So, 2 years ago I couldn’t swim 2 lengths of a swimming pool without having a coronary, I thought front crawl was something babies did across the carpet and the thought of swimming in open water utterly terrified me – you can’t touch the bottom, there are waves trying to drown you and there are other living creatures that can move a whole lot faster than you can! All fears which are utterly ridiculous when you consider I spend a large amount of time in the sea attached to a surf board! But fears they were…
Yet last month I swam 10k down a river and into an estuary (the Dart 10k) – and I loved it!
It started with actually learning how to swim properly – I could stay afloat but had no clue beyond that. A winter spent training and some serious coaching sessions turned me into a swimmer. Suddenly I was passing people in the pool. My times were dropping dramatically. I even looked like I knew what I was doing.
Then this summer with my technique looking better and my swim fitness good it was time to tackle the fear element. My challenge to myself was to tackle a local swim organised by our Surf Lifesaving Club – it is 2k and goes from Saunton to Croyde around the headland. Terrifying in that once you start you can’t get out unless you want to scramble up a cliff. Truth is it was a piece of cake – it was beautiful to be out in the open, to feel the sun and to see the cliffs and seagulls bobbing about every time I took a breath.
A greater challenge was required – which was good as after a bottle of wine over winter I’d signed up for the Dart 10k! It wasn’t so easy – 10k is a long way, but training at Putsborough was a joy – the swim to Woolacombe and back on a sunny day is awesome. It was great fun, a real challenge and what a sense of achievement as I crossed the line.
Stay posted for the next challenge….!
Along with half of Britain, inspired by last years phenomenal British Cycling team performances, we have taken to the roads on 2 wheels instead of 4.
New (well new to us) road bikes joined the other toys in the garage at the end of summer and we’ve been getting out whenever we can ever since.
There are some superb rides around here, on Exmoor and of course along the Tarka trail (easy peasy).
A trip to see Damien Hurst’s Verity in Ilfracombe.
After a few beers over the winter we even signed up for our first Sportive – the 60 mile Exmoor Beauty in April! http://www.exmoorbeauty.org/index.php At the moment I fear it will not be very beautiful as the weather has not been the best for training – although I have discovered an alternative use for ski gloves. Not looking forward to the aching limbs and oxygen deprivation. Remind me to sober up before clicking confirm next time!!
If you fancy a few days away with your bike then bear us in mind. We have lots of route recommendations (both on the doorstep and a short drive away) and plenty of secure storage for bikes.
So Oceanfest this year was a bit on the wet and windy side but that didn’t stop plenty of people flocking to Croyde to enjoy the sport and music on offer.
Newton Faulkner was our favorite of the weekend – he was brilliant.
Other highlights included inpromptu mud wrestling and of course the Big Boy Paddle.
Phil has taken part in the Big Boy Paddle for the last 3 years now. The challenge is to paddle on a surfboard no larger than 10ft, from Saunton Beach to Croyde Bay (approx 2km depending on the tide). Somehow the conditions never seem to be nice on the day! This year came in 4th – his best performance yet. Podium finish next year maybe??
Only tiny waves this bank holiday weekend so we took to the water in our new kayak instead of a surf board. Absolutely gorgeous paddle from Croyde around Baggy Point and on towards Putsborough. We tried to catch dinner – limited success! Luckily we had a back up plan otherwise we might have gone hungry.
Guests also followed suit hiring a double kayak from Saunton Beach and heading for Downend Point and beyond. Lots of aching shoulders at Green Rooms B&B on Sunday!
Photos by the lovely Robert Cheetham – cheers Rob. www.Lummi.co.uk
Over the winter we’ve been having a go at the Surf Lifesaving sport of Surf Skiing. A challenge to say the least – staying upright for more that 10 seconds is virtually impossible at first. We’re getting there slowly – although six stitches in Phil’s head are testament to the dangers of the sport!!
To get in some more practice we have this weekend splashed out on our own surf kayak – a great new toy for exploring the coastline on the flat days and catching some waves on the smaller days.
Lynmouth, Watermeet and Countisbury Hill
We’ve had non-water loving friends to stay – I know, they are weird but it takes all sorts! Anyway, it was a great excuse to head over towards Exmoor for a day of walking (much to Rocky’s delight). We parked at the Valley of the Rocks near Lynton and walked the coastal path into Lynmouth then up the river to Watersmeet for the obligatory cream tea lunch. With very full stomachs we then headed up and over Countisbury Hill and back into Lynmouth – ice cream stop this time! Dogs tired, friends happy – job done!
We get so many requests for our Breakfast Granola recipe that I thought we’d put it up here for all to use. Happy Crunching!
4 tbsp veg oil (I use rapeseed oil)
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp vanilla essence
300g porridge oats
50g pumpkin seeds
50g sunflower seeds
50g sesame seeds
100g flaked almonds
Mix together and spread out on 2 baking trays, then bake at 130 degrees cent for 15mins.
50g desiccated coconut
100g dried fruit (apricots, sultanas or whatever you have)
Stir into main mixture and bake for a further 10 mins.
Green Rooms B&B, Croyde Breakfast Granola Done!