Holidays Isle of Wight Alternative Holiday part 2
Spring 2001
On the second day we decided to circle the island - someone afterwards called it the "Magical Mystery Tour". We rode on the upper deck of the Island Explorer Bus- No 7 - from Shanklin through Ventnor, past Blackgang Chine and west to Freshwater Bay, where some of us alighted to do the coast to coast (2 miles north to Yarmouth along a cycle track near the river Yar where egrets were spotted!
The rest of us continued on the bus to Alum Bay, quickly climbing up onto Headon Warren, and away from the Amusement Park. The gorse was well in bloom.
Good exercise climbing down to the seashore at Totland Bay.
A landslide on the coast path forced us down to the sea shore, and we had fun dodging the waves.
We then had much fun helping each other across the groyne. A stile was needed here!
A decorated notice on the side of the former lifeboat house, and the saying so true - we checked it out!
We had lunch here and it was quite warm under the cliffs. The same could not be said for the water! We didn't stay in for long.
Hurst Castle can be seen across the Solent.This was one of Palmerston's "follies" - a series of forts to keep out the French in the nineteenth century. They never came of course.
The team photo just after leaving Fort Victoria Country Park.
Nearly at Yarmouth - should catch the 1354 bus easily - and then!...
We should have turned off the path half a mile further back on to the road, but instead had reached the water taxi stop with the bus station on the far side - but where was a taxi?
We raised the signal as instructed on the notice. We saw lots of little boats milling around at the far side, but no-one was responding. We flapped the board up and down sending out an SOS message! We eventually decided to try a very loud co-ordinated shout of AHOY THERE! Hooray! It worked.
We all tried to jump in but only 12 were allowed - a few had to wait nervously for a second boat - would we all make the bus in time? The tension was unbearable.
We had made it! We settled down for our afternoon siesta travelling through lovely countryside on the 7A (the pretty lanes route) to reach Carisbrooke, Newport and eventually Ryde.
Another chance for a walk. We met up with the other group and strolled along the pier to catch the 1623.
The Day Rover ticket even allowed us to travel by the train service.
Not much of a view, and quite crowded, including a few obnoxious teenagers (not pictured here), but twice as fast as the bus on the last stages of our circumnavigation of the island.
Some of us finished by doing two miles back to base across the sands from Sandown to Shanklin. Someone calculated that some of us had walked 9 miles in the day, as well as all the other forms of transport!

Not a normal rambling holiday, but in the circumstances a very memorable one, and a much appreciated break from the gloomy Foot and Mouth news. Many of us are hoping to go back and explore the barred-off chalk downs and much of the coastal path another year.