A trip to Burton Bradstock, Dorset.
Tuesday 14th September 2021
The gentle, ceaseless rhythm of the push and pull of the wavelets upon a gently shelving beach was like listening to a slumbering giant. This was the sound reaching the bedroom of caravan No 75 situated on the Heritage Coast of Dorset. The sound reminded Bob of various sailing trips to far away places in the dim and distant past.
Bob and Marcia were off on yet another trip into the unknown despite impaired vision, impaired reactions, impaired hearing, impaired movement and impaired patience.
All hazards were avoided on the way down the A31, M3, M27, A35 and Sat Nav recommended cart tracks leading to The Old Coastguard Caravan Park near Burton Bradstock.
No 75 tried to hide amongst other caravans called No 48, No 17 and No 4 but a friendly black Labrador pointed the way. No 75 was well appointed, spotless and lacked nothing except saucers, Bob and Marcia were not used to living without saucers!
Having transported all cases, provisions, bags and bedding from the car park down the steep slopes without a single trip our intrepid couple set out on their first exploratory hike to the local beach café which had a recommended fish menu. Prices were far in excess of Bob's wallet but the lobster at £65 a pop seemed reasonable! Fortunately The Hive Beach Café was closed. A few flat stones bouncing across the wavelets went some way to satisfying Bob and his wallet on the way back to No 75.
Wednesday 15th September 2021
The following morning another short hike along the cliff path turned into a long hike via the many delights of Burton Bradstock including a visit to the Village Post Office to pick up a map (Bob has a million maps but forgot to bring them and he is uncomfortable without a map), two pieces of cake and some carrots were also purchased at the Post Office.
Next was the Village Hall where the local ladies were chatting enthusiastically and offering cheap coffee, biscuits and cake to all who entered. The very friendly local policeman was also there touring the tables and introduced himself to Bob and Marcia, Bob embarrassed Marcia when he asked the policeman for a selfie! Typical!
Another friendly local took a pause from washing his car and advised the couple to visit to The Cogden Beach Cabbages? A sight not to be missed. Next was a wander around the lovely old Church nestling in amongst picturesque thatched cottages and on along the lanes beside the streams in the hidden corners of B B and back to The Hive Beach Café for lunch, fortunately it was heaving and had a long queue, phew! Another sigh of relief from Bob's wallet.
Returning to No 75 via the cliff path, a long chat with Molly the Collie could have gone on for days but Bob called time just when Marcia was getting into her stride. The view from the cliff path at this point in the sunshine, it has to be said, was intoxicating. And so was the spaghetti bolognaise back at No 75. The collection of CD's at No 75 were well worth the trip alone except that Dolly Parton was audio only.
An evening stroll in the other direction along the beach to visit the Cogden Beach Cabbages turned out to be a disappointment. The friendly local who suggested the visit was obviously a cabbage enthusiast who, according to Bob, must be somewhat deluded,
Another peaceful night with the slumbering giant was interrupted at 04.30 by a dim flashing light on the curtains. Bob immediately went into skipper mode to cross check if the anchor was dragging. Peeking through the curtains he was blown away with the sight that was on offer. Yes, Portland Bill lighthouse was correctly blinking 4 every 10 seconds at 125 degrees also two other blinking lights below the horizon bearing 190 degrees and 255 degrees but the sight of a billion pin pricks of light describing a myriad of patterns in the inky cosmos above defied description. An overwhelming sense of insignificance was being transmitted from above which, Bob decided, should be a recommended therapy for all. The vista is available every night if you're lucky.
A day of delightful indecision.
Another half hour ramble back into B B to check if they had any sun cream, sandpaper or screws in the Post Office and also to visit the library for an Internet connection but the Post Office was out of stock and the library was closed. A half hour wait at the bus stop for a bus into Bridport was considered but soon outweighed by the prospect of a coffee, a scotch on the rocks and another attempt at lunch back at the Hive Beach Café.
The very pleasant alternative route back via Church Street beside the stream was interrupted by pig grunts emanating from the bushes which surprisingly turned out to be a pile of porky pigs in the bushes lounging in the sun.
Half way along Beach Road Bob complemented another friendly local on his metal tree creation planted in his front garden. He told Bob that he had made it from bits of old metal welded together from the dump. Bob didn’t comment on the fact that he was busily pruning it with his hacksaw.
The coffee at the Hive Beach Café was enjoyed but sadly only a dozen varieties of Gin were on the spirits menu, no whiskey. A rapid increase of people, perfume and pooches for lunch was just too much, even for pooch loving people so a bottle of Guinness and a fry up back at No 75 it was, much to the relief of Bob's wallet.
A visit from Celia, a neighbouring caravan owner to discuss the delights of owning a caravan whiled away the afternoon followed by yet another evening stroll back into B B, this time to compare the Jack Daniels in the Three Horse Shoes and The Anchor, this completed an indecisive but busy / happy day.
To some, the above adventure might seem a touch pedestrian but to a couple of over the hill over 80's every step was rewarding, especially if it's on a cliff path with seagulls, sun, sea breezes and silent paragliders hovering at arms length. Thanks Cherry.
Friday 17th September 2021
Following 4 hours of mixing it with would be Formula 1 drivers on the way back from Burton Bradstock Bob's faculties, finally, after 65 years of driving, gave out. But he plans to re-join The London Transport Flying Club at Fairoaks Airfield very soon!
Molly the Collie.
The Hive Beach Cafe is tucked away down on the beach - surprisingly!
I hope the skipper has done his homework on tides and rocks.