Prehistoric Breakfast Run - Avebury 2019

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  Southern Section diary

By meeting at Romsey Rapids Fitness Centre we already felt like fishes out of water but when one of our riders had forgotten he’d agreed to join us, the wait only prolonged the embarrassment. His oversight confirmed, we set off following another of Mike Smith’s brilliantly prepared routes. What could possibly go wrong? Well, Garmin Nav 5 of course! By the first roundabout, about 200 yards, my Garmin was already instructing me to do a U-turn.
Trivial irritations aside, the 7 bikes who made it to Romsey, soon found themselves heading out of
Ready for the off
Return to events....
Pulling into the Centre’s deserted car park, we were greeted by a bereft Godders who declared the Café closed. Further investigation soon established that the Café had indeed, just opened and we were soon joined by another couple of riders. Being first customers into the café, although clearly a surprise to the kitchen staff despite prior warning, at least our group were served fairly promptly. The breakfast, when served, was so big that they served it in small boats instead of plates! Excellent value, excellent quality.
We soon wended our way back down to a more populated area, heralding the approach of the prehistoric village of Avebury.This is a major tourist attraction with a well-coordinated traffic management infrastructure. The car parking, free to motorcycles, was something of a challenge involving a run along a freshly laid, coarse gravel access road of about 250 feet in length; a test we all passed, fortunately.
suburbia and onto the sweeping curves of the Hampshire rural roads. Riding using the buddy system was fine with our initial numbers as we headed towards Middle Wallop, through the picturesque Test Valley, before emerging onto the A343 and heading to the Army Aviation Centre and its Apache Café.
Middle Wallop - Suitably replete, we hit the road
Set up for the rest of the day, we headed for Avebury Henge, Wiltshire, through the garrison town of Tidworth with its historic mess buildings lining the route. The Garrison was originally opened in 1903 and the dramatic military architecture of these buildings was underscored by their grand titles reflecting the days of the Indian Raj. The building’s grandeur was unfortunately, somewhat depleted by the high security fencing.
Beyond the garrisons of Tidworth and Bulford, the scenery then gave way to a delightful progression of picturesque villages set on the banks of the River Avon. Milston, Figheldean, Coombe and Fittleton, all villages with thatched cottages lining the narrow road. Progressing northwards, the scenery opened out into open fields before we climbed the Marlborough Downs with their spectacular, panoramic views.
Scenery to delight having moved to drop-off system
Gravel road but … all safely parked
Avebury Henge or Ring, set in the centre of a picturesque village, is the largest stone circle of its type in the World. Some of the out-lying standing stones are probably ¼ mile from the centre of the henge, in an enclosure separate to the already extensive stone circle.  It is a World Heritage site and, although free to enter, is maintained by the National Trust. The views across the landscape with its standing stones was spectacular and yet, still maintained a sense of spirituality. The warm, overcast day, gave us a great opportunity to explore the complex before heading home by our own separate routes.
Thanks go to Mike and Lesley Smith for arranging things and leading.
Avebury and its rock and rollers

Thanks to Mrs. M, Lesley Smith, and Greg Smith (no relation!) for the photos.