Ok dates have gone right out the window so bear with me, gonna put all the Isle of Wight in the one post and just put things as i can remember, i may put things that are real, i may make things up, i may put nothing at all,
think i put the journey in my facebook page but a quick recap.
Got to Southampton about afternoonish it was dark anyway, didn’t have the foggiest idea where the hell i was or how to get to the ferry, asked about four groups of people at the bus station, they just looked at me like i was mad , googlemapped it and started heading in what i thought was the right direction, it ‘s all a bit weird in the dark, finally found a fella who knew where he was going and followed him to the ferry terminal. After the carry on of getting a ticket out of the machine i finally got meself seated in the lower class section, (this was the only section), then the frickin videos come on about the loss of your life, which i knew was going to happen anyway, probably in the deepest bit of this bit of water.
So arrived in Cowes pretty dry as it happens and went looking for the campsite that i looked up on tinternet yesterday, wasn’t there of course so asked a couple of.
blokes outside of a pub, turned out i was on the wrong side of Cowes , no bugger told me there was two bits, so i went where they had directed me over the chainlink ferry and found the campsite, it was shut so rang a bell, knocked on a door but no answer, free night camping then, not that it meant much as everything was shut down, showers, toilets etc. Not a bad night though, probs could remember not pitch under a pine tree in future though, pine cones are a pain in the arse.
Really felt like crap this morning, hardly any sleep cos i pitched up on a load of pinecones believe it or not, but hey onward and upward so set off for wherever was next, no plans as usual just take it as it comes.
First stop was a supermarket, Waitrose or Summerfield can’t remember which an don’t really care, they had grub and fags that’s all that mattered . From here the way was blocked along the coast so i had to head inland. This was because of those royal knobs who take up a lot of OUR land and then charge us to enter it and place it under the direction of the National Trust, never understood this crap, so anyway i set off inland to get round the Osbourne Estate, no luck bumping into either of them but yer can’t have everything, turned out to be a canny walk though. I crossed over the bridge at Wooton and headed back towards the coast, well nearly anyway, the path still went inland slightly at Fishbourne but i caught the odd glimpse of the sea, i passed a huge abbey called Quarr Abbey then past Ryde golf course, the sun was shining and it was quite hot, couldn’t believe this was October, i found a bench and sat down to have a snack when a bit of a weird happening occured, it felt like an earthquake, sounded like one as well, but no one else was giving a shit, they were just taking another pot at the holes, never did find out what it was. Headed down to Ryde seafront and was still a bit peckish so popped into a cafe for a sausage sarnie and a cuppa. Then went to find a shop for some blister plasters as i could feel one forming on me big toe, needed more water as well as food for tonight so stocked up them also, i headed back to the sea and was just in time to catch a hovercraft coming in to land, do they land or dock ? whatever they make a racket doing it anyway. So onward, had a lovely walk along the seafront to Bembridge bay where i spotted a beachside cafe, a licensed one he he, so plonked myself down at a table for an hour and had a couple of pints, i got talking to an old guy who ran the fish and chip hut next door about my walk when out of the blue he asked where my Ukulele was, didn’t bring it i told him, turns out he’d been looking on my blog while i was sat there, he disappeared inside and came back out clutching a guitar, there you go try and make a bit of money he said while i do you some fish and chips, only thing is i’ve got a mind like a sieve when it comes to playing guitar so could only remember two songs, Helpless by Neil young and Dylan’s Knocking on Heavens Door so twanged an mumbled my way through them and made 14 quid ha ha, i think they were paying me to stop lol, had me fish and chips and the guy say’s i want to show you something, he got out his phone and brought up some photo’s of ukulele’s that he makes from driftwood, absolutely beautiful instruments, i asked him how much they were and he told me he usually gives them away to friends. I was going to ask him to be my friend but thought he might see through that one he he. Set off over the stone walkway that crosses the harbour and down the road on the other side, there was houseboats lined up all along the harbourside, some you could rent out as holiday accomodation, they looked fantastic but probably fantastically expensive as well.
