Category Archives: journeys

A suitcase, camera bag, a Bear and a Croc

It’s been very quiet for Bertie and Croc the past few weeks. They have been sat by the computer, near the camera bag watching and waiting to see what will happen next. Bertie has been getting impatient…..Croc has been feeling relieved. Sometimes its nice to take some time out, Croc has decided.

Then, as unexpected as always, everything changed.

The first sign was the camera’s battery being removed and charged. Bertie knew this was always a sign of a BIG adventure.

Next a small travel bag was dragged out from under the desk and things were carefully and methodically placed in it. At this point Bertie was beside himself with excitement! They had been on lots of day trips since they had come to the UK but never one which needed an over night bag. Where were they going?

Not being one to miss an adventure, Bertie excitedly made his way to hide in the camera bag dragging a sleepy Croc with him. As the bag was carefully closed and lifted, Bertie and Croc began to feel a familiar sense of excitement and wonder rise inside their tummies. Where were they heading this time???

Scoping out

Bertie Croc Bideford

Bertie and Croc were becoming seasoned travellers now. They had a little routine which they always went through when they knew an adventure was brewing. This was mainly so Croc wouldn’t get left behind again!

They made sure that they were both nestled near, or within sight of the camera bag. They knew the familiar sounds of an adventure starting and would leap into the bag and loosely close the zip to make sure they didn’t fall out when they were lifted into the air.

Today they were in the car for what seemed like forever. Bertie tapped his foot impatiently and fidgeted constantly. Croc settled down and had a nap. As Bertie watched Croc nap he smiled and wondered how two such different personalities could become the very best of friends?

When they finally made their way out of the camera bag to peep at where they were, Croc recognised it instantly. He had been here before. Bertie was too distracted looking for ice cream. In his mind, sand and water equalled ice cream and sea side. They were at Bideford, Croc was sure of it. He nudged Bertie and pointed to the landmark in front of them, a long bridge across the water which they had run over (or were carried over while their carriers ran) not so long ago.

Bertie recognised the bridge from when he was bravely peeping out of the pocket in the race and he had looked back to see where they had come from. But what were they doing here? It didn’t feel like a race?

Bertie and Croc were on a “scoping out” mission…..but what were they looking for?

Full steam ahead

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Croc had seen several amazing sights since he had started his travels with Bertie and today he was in for a treat!

Croc and Bertie were becoming experienced travellers. Bertie, especially, has travelled by plane, car, van, camper van, 4 wheel drive, tuk-tuk, motorbike, boat and helicopter, and those are the ones he can remember. Today he was to show Croc the one thing he was yet to travel on.

As they emerged from the camera bag, Croc could see they were on a platform at a train station. He began to wonder where they were going today. Bertie had been distracted by the huge, green train which was opposite them. This was not the normal kind of train he was use to seeing. It was rounder, fuller and had huge wheels.

A sudden toot made both friends jump back into the safety of the bag. “What was that?” Whispered Croc. Bertie bravely when to have a look. He could hear a weird noise and couldn’t see much at first for some smoke. As the smoke cleared Bertie’s eyes grew big. Excitedly, he leapt into the camera bag and grabbed Croc before he could protest. He pulled him into the light and pointed.

There was a cloud of smoke and as it cleared a huge, steam train pushed its way through the smoke and began to move towards them on the tracks. Croc wasn’t sure about this huge, iron beast and tried to sink back into the bag, but Bertie wouldn’t let him escape this time.

Bertie explained they were perfectly safe as long as they weren’t on the tracks. He pointed to the safety lines marked out on the platform and explained to less than convinced friend, that the trains couldn’t come up here and they would be fine. Before Croc could argue, Bertie had dragged him onto the platform to pose for a photo in front of the train. Croc looked at his friend with some confusion. What had got into Bertie? He could hardly stay still. He was so excited he was hopping up and down on the spot.

Croc looked at Bertie’s happy face and shrugged. “Oh well” He thought, “if it makes him happy.” He followed the hopping and excited Bertie around the platform as he tugged at Croc whenever they came near one of the huge engines. At one point, a train made an long toot on its whistle and Bertie started clapping his hands! That made Croc laugh.

