Who was Buckle and was he any good with Garmin?

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  Southern Section diary

The direct route between Bahnstormer, Alton, and Buckler’s Hard is around 40 miles which, to say the least, would be a disappointing ride-out. Our planned route however, was nearer 70 miles and took in the full gamut of roads excepting motorways. We’d initially planned the route back in July but still trying to develop a relationship between Google Maps and Garmin via GPS Visualizer, I’d edited the route several times to optimise the waypoints, avoiding Garmin’s Germanic management of these little markers.

Despite a positive forecast for sunshine, the weather greeting us on Sunday morning was dull, with light drizzle, and deceptively cold.  

We lead 6 bikes away from Lower Farringdon and about 100 yards outside the Village passed out first waypoint on the
sat nav.  For users of Tom-Tom this is an insignificant event but, for Garmin, this proved to be too much to deal with. Within a minute or so, the Kommandant dictated the U-turn. Immediately. In fact, had I had the sat nav sound on, she would have driven me round the bend and throughout the whole journey. It turned out that my first waypoint was actually about 10 feet to the right of the road and, because we didn’t go through the field it was in, we should have returned to Bahnstormer and taken the muddy route out instead.
Ignoring instructions, something Susan will confirm I can be quite good at, we continued on the route which, even if I say it myself, was quite good (thanks entirely to Google). We took in some delightful country lanes that could have easily been by-passed, finding some quite idyllic villages comprising almost entirely of thatched cottages. The weather continued its varied approach, throwing anything from fine, penetrating rain and mist, through to just plain old, dank, chill.  But we were enjoying ourselves.

Mike Cross - an early arrival at Lower Farringdon
Eventually emerging onto the A30, Mike Cross took the lead with a recommendation for a brunch stop at The Haven, a biker café that a number of the party had frequented in the past. This was positive luxury compared to any of the other biker haunts that we’d experienced, and one we would recommend for future outings in that area. Good food, clean tables, and service to match.

With the dismal weather conditions, Gerri decided that she was unlikely to get warm enough during the day and turned for home. The rest of the team, carried on the chosen route (despite competition from the Kommandant who, even having gone through a number of subsequent waypoints, had failed to over-write her interference).  Google continued to deliver with the quality of the route, finally delivering us to Buckler’s Hard, on the Beaulieu River, on the costal extremity of the New Forest.
Buckler’s Hard is a preserved shipbuilding village with its terraces of workers’ cottages lining the boundaries, many of them accessible to modern day visitors. The museum is well presented and informative, covering the development of naval shipbuilding in the area and the use of private partnerships so favoured by governments, even today!
Once out of the confines of the museum, the views from the top of the village towards the slipways, and across the salt marshes, is quite stunning and atmospheric. We really only scratched the surface of this fascinating place, not even venturing into the ‘real working….pub’!

Despite the efforts of the weather and Kommandant Garmin, we all thoroughly enjoyed our day out.
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