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Showing posts from March, 2017

Mar 31 2017 - Huntsville to home.

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Another day in paradise.  First order of the day - make tea!


Then pack up the van and go pay - before coming back in to explore.





After basking in the sun for a while and enjoying breakfast by the lake its off to the Sam Houston monument.
This massive white statue is visible from the freeway - and if you visit it you are pretty much standing on the shoulder with trucks whizzing past at 70 mph. But the flowers are pretty this time of year.




Then off into town for lunch and a look around. Huntsville is a great town.  Its a university town so you know it must be affordable.  Lots of interesting history to poke around at..

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Final place we went to was the Texas Prison museum.. We weren't expecting much here but ended up spending a couple of hours.  Lots of famous and infamous folks passed through the Texas prison system and the story of how punishment has evolved over the years is more interesting than it sounds.

Here is old sparky...

And here is a sample "last meal" request..…

Mar 30 2017 - Visas then San Jacinto

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After flicking a few more caterpillars we drove into Houston to pick us the Visas.
Would have cost over $400 if we had used an agent.  Our cost? $60.  While waiting in line we watched several 'agents' picking up bundles of passports and putting them straight into FedEx envelopes.  Looks like an easy way to make a living!

After a quick stop in the massive British Store we headed east to the  San Jacinto Monument
This is where Texas and Mexico had a bit of a skirmish during the Texas revolution
At 567 feet tall its the highest monument column in the world.




For a few dollars you can ride an elevator almost to the top.
The view from there is quite big.




Then its off to scramble all over USS Texas - the only ship to see action in WW1 and WW2







Tonight we camp at  Huntsville State Park - wot no caterpillars?

Mar 29 2017 - Brazos Bend and more caterpillars

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Another day in paradise.
We were expecting a storm to skim through today so we head south to avoid it.
Brunch in West Columbia (parked under a large tree just in case) then to Varner Hogg Plantation
Lots of history behind the Hogg name in Texas - and he had a sense of humor.  He called his only daughter "Ima".  (Rumors that he had another daughter and called her "Ura" are apparently untrue)




They say that 1 million bricks were used to build this place - seems a lot but who are we to argue. The bricks were made locally from the mud in the river - and that in turn allowed ships right up to the plantation to transport the cotton, then pecans.  Many houses were built from wood and did not survive the massive hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900 - but this one did.  In later years, oil and gas on the property provided a fine income.

 Next stop was Surfside Beach. We like beaches.
We didnt like this one.  Still have tar on our shoes.



You can drive on this beach - not sur…

Mar 28 2017 - Brazos Bend State Park.

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Another fine day at Brazos Bend State Park
First task of the morning (after brewing tea and flicking caterpillars of course) is to go back to the office to pay for last nights stay.  You are supposed to be there before 9AM or they think you are free-loading.
So,while Clare organized the van, Jim cycled to pay.  The usual wildlife was out and about but squeaky brakes on the bike scared them away when stopping for photos.
Then it happened -  my "North by Northwest" moment. (kids - google it)

There is a long straight section of road and I was half way along it when I heard a plane - low and slow. It gets louder and louder then bursts into view flying straight at me.  The trees on either side are tall enough to save me - and naturally its only a crop duster lining up for a run outside the park
I watched it do a few circuits before it waved goodbye and was gone.



















Got to the office at 8.30.  It opens at 9 so back to 40 acre lake for a look-see.
There were a couple of Japanese on th…