Trip Start Jun 12, 2007
129Trip End Ongoing
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After breakfast we don our walking boots and wander off down the road. The footpath we took climbs up onto Ballard Down, then across fields and up onto the ridge of Nine Barrows Down, we were walking to the village of Corfe Castle. It was a beautiful day for walking, a very slight breeze in the air and the sun was warm when it was out, but there were a number of clouds in the sky that it went behind, so you didn't get too hot. We usually do a vast amount more walking in the summer months than we have done this year, but whilst it often rains during the summer in England, this summer has to be the wettest for years. However, today was ideal walking weather and as our boots are always in the back of the car, we took the opportunity.
The walk didn't start off quite as well as it might have - there is a track that you take off the road to start this walk, but we thought it would be better (rather than walking a few hundred metres extra along the road) that we take a different path and walk along inside the hedge in the direction of the other path, hoping to meet up with it. Well, we did meet up with the relevant path, but not before getting attacked by gorse bushes, brambles and getting stung several times with stinging nettles!!! We reached a metal 5 bar gate, which we need to climb over to get to said path, John went over first "careful" he says "your feet are wet from the dew and its slippery on that gate" - it's only a gate I think to myself as I jump up, swing my leg over and wham, crack, as my supporting foot slips off the gate and I find the top bar firmly and extremely painfully wedged between my legs - ouch!!! It was truly painful and I'm squealing like a loud squealy thing and what's John doing - snapping away with the camera!!! He finally comes to see that I'm okay and I can't help but laugh, I couldn't believe he took it as a photo chance - he seemed most disappointed that he didn't think to video it - he reckoned he'd missed a prime opportunity!!
So, we get up on the top of the downs and its beautiful up there, its been many years since I've walked this path and now walking along there I'm reminded why I enjoy it so much - there are rolling green valleys, the sea, kestrels and buzzards, and for the most part we have it all to ourselves - we meet a few people along the way and pass the time of day with them, but other than that, its just me, John and the elements - wonderful.
We arrive in Corfe, mooch around a bit and then its lunchtime - we decided to head to a tearoom to get a sandwich, but we're passing The Greyhound Inn and John sees a board outside offering Mussels and Chips, the temptation is too much and not long after, we find a seat in their beer garden and relax with a drink while we wait for the food.
Lunch arrives and it's delicious, but as there seems to be a wasps nest very close by - my assumption due to the amount of wasps buzzing around - and me being unable to conquer my fear of them to date, after one lands on my neck, we decide to go somewhere else for dessert. We take our second course outside a tearoom a short distance down the road - and thankfully pretty much wasp free.
There is a steam train from Corfe that winds its way back through the countryside to Swanage. By the time we are ready to go, we look at the timetable and find there is around 15 minutes till the next one goes, so we purchase our tickets and sit on the platform in the sunshine, till it arrives and we hop on.
Back in Swanage, we have a drink along the seafront and people watch for a while before heading back to the B&B, with one thing in mind - getting some time in the hot tub at the bottom of the garden! We asked when we got back and Dianne said to give her 20 minutes, then meet her out the back where she would show us how to operate it. We had to take a shower first, put our swimmers on, then put on a towelling white dressing gown and white slippers that were provided, to walk down there in - John puts it on, decides it's a good look for him, adds his sun glasses and starts posing round the room - he does make me laugh. To get to the hot tub we had to walk through the hotel reception and out to the front street and down the side passage to the back garden, John said he felt a bit conspicuous doing it!
Dianne shows us how to work it and wanders back into the B&B, leaving me and John to ourselves. There is much amusement and laughter as we try to sort out the jets and prevent ourselves from floating to the top - it's just like stepping into a hot bath, we get ourselves in good positions, the laughter subsides and we disappear into a world of relaxation. It's complete bliss in there, its warm, I have jets massaging my back, legs and shoulders, there's a nice cool breeze on my face, we're surrounded by trees and blue skies - I like looking at the clouds floating along and picking shapes out of them - one of them looked like a polar bear. Forty five minutes later and we're ready to go to sleep, let alone anything else - so relaxing. We make our way back to our room and around an hour later we drive into Swanage.
Tonight there are going to be fireworks let off across the bay and we decided to park up on Durlston head and watch them from up there. It's raining by the time we park the car up, we leave the car and wander down to a pizza place, where we order pizza to take away and stroll back up to the car. Its already dark, the rain is still falling, but lightly enough to be able to have the windows open - and there is a live band in the distance that are busy murdering a few well known songs, so we sit there munching on our pizza before firing up the stove and making a cup of coffee. Not long after the kettle has boiled, the heavens open, so we sit inside the car with the windows closed and gradually steaming up as we sip our coffee and wait for the fireworks.
Soon enough we see someone down on the beach below flashing a torchlight out to sea, so we assume they are communicating with someone to start the fireworks, I sit in the drivers seat and John takes up camp in the back, behind me - even though its raining, we put the windows right down and a few seconds later, the display begins. The fireworks themselves were not the best we've seen, but I just really enjoyed sitting up there with John - its been brilliant just being the two of us today, the whole day has been awesome, but just this now, for some reason brings a wave of emotion over me, we both get excited by small things in life, and sitting here watching this display, with the gentle breeze coming into the car, feeling the now light rain on our faces, drinking our coffee, makes us both happy. We stay up there for a while after the fireworks finish and then head back.