Monday, 9 May 2016

Cadbury tweet-up adventure

This weekend we had a different sort of adventure.  We went to a tweet-up at Cadbury chocolate factory, which is in the midlands of England, near Birmingham.  As we live in the south of England we did not want to do the trip in one day so we drove up the day before and stayed in Stratford-on-Avon in Warwickshire.

This meant leaving home early and going on the car ferry.  Harry brought the mini-muffins along for breakfast.

We took a leisurely drive up via Hampshire and Oxfordshire.  My person was very happy to go through Oxfordshire and see where her grandfather came from.  Just outside the lovely Oxfordshire, Cotsworlds town of Chipping Norton, we found the Artyard Cafe.  Harry couldn't choose between carrot cake and chocolate cheesecake.

Mini-Kolo found this motorbike and went for a ride.

When we got to Stratford we needed to look for evidence of Shakespeare.  Harry found Hamlet and got acquainted with Yorick's skull.  It may not have been quite respectful.

We went for a walk along the river Avon and found a lock.  Harry had trouble climbing up and got there just as Mini-Kolo fell off.  We walked on quite a long way.

Eventually we turned back to go back to Stratford.  Harry checked out the way by finding signposts.

We were hungry and it was time for lunch so we went to a great tea shop and had a vegetable tikka baguette.  It was enormous and Harry and Mini-Kolo shared this one.

We didn't have a cream tea but Harry checked out these scones, enormous!!

After lunch we walked around Stratford and met this enormous teddy.  We are not sure what character he is representing.

By this time our paws were tired and we checked into the hotel and put our paws up for a while.  That was a welcome break.

On Saturday morning we made our way to Bournville for the Cadbury tweet-up.  We arrived despite the SatNav.

While we were waiting for the others, at Cadbury, Mini-Kolo and Harry decided to check out the Cadbury cow to make sure it was safe for all the others.  Baboons are good climbers so they are right to do the checking.  Mini-Kolo found a little niche on the tail.

Everyone arrived Tour Guide Ted, Ker'd, Tired Teacher Ted, SallyJainW, Lucky, Bluey and Honey and us.  The baboon behind Mini-Kolo is Sally's rehomed baboon Betsy Pawwood, named after Beset Trotwood in David Copperfield.  She is Ryan Baboon's sister so he was glad we had met her.

Then came the cow scramble!!  Mini-Kolo kept his safe place in the tail, he falls off things often.

So time to enter the Cadbury exhibition.

Mini-Kolo couldn't wait to get in on the chocolate act with TGT's Theo!!

Next thing we knew we found ourselves in a rain forest, where we learned the history of chocolate.  That was very interesting and later we learned about the history of Cadbury which was fascinating.

We loved the chocolate shapes.  Harry specially liked the football.

After the trip around the exhibition and a visit to the shop we got acquainted with Ker'd over lunch.  He has come to England all the way from Ohio and is having fun adventures and meeting Twitter pals.

After all that adventuring we were very hungry and went to the White Swan Hotel in Stratford for fish and chips.  These were lovely and manperson reported that the beer was also good.

It was great to meet all of you and we hope to meet you again.  We will see some of you at the IOW tweet up in July.  We missed Martha B Bear because she was involved with her football team's great achievement, but we will see you in July Martha.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Today's walk

Oh yes I only blogged this morning and now I am blogging again on the same day.  This is because we are going on a different type of adventure tomorrow and won't have time.  We went for a long walk today, starting in Upper Ventnor.

Harry checked out the view from the Whitwell Road, where we started.  This is at the top of the cliff and there is an undercliff below, before you get to the sea.  Its very high.

We've been taking pictures of bluebells, but Harry found some pinkbells!!  We carried on along the Whitwell Road, which is also the cliff path, and then crossed over a road into fields.

Harry checked where we were when we got to a stile on the cliff above the village of St Lawrence.

We carried on along the cliff path through woody bits and fields, including fields full of flowers, here there were daisies, buttercups and dandelions.

From the cliff path Harry could see St Catherine's lighthouse down on the undercliff, a long way down!!

Harry looked across the downs to where we were headed to, just below the hill in the background.

He looked back over where we had been.

We got to our destination, the viewpoint above Blackgang Chine and below the old St Catherine's lighthouse, also called the pepper pot.  We were thrilled to find the cafe there was called the Banana Tree, that is a new cafe.  We had hot chocolate there and looked at the view.

