Trip Start May 04, 2007
16Trip End May 21, 2007
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Shaun drove us to the Poole Ferry which is a chain ferry that gets cars and passengers to the Isle of Purbeck. The ferry is pulled across the entrance to the Poole Harbor by a chained puly system because the winds and current are so strong a normal ferry would drift out to sea
Shaun drove us to Lulworth Cove to start our hike along the Jurassic Coast. Along the way he informed us there was a military section to the Purbecks and if you see red flags raised at different sites that means the militiary's firing range is in practice. Lulworth Cove is a prime example of how the water cuts in and washes away the softer clay and limestone to form a cove. We started hiking and saw some unique features in the coastline. The unique folding limestone strata was visible from an section of the coastline called Daddy Hole (another name for Stair Hole). We kept walking till we got to Dungy Head which is a cliff. We walked down to the beach area. The beach is referred to as a shingle beach which means its made out of small pebbles. All along the beach you could find flint which had been made smooth by the current. You could see in the limestone cliffs where some limestone has washed away and chunks of flint within. We walked across the shingle beach and made our way to Smuggler's Path which is a fairly steep gully in the chalk. Shaun said its named such because of those who smuggled goods so they could avoid the custom houses. Once you reach the top of Smuggler's Path you look over Scratchy Bottom. Yes, that's the official name according to Shaun. He said there use to be a sign but someone "pinched it" which means they stole it. Scratchy Bottom is a valley between two hills that the smugglers used to move their goods through after getting them up the cliff from the coastline
We left Lulworth and drove to Kingston where we met Stewart Gibson (some from Cy-Fair will remember Stewart) at the Scott Arms pub. The outside seating area overlooked hills that led to Corfe Castle ruins in the distance. We ate a lite lunch and each had a pint while we discussed possibilities for student exchanges as well as talked about the differences we've seen in the structure of B&P college and CFC. We finished up lunch and drove to Old Harry Rocks. You park your car in a car park and then walk down a path through some growth before you get to a foot trail that leads to the edge of the cliff. Along the trail you could smell emence amounts of garlic. Turns out on both sides of the trail is wild garlic and the which flowers in bloom were producing the strong smell. See the following link for more details of Old Harry Rockshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Harry_Rocks The site doesn't mention it but the large formation on the left is actually Old Harry and the smaller formation further out to the right is called Old Harry's Wife.
We left Old Harry and his wife and drove back to the town of Corfe to see Corfe Castle. The castle was originally constructed using a French technique known as motte and bailey. In these castles, there was a fortified building (the castle) on top of a man-made hill called a motte. This served as a final fighting place where soldiers would retreat if the rest of the castle had been breached. In the bailey, people and animals lived in relative safety in times of peace as they were surrounded by a large wooden fence that kept out attackers and wild animals. The general history of Corfe Castle is that during the English Civil War you had Parliamentarians and Loyalists. Many Loyalists held Corfe Castle for 3 years. They survived one siege by the Parliamentarians, which lasted 6 weeks, in 1643 and in 1646 were betrayed by one of their own. The end result was the castle was blown up I such a way to ensure it could never be used as a Loyalist stronghold. There's not much to the castle ruins but you can see if from all over the Purbecks and even, on a clear day, from Poole Harbor.
After Corfe Castle Shaun wanted to take us to a village that he stated was quaint even in Engish terms
We said goodbye to Stewart and headed back to the Poole Ferry. Along the way Shaun wanted to take us to Tyneham School. It was a church/school house that was evacuated during the war and the school has been preserved exactly as it was left with papers and schoolbooks on desks... just as they left it. Since the red military flags were up the school was closed. We pushed on to the ferry. Just as we crossed the ferry and began to drive away a little shower came down. I thought it was ironic because the forecast had been for rain but we had the most perfect weather for a day in the Purbecks.
We got back to the hotel and Matt,Tory, and I decided to eat lunch in the hotel restaurant so we could get out and get to work on our travelogues. At 1:30am I decided to go to bed. Tomorrow is another adventure...