roads like this one have just enough room for a car and a very well behaved horse to pass side-by-side.

Ben & Iris

There was a scary bag.

Ben & Iris

Back onto the single track road.

Ben & Iris

The road takes us under the A3, a dual carriageway between London and Portsmouth. Take note of Ben's hi vis!

Ben & Iris

Then we begin our way up into the Punchbowl, following the route of the old A3 (which was not dual carriageway, and followed a winding route around the edge of the Punchbowl itself. The new road goes through a mile long tunnel, which is infinitely better for wildlife and scenic beauty in general!). Back in ye olde days, highwaymen were a serious threat along this section of road.

Ben & Iris

Following a byway that takes us down into the Punchbowl, in order to avoid a much rockier path. I love Iris's expression!

Ben & Iris

This little cottage up ahead (called Gnome Cottage, owned by the National Trust) was so lovely - and so tiny! A perfect little cube of a cottage. I loved it. It is approximately 280-years-old.

Ben & Iris

Exmoor ponies and Highland cattle graze the Punchbowl, so there are cattle grids and gates marking the boundaries.

Ben & Iris

Looks like more hail is on the way!

Ben & Iris

I think this photo makes the setting look oddly Spanish. :P

Ben & Iris

Another gate and another grid on the other side.

Ben & Iris

A lot of trees came down during the gales we had earlier this year; but I have no idea what happened here! Somehow this enormous tree has fallen and the earth beneath its roots has been gouged away??

Ben & Iris

And we're back in the village.


Ben & Iris



Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
siberian_angel
Mar. 28th, 2014 08:43 am (UTC)
Damn, such beautiful scenery! Just perfect for horse and rider!
I've never heard the term hammer pond before, so thanks for the short explanation! Very interesting!
maggies_lens
Mar. 28th, 2014 09:35 am (UTC)
I don;t know if I have mentioned this or not, but I pretty much live for your photo posts. FARK I miss the UK. This is insanity.
re_vised
Mar. 28th, 2014 02:52 pm (UTC)
What a nice ride! I love all the photos and seeing where you guys can ride at over there.
meri_sielu
Mar. 28th, 2014 04:22 pm (UTC)
Lovely scenery and Iris is gorgeous too, I have a fondness for dapple greys :)
paholaisenhuora
Mar. 28th, 2014 11:49 pm (UTC)
Such pretty scenery! That looks like so much fun, I wish I wasn't so severely allergic to horses :(
kismythi
Mar. 30th, 2014 08:48 pm (UTC)
Stunning pics! <3
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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