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"Porlocks to that, its Winter!"

The L.O.S.T Annual Porlockian pilgrimage 19th / 20th November 2016

Saturday 19th November

The weather during the week leading up to our Annual pilgrimage to Porlock was cold. Cold, windy and wet to be honest but this was late in the year for us here so nothing to be concerned about......


What we hadn't planned on was Storm 'Angus' broadsiding us around 3 am Sunday morning.  It was going to be a fun weekend from the off. 

Meeting at the Brent Knoll Garage at our normal Southern rendezvous point, six daft souls gathered for the fun route south I had meticulously planned. Of course, we were down a few souls as Moody has Gout, Mr G has simulated Gout and Russell M had nowt. A new rider, Mr Ricky Freeman decided to tag along to see what the weekend could offer so fair do's to him for attempting this at the rear end of the year. 

First stop was the Pines cafe set deep in the Quantocks. A favourite L.O.S.T feeding hole. The B road from Bridgey to the cafe is a little classic with steep ascents , tight corners and plenty of leaves and mud on the road to warm on the nerves a little before the tougher stuff ahead. At this point, I think Daygan had finally realised that Michelin S1 tyres are useless for this type of road as he slipped and slid his way through the valley. Autumn 'B' road riding is the most treacherous of the year in my opinion as the road surface can change significantly within a couple of feet from deep water to rocks and rubble to thick mud / cow muck so decent tyres is an absolute must. fair do's to him for hanging on but can imagine his heart was in his mouth at times.

The plastic creation thing that Malcolm was riding has a petrol tank designed for local shopping only so duly began to splutter close to Wimbleball lake, South of Wheddon Cross. After the quick diversion for Fuel we headed due West across to Dunkery Beacon and across the open moors in snow and ice. Low cloud shrouded the normally glorious views but with no wind it felt warm.. It had started to rain so with Mitts adorned we set up over the hill further .


I has spotted the snow covering from a few miles back so knew the route across the tops was to be a little challenging. However, little did they all know that I had also planned a little excursion through Cloutsham on the route to Porlock. This was going to be fun. ...

Cloutsham is a very hidden valley south west of Porlock. The Oar valley, of which Cloutsham belongs, is one of the prettiest places to visit in the South West region. A deep valley with a very steep, exposed and greasy descent into the wooded river bottom awaits - literally. The Cloutsham valley has a famous river ford  crossing at his heart so what better thing than for us to have to cross it on a lambretta?. River crossing on a scoot is precarious at best, so straight lines and steady speed are a necessity but luckily the river had yet to swell too much by the rain but still deep enough to chill the pinkies. Once across, I stopped the other side to watch the riders pass through one by one without too much trouble. We did have a little giggle at Daygan with his cut-down and his feet up at head height.... Poor fella.  I had completely forgot that we had a skelly with us when I planned the route some months before. No feet wet so off, up and out the other end of the valley. The ascent and out is a series of tight hairpins with 2 x 1:3 inclines to feck your gears on. I could hear the missed and crashing 1st gears from the top of the hill. I did it. 


The descent to Porlock is a cracker and cuts the back of Porlock hill away. A quick squirt along the high street seen us at the Campsite. I felt very proud of the guys some of the route today was tough and needed care. Handshakes all round meant we could dash to get our tents up..

The reason we come to Porlock is the 'BEAST'. This winter Exmoor ale is a killer. Three pints and you are wobbly. The way Porlock village is laid means that the Beast boozer is last on the route so the best thing to do is start early at the campsite with Brandy and lovage. oh and Brandy and Port. A good bottle polished off we set off and at this point i knew that the Beast was going to bite tonight at some point. Pompey was his normal abusive self and entertained us all at the dinner table with yet more of his sordid sexual fantasies. By the time we made the Ship and our first pint of Beast in hand, I had trouble walking.....

Storm Angus awaited.....

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