Tuesday 28th March 2017
This morning we've moved from the Jurassic Coast to The Camping and Caravan Club site at Southbourne near Chichester, and it's lovely but packed! Our intention once we arrived here was to sit and soak up the afternoon sunshine, and although we did that for a while we soon persuaded ourselves that we also needed to go out for a walk. And in so doing we discovered a very well stocked farm shop just down the road - we explored it thoroughly but as we'd just done our main food shop in Asda we couldn't really fit much more in - however I'm sure we'll be taking full advantage of it when we leave here in 5 days time!
|Somebody not obeying the rules!|
Wednesday 29th March 2017
Hey Sharon - Hope you had a brilliant Birthday - Missing you loads xxx🎂🍷🎂
Today we went cycling but it probably wasn't one of our best rides cos although the weather man had predicted some sunshine it rained for quite a bit of the way, and it was the sort that drenched and sent cold shivery tentacles running down your neck! We set off towards Hayling Island, and although the first part was on road, we soon found ourselves riding along the old 'Billy Line' - a dedicated cycle/walking track converted from another disused railway line!
The trail runs alongside Langstone Harbour which is an inlet of the English Channel and it is sandwiched between Portsea Island and Hayling Island, and it eventually leads to a long shingle beach with fronts the Island. However, this was the bit that was disappointing - the rain was cold and so were we, there was heavy plant machinery working to improve the sea defences which resulted in deafening noise at times, and altogether it looked a bit dismal. And added to that we were hungry and couldn't find anywhere even partially sheltered to stop for lunch.
So in the end we decided not to endure it anymore and turned tail to ride back the way we'd come, and this quickly resulted in us being back beside Langstone waters. Happily, also at this point the rain stopped and a convenient bench quickly presented itself so we took full advantage and gobbled our lunch.
Then once we felt more replete we nipped into the Town of Havant to collect our Euro's for our forthcoming trip to the Netherlands - we only got 1.12 to the pound but it looks like things will only get worse in the near future but hey oh, we've done much better on previous trips so maybe it's swings and roundabouts. ! Total mileage for the day was only 25ish but we've got 3 more days here yet so if the sun shines we might go a bit further tomorrow.
Thursday 30th March 2017
Well today was a bit of a walk down memory lane, but as the memories were from 50 years ago some of them were a bit vague! Our trip was a little 35 miler into Southsea and Portsmouth - a place that I, along with my brother Pete and his friend Paul used to visit regularly when we were children, particularly to see HMS Victory.
She's been preserved there in a dry dock since 1922, but she was originally launched in 1765 and is best known as Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Back in the day our little 'gang' used to escape from our parents, jump on the ferry from Gosport to Portsmouth, and spend the day poking around the decks and bilges of the ship, and this was mostly unrestricted cos in them days our visits were free and sometimes unescorted!
Unfortunately a lot of today's ride was on cycle tracks that ran along side busy roads so until we actually got to Southsea there wasn't much to catch our interest, but once we were that all changed.
First our attention was taken by several miles of shingle beach where the waves crashed up with the incoming tide, and we hadn't gone far along the sea front when we passed by a a huge Royal Marine Standing Guard outside their Museum.
The memorial has a central obelisk and has the names of the dead on bronze plaques arranged around it's base, and apparently there are also identical memorials in Chatham and Plymouth.
Then came the D-Day Museum that was fronted by lots of info boards and several units of heavy artillery
And after that we found the hovercrafts - a means of transport by which John and I travelled the Isle of Wight when we were 19 and 16 respectively, and one we've promised ourselves we'll use again in the fairly near future
This particular service is called Hovertravel and is the world's longest running commercial hovercraft and the only scheduled one in Europe, and since it was launched in 1965 it has carried over 26 million passengers on the 10 minute journey across the Solent
Then we didn't have much further to go before we were in Portsmouth itself and standing on the old defence 'Hot Walls' near the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour - apparently a 'nickname' that originated long ago and was derived from the fact that they used to heat the cannon balls to make them more deadly when fired at wooden ships!