I rounded the headland and the path went through a housing estate for a while, must have been a reason for this i suppose but i always feel weird and out of place when walking through housing estates with a 60 ltr rucksack attached to me back. I’d had about enough walking for today so had a look on me map for suitable camping spots up ahead, i found two, well i thought there was two, well there was really just that they were both the same place whitecliffe holiday park separated by a road, one half for statics the other for tourers and tents, of course the touring bit was half a mile inland, i wouldn’t normally have bothered but i needed a shower and it had started raining and i needed somewhere i could go for a pint knowing my tent would be safe which was really the main reason he he, so paid me £9 and pitched up, had a shower and off to the pub, had Guinness on special offer at £2.50 per pint so had a few of those and a bowl of chips and spent an hour trying to find my tent, think i walked past it twice, finally found it though, got in and broke the zip on the outer tent, bollocks it was raining as well, still it had Velcro on it as well so wasn’t to bad .
Cowes in the morning
Road walking around the Osbourne estate.
The walkway across Bembridge harbour.
Houseboats on Bembridge Harbour
Rain this morning, not the really heavy type, more the drizzly shitty type that just wants to soak you, didn’t want to get up but forced meself, there was a sheltered seating area near the reception so emptied my tent of all it’s gear and dumped it there then uprooted me tent and carried that over to the same spot, I’d just got ready to go when a bloke popped over for a chat, an hour long chat, by the time he’d finished I was thinking of pitching up again.
I headed over the road and through the statics back to the cliff tops. The rain was getting a bit heavier now and the path was muddy and puddly, I had to straddle the path in a few places on the way up which was interesting, once on top of the cliffs I followed a path over the downs and past an abandoned holiday village, although the path was more of a disused road it was flooded so I had to walk on the verge which was very muddy and very slippy, I was doing all right till I took my eyes off the verge to look up and went into a breakdance and ended up flat on me arse, just my luck that there was someone walking a dog behind me to witness it all, I’m OK I said to no one in particular and dragged myself off the floor like nothing had happened, it had though I’d pulled me shoulder and it was absolutely killing me, the dog walker passed me with a cheery exclamation of how slippy it was, I just smiled through clenched teeth and sort of grunted. By now the rain had turned torrential but as i headed down into Yaverland i could see a cafe on the prom that was open so went in there and had a couple of cuppas while i waited for the rain to ease up, finally after an hour it eased off slightly so i appologised for the puddle i’d left and headed along the prom to Sandown. The rain started up again just as i reached a pub so thought i’d better have a pint and wait for it to ease up again, just as i sat down the sun came out so quickly downed my drink and headed off before it started again, just as i reached Shanklin the clouds opened with a vengence and i found myself trapped in a seafront shelter, after half an hour there was no let up so made a run for it to the Waterfront pub for a bite to eat, i thought they might not have let me in as i was absolutely drenched and leaving puddles all over but the barman was great and sat me down next a radiator to dry off, once i’d finished me grub and pint the rain had eased off slightly so set off again, i couldn’t get much wetter anyway. I headed up the signposted path onto higher ground, this coastal path is very well signposted by the way, and headed on through the rain to Ventnor. I used to work at a hotel not far from Ventnor many moons ago so i knew there was quite a few camping spots along the cliffs, i chose one for it’s approximity to a shelter just in case i got rained out, only thing was it was right next to a footpath and i was getting a few strange looks, sod it i thought if i get moved i get moved, i didn’t though and the rain had stopped and i caught a beautifull sunset. So not a bad ending to a really crap day.
Heading up onto the downs
Lots of landslips on the island
Wishing seat on Luccombe estate, i wished it would stop raining. It didn’t
Seems like a nice spot, no chance of forgetting where i am anyway
Sunset, maybe that wishing seat did work after all