By the time they had made their way back to the safety of the bag, Bertie was all worn out. He slept all the way home!

Would you be excited to see a steam train?

Prehistoric rocks

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was a warm, sunny day and Bertie and Croc knew what that meant, an adventure!

When they finally peeped out from the camera bag they could hear seagulls calling and the crashing of waves. They were on a long stretch of beach. Croc was mesmerised by the grey looking ocean. It had been a while since he had seen the sea. As Croc stared at the sea, Bertie was watching the people on the beach. They were crowding around the cliff’s and the many large rocks which had come to rest on the sand. He wondered what they were all looking at and why they found the rocks so interesting?

As they moved further down the beach the cold, biting wind had forced Croc to sink deeper into the bag. Bertie, being a little more hardly and use to the cold, braved the wind and watched the people crowding around the rocks fade away.

Bertie and Croc came to rest on a small rock, sheltered by the cliff face. Croc, being closer to the ground than Bertie, began to study the rock they were sat on. He nudged Bertie and pointed at a mark on the rock. Bertie looked in the direction Croc was pointing, and then did a double take! It was a FOSSIL!

Bertie had heard of fossils but never seen one! Croc slid down the rock to a lower ledge and pointed at another shape in the rocks….the fossils were everywhere! Croc looked confused. Bertie explained that a fossil is a the impression or remains of a prehistoric plant or animal which has been embedded in the rock and has been preserved. These little swirls and shapes were animals which were millions of years old.

Croc stared in disbelief at the small patterns in the rocks.

Bertie was scooped up and gently placed in the camera bag. Croc didn’t want to leave, he wanted to keep looking for more fossils. As he was scooped up he grabbed hold of a piece of rock in an attempt to stay. The rock broke away and Croc was lifted, rock and all, and placed in the camera bag. Bertie was shocked. He didn’t usually like the idea of taking things from beaches. He preferred to leave things for everyone else to see. He had to admit though, the fossils embedded in Croc’s rock were pretty cool.

Croc clung to his rock all the way home. In fact, Croc is laid on his windowsill spot right now, on top of his fossil covered rock!

A secret squirrel

Secret Squirrel

Bertie was quite relieved when he was moved away from the gushing waterfall and placed safely back in the bag. Honestly! He thought, the things I do!!! And he brushed off a few bits of moss which had decided to attach themselves to his legs. Bertie decided he was out of practice with this adventure stuff and stuck his head out of the bag to see where they were heading next.

It was a beautiful day. The sun warmed his fur and a gentle, spring breeze brushed against him they made their way along a winding pathway. This is how Bertie remembered home. Not raining and dismal but a warm, fresh spring day like today where the birds were singing and everything seemed to come alive.

Suddenly, they stopped. Bertie heard a rustling noise and he knew this was his cue to stay very still. Looking around Bertie could feel he was being watched, but he wasn’t sure by who or by what!

He heard the soft rustle again and looked up. There, in the tree above him, was a squirrel looking back at him with small, black beady eyes. There was something very unusual about this squirrel. It was red in colour and quite small. The oak leaf it carried in its mouth looked as big as its head.

Bertie was face to face with a real, rare red squirrel. These squirrels can only be found in certain parts of the UK and are quite tricky to spot. What a treat!!! Thought Bertie. He was so pleased when he heard the familiar shutter of the camera. He didn’t dare move in case he scared the squirrel off but at least they got a photograph for Croc.

I wonder what Croc would make of a red squirrel? Thought Bertie. He would probably be hiding at the bottom of the camera bag. What do you think?

Waterfall adventure

Bertie by a waterfall

Bertie and Croc had had a long rest after running, well being carried on, a half marathon. Bertie’s legs ached from jumping up and down inside the pocket. Croc’s legs ached from clinging onto the material of the pocket for dear life praying he didn’t fall out.

The weather was beginning to warm up in the UK now. Croc hadn’t experienced the UK when it was warmer and he had found a safe and happy spot on the window sill where he could follow the sunshine all day. As the sun moved across the windowsill, so did Croc, shuffling when no one was watching.