It was a little bit hazy today, being May, but we could see all over the west of the island to the Needles rocks.

On the way back, not content with finding bluebells and pinkbells, we found whitebells as well.  At first we thought they were snowdrops but we compared them and they were different and grew like bluebells.

There were lots of woody bits along the way so of course we did some climbing, here we needed to climb to avoid the massive stinging nettles below.

On the way back we had to climb this hill and we took at rest at the top to look back at the path and the undercliff, the light house is hidden by trees.

Finally we got back to Ryde and visited the supermarket, Sainsburys, to get some muffins for breakfast tomorrow, as it is somebody's birthday and we have an adventure to go on.  We met our monkey pals who work in their window advertising.  Today they were getting ready for summer barbecues, picnics and the European Football Championships which are coming up next month.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Another walk

We are really enjoying our week off work and yesterday we had another walk.  Diego Baboon got up to mischief.  This was rather a strange day because we started on one walk and then turned back and did another, we are not sure why and its not usual Baboon HQ behaviour unless there is too much mud or flooding, which there wasn't!  We started at Brightstone and Diego checked out the cliff path.

This is on the south of the island between Blackgang and Freshwater.  We walked for about half an hour and then about half way through the forest we turned back.  We will do that walk another day while person is still off work.

We drove to Freshwater and walked down our favourite disused railway next to the River Yar.  Diego climbed a tree to get a better look at the river.

The hedges are covered in blossom and Diego wanted to show you.  We walked a different way and found a disused railway station (not surprising on a disused railway line).

This is where Diego got up to a bit of mischief and climbed the signal.  Well he is a baboon.  This disused station is a cafe now, and a bike hire company.

Diego may be mischievous but he knows that the Baboon HQ budget is not for paying fines.  This railway gate threatens that anyone who does not shut and fasten the gate will be liable for a penalty not exceeding 40 shillings.  Well 40 shillings is not so much these days but Diego made sure nobody could accuse him of not shutting and fastening the gate.

We came out at the seafront just outside Yarmouth and Diego had a rest looking at the sea.

Finally we walked back along the river and Diego had a climb to prove he was a baboon.

Another lovely day out followed by tea and a nap.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Long sunny walk

Today was another lovely day and my person is off work this week so we went for another long walk.  We started from home and walked along the seafront at Ryde.

Harry loves the sandy beach here and he likes to look at the boats.

Still on the seafront, at Springvale, Harry could see Seaview which was our first destination.

Harry admired the shingle beach at Seaview.  A lot of people visit Seaview to go sailing.

Moving on we turned inland and walked through fields from Seaview to St Helen's (that is a little village on Baboon Island, not the big town in Lancashire).

We baboons always giggle here, can you see the crazy tree that is much taller than the others?  It is a mobile phone mast disguised as a tree.  Does it fool you?

We reached Bembridge and after stopping for coffee at our favourite cafe, the Toll Gate, we walked along to Bembridge Mill.  This is quite old and small, it belongs to the National Trust.  We will go in one day.

We were making for Brading, and there was still a way to go.

We walked down a few hills and along the sea wall.  This is the ancient sea wall.  I know it doesn't look much like a sea wall and it is quite a long way inland but Brading Harbour used to come up this far.  It has been silted up for centuries now and makes a lovely walk.

We crossed the airfield at Bembridge and into the countryside of Brading Marshes.  On top of the hill in the background you can see Bembridge Fort, it looks like trees from here.  It was a Roman fort but more recently I think it has been an IT company premises.

You can hardly see Harry in this one but ahead the white buildings are the village of Brading where we were going.

After crossing the fields we entered some woods, where we did some climbing.  There were lots of bluebells, you can see some of them in the background.

Before leaving the countryside to walk along the tarmac path into Brading we stopped to have a look around.  You can see for miles from here.  It is a beautiful walk.

We stopped to have a chat with some cattle who love to look at the same view and then walked into Brading.

In Brading we went for lunch at the Waxworks Cafe, in the building that used to be a wax work museum.  It was a very yummy lunch, cheese and appleslaw sandwich with fries and salad.  After a nine mile walk we deserved it.

The cafe has a chocolate shop attached with a lot of lovely looking chocolates.  Harry found these Isle of Wight chocolate bars.

After lunch we took the bus home for a cup of tea and a nap on the sofa.  It was a long hot walk but lovely!!