It was also here that we learnt about the very decorative lanterns that are strung along the promenade - they were designed to create a blue necklace of lights around Portsmouth Harbour so that vessels entering at night are guided in.
Then finally today's trip terminated in a remembrance garden opposite Gun-wharf Keys from where we had excellent views of the Spinnaker Tower which stands 170 metres tall and has 3 viewing decks - the top one of which is open to the elements 'allowing visitors to feel the wind in their hair'! From there we could also watch the Gosport Ferry chugging to and fro across the water - another little trip I'd quite like to repeat for nostalgia's sake!
Today it was impossible to visit a lot of the attractions because of lack of time and also because we'd got our bikes with us, however Portsmouth is one city that we'd both like to see more off, so in the near future we've promised ourselves a return visit.
Friday 31st March 2017
Today we were out on our bikes again (40 ish miles) - but as our plan was just to ride to Bosham and then on to West Wittering I though our outing would be more of an exercise excursion rather than anything interesting - but I was very wrong!
To get to the village of Bosham we followed very quiet country lanes and when we arrived we found one of the prettiest hamlets we've seen in a while. It lies on one of the 'arms' of Chichester Harbour and it's land was given to the National Trust in 1934 to protect the Church (which is shown in The Bayeux Tapestry) and the towns water front for prosperity.
|I asked John to have a go on the rope swing - |
but surprisingly he said NO!
|A road ridden with great care cos it was very slippy on the green slime!|
along a road in front of the village that is covered by the sea twice a day - apparently one or two folks have been caught out here and left their cars for the sea to claim - hence the numerous signs giving warning!
And then we came to Salterns Way - an 18 km cycle route that runs from the centre of Chichester to the sand dunes at East Head - however, it has to be said that if it didn't circumnavigate so many big ploughed fields it would probably be only half that distance! 🚜
However, we shouldn't complain because also along it's way we enjoyed sights of the spectacular Chichester mariner where there were many millions of pounds worth of yachts, and also the canal were we found another black swan sitting on it's nest.
We eventually left the trail at West Itchenor, and then as we were starving, we scurried along to our goal of West Wittering which turned out to be another fantastic spot of wild seas, sands and beaches where it would be quite easy to while away a day or two. But we didn't have that long, so after lunch and some time spent admiring the views we turned our wheels homeward, but not before promising ourselves a return visit some time in the future when we'll take T4rdis2 with us!
Saturday 1st April 2017 🐰🐇🐰
Today seemed just like a summer's day with warm bright sunshine right from the start, and as we'd spent the last 3 days cycling we decided to award ourselves a day off - but not completely, we still had a few chores to do prior to departing for the Netherlands on Monday.
Therefore, the morning passed doing said jobs, and in the late afternoon we pottered across to the farm shop to stock up on goodies to take with us - however some didn't make it quite as far as the ferry! As the sun started to dip in the sky we sat it's late warming rays sipping Wasp's Blood and Chocolatey Curious Porter!
Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd April 2017
Sunday was another moving day - about 140 miles to the Aire in the Canterbury Park and Ride car park on New Dover Road, and although it's nothing special it's allowed us to be near Dover Docks ready for our trip over to France and then on to the Netherlands tomorrow. When we arrived there were only a couple of other vans here, but it's steadily filling up now so we're quite glad we got here early and bagged our spot. Once we'd 'settled in' we had a little walk around the neighbourhood which is mostly residential, but other than that we just whiled away our time chatting with the neighbours and doing not a lot of anything much!
On Monday our ferry was booked for 12 mid-day so there was no rush to get to the port, but by 10.30 we were all checked in and sitting sipping our coffee while waiting to board. Our sailing will be about 2hrs, but as France is an hour in front of us it will be 3ish when we get there, so rather than going any further today we're going to stop overnight in the free Dunkirk Aire and continue our journey tomorrow.
So for now it's Au-revoir from us and I'll just be keeping my fingers crossed that I'm not allergic to 🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷pollen or I'm likely to be 🤧🤧🤧 a lot for the next 3 weeks!
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