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UNITED KINGDOM | Sunday, 8 February 2015 | Views [187]

297 DAYS is the number of days we spent away in total,but our 30 odd days were spent in England mainly in the Devizes area of Wiltshire catching up with Gary's family.AFter leaving Sao Paulo and with a short stopover in Zurich we finally landed at London Heathrow some 16 hrs later. WE left the summer conditions of BRazil and landed in the cool/cold of England.Thank goodness for the down jacket.Our longtime friend MIck met us at the airport and let us stay a few days with him to acclimatise. We also took a train trip up to London to look around at the shops and the xmas decorations in and around them.It was also hard to get used to the short winter days here after long summer days in Brasil. After the brief sojourn in London it was down to the west country to Poulshot - a little village just outside Devizes.Here we were able to base ourselves, as Gary's cousin and his wife kindly put us up for about 3 wks and let us share Xmas and New Year with them.They live opposite the vilage green and just a short walk from the local pub.And his aunt and uncle live next door in an old thatched roof farm house. A pretty rural setting.During our time there we were able to visit the cousins,aunts and uncles and revisit some of his old childhood haunts - all in and around Devizes. We incorporated a few local walks into these days as the weather whilst cool, was sunny and fine a lot of the time. Not what I expected. Gary also got in 2 home games of Swindon Town Football Club - much better live than an occasional viewing on the TV in OZ.WE hired a car  for 3 weeks which enabled us to explore a bit further afield and after New Year we did a whistle stop road trip around part of Cornwall.On this trip we first went SE to Brighton via the town of Winchester - a couple of hours spent here was not long enough as too much history here. In Brighton we caught up with another cousin and visited the Brighton pavilion.The right choice on a wet windy day and we were even able to have afternoon tea in the pavilion tearooms - scones with jam and clotted cream. The next day cleared for our onward journey west through Arundel and onto Lulworth Cove .At Lulworth we took a cliffside walk to Durdle Dor where there is a natural arch formation in the rocks just off the cliff. After a very quiet sunday night in Dorchester it was a quick stop at Cerne Abbas to see the chalk figure of a man in the side of a hill before crossing Dartmoor - obligatory mist and light rain at our pub lunch stop on top of the moor,and then down to Mevagissey - a little fishing village on the coast and then onto our bed for the night nearby.The next day dawned bright and sunny again so we set for for Marazion and Mt Michael's Mount. As it was low tide we were able to walkacross the causeway to the Mount and back.Back in the car to continue driving round the coast through Mousehole - very narrow one way streets and onto to Minack where there an open air theatre biult into the side of a cliff. There we saw some silly surfers on their boards catching waves below us - they did have wetsuits on.WE also stopped at Lands End and had a cliff top walk before going onto  ST Ives for a look around and afternoon tea- another pretty fishing town on the coast. The last day of this trip we wended our way back to Poulshot via the Bodmin moor where we stopped for a look at Jamacia Inn,made famous by Daphne du Maurier( the setting of one of her books).THe last few days in POulshot we spent with late minute catch ups and finally returned the car. Gary's cousin then saved us a lot of travel time and drove us back up to London to Mick's house. WE spent the last few days there repacking and relaxing before starting the final leg of our 10 month odyssey. After Mick dropped us at the airport it was 42 hours before we stepped on the tarmac in BRisbane. Our journey involved leaving LOndon for Zurich - Shanghai(12hr stopover)- Sydney - Brisbane. HOME to a hot a summers day  and finally some different clothes to wear.

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