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A SHORT TRIP TO THE ISLE OF WIGHT

March 2022

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The Isle of Wight, for many it seems, holds many memories.  Childhood memories, holiday memories, romantic memories , 50’s and 60’s memories and for me, working and flying memories at Sandown Airport.


Last week a few more memories were added to the list in the shape of Caravan No 56 sited on Thorness Bay Holiday Park. 

The journey via the Portsmouth - Fishbourne car ferry was seamless and luxurious aboard Wight Link's new eco friendly ferry The Victoria of Wight, not sure what was ‘eco’ about it but the coffee was warm and the view from the bridge was magnificent.

 

The chilly spring morning with flat calm conditions presented no problems for Captain Whiteknuckles on the helm.  The Victoria of Wight disgorged her passengers, bikes, cars, vans, trucks, lorries and coaches in 12 minutes flat, some driver's trying to remember which side of the road to drive!

Thorness Bay Holiday Park is hilly, wooded, remote, charming, has OK views and does its best with facilities for families.  The SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) 'private' beach is strewn with driftwood, black sand and other hazards but well worth a visit in the early morning or late evening when you might spot a cormorant or two.  Caravan (Mobile Home) No 56 is cosy, extremely well equipped, more than adequate heating and comes complete with Netflix, Amazon Prime Movies, a sea view and a Juke Box tuned to Angel Radio - Music for Oldies All Day Every Day so no worries! 

The long held belief that 'everything is 20 minutes away' on the Isle of Wight is now not the case as traffic, road works and diversions (even in March) litter your route which add to the frustrations especially when seeking a public toilet which is not locked and doesn't require 20p for a pee.  

 

The stroll along the sands and a coffee at Sandown Pier went some way to balance the memories. The ‘Wild Men’ tucked away in their beach shelter with their tattoo’s, beer cans, pooches and holy vests seemed harmless enough, thinks, 'I wonder if they would accept another member!'  The long scenic route back to No 56 was reluctantly left to the 15 year old Tom Tom who got most of it right.  The afternoon snooze was shattered by Concorde taking off from alongside No 56, which turned out to be Manuel on his ride-on lawnmower at full throttle going round and round amongst the undergrowth.  An attempt at drowning him out with the in-caravan juke box tuned in to Angel Radio complete with flashing lights failed miserably.

 

A chilly night and early morning heralded another bright and sunny day which was spent enjoying the back streets and beaches of charming and historic West Cowes.  A visit to a local Estate Agent produced a couple of brochures for flats with sea views which were seriously considered for a full 12 minutes but giving up doctors, dentists, Oxshott Woods and Waitrose once again killed off the dream.

 

Leaving No 56 at 8.15 am to catch the 11 am ferry, you might think was a touch premature but traffic at a standstill around Newport ensured perfect timing.

 

Eyesight, reactions and instinct remained functioning (just!) for the journey through the back streets of Portsmouth back to the A3 and Waitrose. 

Between you and me I'm looking forward, one day, to be able to live on the Isle of Wight but that's probably another dream.

 

If you would like to experience Caravan No 56 Luisa or Jamie would be delighted to answer any questions on   jamiecordell@btinternet.com

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You might see a red squirrel if you are lucky.

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If you would like to hear what the juke box is playing click HERE