Sunday, 28 September 2008

A beach, a wind farm, a nuclear power station and some birds: cycling from Rye to Dungeness

Yesterday we cycled from Rye to Dungeness and back on our electric bikes, a 30 mile round trip (the batteries could probably have lasted another 10 miles I think). First stop was Camber, where we paused at the shingle banks to the east of the village:It was about lunchtime so we stayed a short while there. You can see the Romney Marsh wind farm behind Tracy in this picture:
Here's a better view of it:
It includes 26 turbines, which are now all up. Apparently they have to build some meteorological equipment and then they can start commissioning them, with the whole lot scheduled to be running by January 2009.

While we had lunch a guy zoomed around on a jetski for our amusement...
and the local wildlife hung around to see if they could clean up any crumbs we left:
A bit further down the road towards Lydd we stopped by a large lake, which I think may have been formed by gravel excavation, which was still going on nearby.
The far shore was carpeted with gulls:
while the shore near us was covered with Lapwings and some slightly smaller brown birds we haven't been able to identify. None of them liked the high-vis yellow vests we were wearing, so seeing as we were scaring them anyway I took the opportunity to get some photos:
Before long we passed Lydd, and headed out into the wilderness. You can see why the MOD trains soldiers for Iraq and Afghanistan here:
In the distance was Dungeness nuclear power station:
and we rode past what looked like a facilty for transferring nuclear fuel containers from trains to trucks to go down to the power station:
The road's quite long and desolate:
though there was actually quite a bit of traffic on it.

As we approached Dungeness we saw that the RNLI lifeboat station was open, so we went in to have a look round, and bought a few odds and ends in their shop. Apparently they didn't get called out much this year, as the lack of warm weather reduced the number of people out on the sea. Impressive kit waiting there until it's needed though:
From there we moved on into the village of Dungeness, which has the strangest collection of houses I've ever seen, many with the power station overlooking them:
and once you move away form the road it's back to wilderness The furtherst point of our ride was marked by the Britannia Inn, which serves a good pint of beer.
and you can sit out the front in good weather, with the usual view:Mike

UPDATE, here's the photo I mentioned in the comments below, taken last year:


Anonymous said...

Pictures of the lighthouse and its modern replacement would have been good too.

Mike Pepler said...

I'm afraid we didn't make it down that list little bit of road this time, but I do have the lighthouse in a picture I took there last year, I'll add it to the end of the blog now.


Fr. Peter Doodes said...

We are luck to live in a beautiful part of the world and it is so easy to take it for granted, familiarity and all that, and thank you for the pictures of the windmills I had not seen them before, the gentle giants that put the nuclear power station to shame.

derek said...

Have you seen the concrete "radar" structures used before proper radar to detect aircraft. They are not far from Dungeness and I saw them on a tour in September.

Mike Pepler said...

I'd not seen them, whereabouts are they?

Nathanael Woodbridge said...

The concrete "radars" are near to Lydd airport. You get to it from behind the coastal road.

I went to Dungeness not long ago, it a bit like a ghost town to me. Although there are some nice views, especially from the top of the old lighthouse, on a clear day to can see France.