We stayed one night in the New Forest, walked on the nearby moor (because our bikes were out of action) and then set off for Dorset.
That was quick eh?
The journey to our current campsite was a little more eventful.
Sybil appears hell bent on taking us down the most challenging single track roads possible, regardless of what settings I fiddle with. Worse still, she is one of those satnavs that went on sale at Aldi some time ago and everyone in the country seems to have one. That means we meet everybody in the country coming the other way and they’re all is as frustrated with the damn settings on their satnav as me.
There were horns honking, red faces, foul language and near misses aplenty.
Not that I can blame Garmin for the tractor in Dorset that just about ran me into a field of tatties. Having tyres the height of my camper seems to make the farmers here feel invincible and the road is ‘damn well theirs’. Tourists have no place it seems. Daisy hit the ditch, I wrestled with the steering as we passed through a letter box sized gap, and something caused us to bounce (cartoon-like) into the air (I swear we left the ground by at least a foot!). When we landed we couldn’t believe we had not mashed the farmer’s tatties and ourselves along with them.
Daisy seemed none the worse for the ordeal – but then she is something quite amazing.
I can only imagine Porta-Potty got a bit of a slooshing in his little cupboard. ‘Porta-Potty no like slooshing in cupboard….’ (remember the robot voice for these gems).
After that we made our way into Bournemouth (or Borinmouth I now call it) which was nothing to get too excited about. That’s unfair of course, we didn’t have too much time there, but the time we had was boring. We did have a fantastically sweet New forest ice cream by the beach and we saw lots of … yawn … nah it was boring. Sorry Bournemouth – we moved on.
Here are some views of Portsmouth which is much nicer.
We decided we would head for a campsite in Corfe Castle right on the South Coast. We took the ferry across to the peninsula and found the campsite close to a lovely little English village. Now this is a great little place. Not at all like Borinmouth.
We were put into a reserve pitch as the campsite was full but it turned to be the best corner of the whole site. Nice and secluded and close to the path to the village. We meandered off into the village and visited the National Trust Norman castle. We also had a fine high tea in the little cafe.
I visited their excellent facilities 😉
Now with so much in the area to explore we booked two nights in this lovely setting and decided to do the local bus tour next day. With such lovely weather we looked forward to a little seaside shopping in Swanage, a nice bar meal in the bustling town of Wareham, some great photo shots of the unusual rock formations on the coast and countless cream teas in the shady gardens of Dorset’s charming tea shops.
When we got up it was teeming down with rain.
Undeterred we headed into the village to catch the bus praying they left the open top back at the depot. It made no difference; we were soaked by the time we got to the bus stop.
Swanage is a small version of Borinmouth – but less interesting. We hunted down a side street bike shop (just to find that they didn’t stock the part I was after) and then we made our way to the harbour to find that we had to pay £1 to go onto the pier. Since I don’t pay to go on to piers that was a waste of time. Borinmouth had the same ‘pier toll’. A tourist rip off if you ask me.
We were double soaked by this time.
Still undeterred we took the next bus to Wareham, confident a hearty pub lunch and a visit to the local shops would cheer us up. We walked up and down the street passing a few lovely looking pubs all offering some excellent looking grub. We had to choose right so we took our time.
Finally we plumped for the Anglebury House which looked utterly charming.
Pity the waiter wasn’t.
The jakey who spilled out of the public bar and staggered over to our table to tell us the waiter ‘might be a bit slow but he is a good lad’ was charming. The waiter didn’t want to be there.
We ordered two large diet cokes and were presented with two pints of flat brown water. I asked for a fresh one (perhaps just a tin?) and some ice and got my half drank glass back with a few cube of ice in it. I passed on it and determined not to pay for it at the end. No point in pushing it too far when the staff still have control of what is about to enter my digestive system!
We did get two quite nice meals – a short rib of beef and a chicken and mushroom pie. Now I am being generous – they were fine. The bill (minus the flat cokes) was £20 and I did, as I always do, tip the guy a quid for turning up for work when he clearly would rather be at home playing World of Warcraft.
We then headed out into the pouring rain and walked a few steps before thinking – ‘I’m a bit hungry…’
We tried a couple of tea shops to see if we could cheer up our lunch with a nice cream scone but both offerings in town looked unwelcoming.
We were no longer undeterred.
We were completely deterred in fact.
So the dramatic coastline would have to wait until tomorrow. We headed back to Corfe Castle and returned to the National Trust Corfe Castle team room where we enjoyed an utterly magnificent cream tea. Best I have had so far I would venture. It made the day better but I would have preferred it if we didn’t have to spend £18 on bus tickets just to find the best time was to be had right back where I started.
The rest of the day was spent writing this blog while listening to the rain drumming on Daisy’s head, trying to connect to the internet via the mobile phone and reading the books I brought but never intended to read.
The evening came (at around seven pm for us). Tuesdays on the campsite is the day the fish and chip van comes round and the happy campers queue up to sample the traditional fare of the seaside town. We hurried down in the howling gale and pouring rain to join the feast. A cod and chip and a single cod with two English baps for dinner. It was a treat and warmed us up just fine.
We are told the weather is back to unusually hot tomorrow.