Lost in Porlock - 2015
A memorial Saturday night in Exmooor
As this was the shortest ‘Enduro’ so far both in terms of mileage and duration, we perhaps have the opportunity to examine some parts of an Enduro weekend not normally covered, such as the preparation.
Many of us will choose the morning of a trip to perhaps carry out last minute vehicle and equipment checks and maintenance, stock up on Carbs or hydrate like the professional athletes most of us closely resemble. Yet others will spend a relaxing morning picking up bits of flyscreen off a gravel drive and bits of gravel drive off a side panel, for others the only way to properly prepare is to attend the photo shoot of a mail order catalogue! Daygan was so upset at missing the shoot that he decided to audition for the next one.
According to the BBC the rain would stop about an hour before our rendezvous at Brent Knoll, as usual she was lying and we all arrived to a thorough soaking. However, our spirits were raised by the knowledge that Mr Moody was travelling down from Bristol in pouring rain and his arrival was eagerly anticipated. Not to disappoint he arrived in full ‘Tantrum Throwing’ mode and we all knew we were in for an excellent weekend when Mr Green has been subjected to merciless abuse and copious use of the ‘C’ word before we have even started.
Once we were assembled it was time for a short ‘A’ road burst to Bridgewater before heading off on the usual cross-country lanes. Somehow the abuse heaped on our leader seemed to have taken effect as we approached Watchet we were still on the A39 we weren’t sure if he had come to his senses or lost his way!!
Our reverie was rudely interrupted by Her Majesty’s Constabulary as the main road was closed for an incident, now some may think this was merely coincidence we all knew that our Esteemed Leader had called on the Enduro Gods to force us down a wet, leafy narrow and twisty lane, which we negotiated successfully and dropped down into Watchet for refreshments. The nice lady in the Cafe felt so sorry for Russ that she decided to give him a free breakfast, bless.
At this point the sun came out the wind dropped and we realised we only had 13 miles to go, what could possibly go wrong???
We set off for a gentle climb up Cleeve Hill and then along the Front at Blue Anchor, and climbed up into Dunster, the first thing that went wrong was I had to drop the sun visor on my helmet, which meant we were going due South when we should be going West.
Through Weddon Cross for a fuel stop for the thirsty two strokes, Mark kindly pretended to have clutch problems so That Dave and Steve could live their dream and have a go on his Vespa.
The Clouds were now looking threatening as we set off somehow Steve had managed to position Exmoor National Park and in particular Dunkery Beacon between us and Porlock. Traditionally we stop at the top of Dunkerry to give thanks, admire the view and have a fag, this time we stopped and started off again immediately as the skys were leaden.
We dropped down into Porlock without further incident and got back on the A39 for the brief run to the campsite. Now bear in mind that most of us have followed Greaner across some of the most desolate and God Forsaken parts of the UK we don’t expect him to get lost in a village with two roads, but he did, worse than that Daygan managed to follow him and get even more lost.
The Campsite owner welcomed us with his usual friendly greeting ‘Money Now’, tents were erected without any alarms and we set off to Porlock Weir for a quick early evening pint. Dumped scoots back at campsite before imbibing Wiskey Mac shots as orderd by Colin and off to sample Porlocks hospitality.
The first pub visited was holding a Charity Auction, so Kitchen was closed, but we were allowed to buy fish & chips from a nearby restaurant and eat them in the Pub.....Heaven!
For reasons known only to himself Mr Moody decided that what I really needed was an LP of Johnny Cash singing Hymns and a pair of second hand size 5 ladies cowboy boots which he successfully won in the auction, probably as the only bidder.
Fortunately Dave was smitten with the boots and despite our efforts to dissuade him he insisted on wearing them all night and I believe still has them on as I write.
(For future reference if anyone wants to buy me a gift I don’t like Johnny Cash or Hymns and I’m a size 8)
After Dinner we walk (Dave Moseys on Down) for our annual assault on the Beast, this unusually strong Ale has claimed many victims in the past (Russ?) but normally when returning the next morning, this is the first time we have had a man down on the first engagement as Daygan took ‘Lightweight’ to previously unachieved heights! Meanwile myself and Marcy G adjourned to bar and one of us managed to wind up the village idiot to point where he wanted to fight both of us (think it might have been me that upset him) fortunately Marcs diplomatic skills saved the day!
After eviction from the pub its back to the Campsite for white port shots, music and talking utter B***ocks until the earlier hours much to the delight of the Caravaners who had wisely parked their caravan right in front of the communal area we occupied.
Morning was the usual ritual, wait on Mr Moody, quick cup of tea, pick scooter up out of the mud with the help of Scouts, collapse tent and head off.
Stopped at 11.00 for silence and fuel, and rattled back on A39 to other side of Bridgewater and coffee, fag and Goodbyes.