It’s right on 4pm and we have our camp established in the Beverly Beach State Park Campsite. The day has been mostly overcast and cool though there have been some sunny spells.
Being in the Landy and on the road again is marvellous. The scenery after leaving Scott and Marsha’s place this morning at around 9am was varied and lovely. Driving through a set of ranges to get to the coast through the wooded valleys of the Tillamook State forest, the leaves turning golden and brown, setting the scene.
Our trip back to the UK went nearly perfectly. I say nearly as the only blemish was the communication black hole. Not just at the Country Park we live in when in the UK, but almost wherever we went. The first week was without any wifi and it drives me crazy. Jen went to Brighton with her girlfriend Carolyn on the first Monday and I was so fed up I got the bike out of the shed and cycled around to brother-in-law Dave’s garage, to use his wifi. Thanks Dave. 🙂
Fortunately the Park owner has had a fibre optic cable run into the park during the summer and after he retuned from his holiday in Croatia, we had a strong adequate signal for the last few days. Just in time for the Rugby World Cup. With all games broadcast live on ITV I watched the first four including the one between NZ & S.A. A hard earned win to the AB’s.
The highlight of the two weeks in the UK and one of the reasons we went back, was Jen’s 70th birthday party, held in a local pub. A great night it was and the first chance we have had for family and friends to be together. Jen also got to see her latest family addition, Siena, now four months old. Born after we left the UK in April. What a gorgeous placid child she is.
Catching up with Jen’s Mum and family was joyous too.
We went up to London to stay with son James and Sarah and their expanding family in their newly established house in Chiswick . While there, took the opportunity to visit Stanfords, the map people in London, to stock up on Central and South American maps.
Our flight yesterday from Heathrow went smoothly till we got to immigration in Portland. There was real concern as to us being allowed in. Unlike our last Immigration officer, this one was one unpleasant piece of work who actually said she didn’t think she would let us in!! By the time we left the terminal we were the last ones to leave and getting on the light rail train to find it was being replaced by a bus. Arriving at the airport terminal at 3.12pm it was 6.30pm by the time we got to the end of the line at Hillsboro where Kelly and Stacy kindly came and picked us up. Oh, and the immigration …. lady very reluctantly gave us another 90 days on our visas.
Stacy took us straight up to Scott and Marsha’s house, where the Landy was parked. Kelly had prepared dinner for us and bought it in the Ute with them. Exhausted, we were in bed in their lovely house by 9pm. Waking at 12midnight and neither of us could sleep again and were up at 7am ready to hit the road after breakfast. Again, thank you Kelly & Stacy, Scott and Marsha for your wonderful hospitality and thoughtfulness.
Today after reaching the Oregon coast we have enjoyed the drive down it. Stopping at Otter Loop Point to watch Grey whales and otters feeding on what must be waters rich in plankton and nutrients. There were more than a dozen whales lazily feeding just below the surface but coming up frequently for air, less than a hundred meters offshore below us. Dozens of Otter heads bobbing in the sea before diving and all surfacing again together. The whales are on their way to Alaska to feed and mate before heading back down to Mexico to calve in the spring. It seems Grey whales travel the furtherest in their annual migration.
While the flight yesterday I read a book called ‘This is Not Propaganda – Adventures in The War Against reality’ by Peter Pomeranstev. A sobering read.