Bertie was itching for another adventure and spent his time pacing backwards and forwards from the sunny windowsill to the camera case. This was how Croc got left behind!!!

You see on glancing into the camera case, and seeing Bertie, and being so use to Croc hiding. Nobody noticed that Croc was missing and so Bertie was whisked away on an adventure without his best friend. This was the first adventure he had been on by himself in a while and Bertie’s stomach began to churn and he felt quite upset! He hoped Croc wouldn’t be annoyed….

Bertie was whisked out into the light and heard mumbling noises, followed by a frantic fumble around in the bottom of the bag. Bertie knew he now wasn’t the only one who realised Croc was missing. “It’s OK, Croc will be at home” Bertie heard a voice say. “We will just have to take even more photographs of Bertie so he can show Croc where he has been!!!” Bertie suddenly felt a sense of purpose and responsibility.

He posed with his best smile, trying not to show how nervous he was, trying to be brave for the photographs for Croc, as he was placed on the cold, damp rocks in front of a loud and gushing waterfall. Bertie knew Croc liked water but he wasn’t sure what his best friend would make of water which was this enthusiastic…..what do you think Croc would think of the waterfall?

 

The Bideford Half

Bertie and Croc's Half Marathon effort

Challenge is a word Bertie and Croc are quite use to experiencing. I mean, let’s face it, when your legs are as small as theirs, even climbing into a camera bag can be a challenge!

Just recently Bertie and Croc embarked on one of their biggest challenges since returning to the UK. At first they thought they were on another, ordinary adventure. They were sat comfortably in the back of the car watching the trees and landscape roll past. They were on their way to somewhere called Bideford. Bertie was, as usual, quite excited as he had never been to Bideford. Croc, as usual, was quite pensive as he hated going somewhere new and didn’t understand why this would excite anyone?

When the warm sun finally began to light up their faces, they realised they had arrived. They could hear the voices of several people, and knew that something interesting and exciting was going to happen. As they made their way closer and closer to the excited chatter they were surprised to see more people that they ever imagined, all in active wear, walking, jogging or standing around.

“What on earth is happening?” Queried Bertie. Croc shrugged and nestled deeper into the pocket he had been hiding in. Crowds, yuk, they made him shiver down his spine and feel slightly queasy.

A loud voice came over the crowd, announcing there were 1,400 people running today! Bertie looked around in shock, then down at his own small legs, “Running!?!?”

The starter went off and so did Bertie and Croc, being carried in a pocket each, bouncing around. They heard the strangest sound. It was music, Bertie was sure of it. He braved a peak out of the pocket. There were bagpipes, he heard someone say! “How odd?” Bertie shouted over to Croc. Croc pretended not to hear him over the noise. He was definitely not going to stick his head out when he was being bounced around like this. In fact, he was beginning to feel slightly sick.

Eventually, the bounciness calmed down and they began to get use to the motion. Croc, curiosity getting the better of him, braved a peek out of the pocket and saw Bertie, wind in his fur, waving manically at him! They were in a race and the landscape was amazing! They were running along the side of a river, under a canopy of trees, with an amazing view.

They watched the mile markers go by…..how much further, thought Bertie?  Suddenly they began to slow. Bertie, wondering whether the race was over, peered even more from the pocket. He jumped, as a small jelly bear fell into the pocket with him! He poked it. It didn’t move and his paw got all powdery. The familiar bouncing motion began again. They had had a jelly baby pit stop!

After what seemed like forever, Bertie began to feel them speeding up. He looked over at Croc, who had also felt the increase in the bounces and sank safely to the deep depths of the pocket. Bertie was getting into this now. As the wind blew at his fur, he felt liberated and began to cheer. They crossed the finish line in just over 2 hours.

Something else joined Bertie and Croc’s pocket on the way home….a big shiny medal. Bertie and Croc had just run their first half marathon. Bertie was super excited and chatted away all the way home. Croc silently stared at his medal. It was huge, and a strange feeling came over him. He felt proud!