Isle of Wight Trip – Day 2 (Yarmouth to Totland)

We had an eventful night yesterday, which I won’t go into here for the moment, but it’s nothing bad. Well, not for me. Anyway, that’s a different matter, and sometimes it’s best that what happens on a trip stays on a trip….

We were also really pleased to celebrate Richard’s birthday today. He’s not here until later in the week, but we thought we’d celebrate it today so that we didn’t have to buy him a birthday drink when he was here. He won’t mind, he will appreciate the kind thought that went into that.

Gordon, Susanna, Liam, Ross and I were down for breakfast at 08.00 and we went for the full English breakfast. Gordon was on good form, indeed looking quite regal. I had low expectations for breakfast for some reason, but they were exceeded and the quality was fine. Although the bacon was too fatty, a common complaint of mine…. So, all rather lovely as a start to the day, although the dining surroundings felt just a little like a morgue.

Then began the highlight of everyone’s day, my guided tour around Yarmouth. It seemed a shame to visit a town like Yarmouth with such a long history without going around it when things were open. We had a little wander down the pier before meandering around and then going into the town’s church.

More of the church in another post, but it was a fascinating site and there was plenty of history visible all around. There was a little information card giving details about things to look out for, with the hour glass being a highlight within the church. There were some pleasant locals there as well, it felt a welcoming place to be. Unfortunately the graveyard was closed off due to some maintenance work, but it looked interesting. I also had to tell Liam and Gordon off for mischievous behaviour within the church.

After walking around a few more streets we then arrived back at the starting point to begin the day’s walk. This is the lowest distance of the week, just eight miles, so there wasn’t quite the pressure on time as the day before. There were nine of us ready for the walk, all ready and eager.

There was some woodland walking at the beginning of the walk, with a little nature trail that we didn’t go on, but I was pleased to hear that young Dylan has experienced this trail a few years ago. Bev started to complain about the walk pace, but I had a think and decided to ignore this. But it’s important to listen and communicate, as communication is the key as someone infamous once said….

We dropped down to the promenade for the next section of the walk and it was then that Ross decided that he wasn’t getting enough attention. So he had a big fall and made sure everyone heard by using some words that were inevitably going to get some attention.

It was nearly mid-day, so Clive decided he’d have an early night, and we didn’t really ask what he’d be doing, but it later transpired that it seemed to be cuddling up to a teddy bear. We dropped him off at his B&B and then we were eight for the rest of the day as we walked into Totland. The Needles started to come into view, which were the geological highlight of the day.

There was some walking along the coast and I decided that I simply must visit the ancient barrow which was nearby. Most of us trekked over to see it, leaving just Susan being the sensible one not traipsing over random terrain to get to this barrow. Ross came over and was not thrilled to see a heap of soil, so Susanna punished his lack of historical interest and made him have a photo taken in front of it… She’d be a marvellous history teacher, there’s a lot of talent and kindness in her, but she’d instil some fear into the proceedings…..

Lunch was at the Marconi’s cafe restaurant and this was surprisingly good value, and not as busy as I would have expected. This had the advantage of meaning that I got some sandwiches at just £1 each, what a bargain…. Gordon spent £12 on chips, sandwiches, salads and all manner of things. Not quite so thrifty…. Especially when he discovered that I had £1 sandwiches and his were nearly £3.60 each….

Then it was the walk to the hotel, and then the big controversy of the day started. The men were in control of the situation and went along the path correctly and without any issues. The ladies managed to get a little bit confused and ignored previous instructions not to go to the battery at The Needles and went, wait for it, to the battery. Ross was livid, absolutely livid.

We were able to control Ross and then we managed to control Gordon’s anger. It’s important when being a leader to stay calm and collected, always quick to find someone else to blame. The ladies soon caught us up after 35 minutes and on we went…..

The walk up to the Tennyson Monument was as far as we went on the coast path and we dropped down to our accommodation at Highdown Inn. There was a friendly welcome from the landlord, who just seemed suited to running a pub, having the right temperament.

After having a little rest in the room we went to the Waterfront Restaurant for our evening meal. Now, this was a beautiful restaurant and I started to get some high hopes that there would be some dark beer, craft beer or something with a little bit of flavour and excitement. I was met with four beers which were either generic or uninspiring, with the pub having no dark beer and no craft beer. Even more frustrating when CAMRA noted they’d increased their range to have a stout. So I had water and it was suggested that perhaps I might find a pub tomorrow that meets my needs…..

The fish and chips was acceptable, marginally overcooked and the batter was a little greasy, but more on that in another post. The staff member who prided himself on remembering everything without writing it down promptly made a mistake with my meal, but it wasn’t a substantive issue so I let it go. But writing things down really is a good way of doing things…..

And then the meal. Some of the party were better behaved than others, with Bev being a bit loud and unruly. I know this isn’t new, but I always hope that she’ll turn up like a dainty little princess. On that subject, Gordon enjoyed his meal. The ladies found out what Ross had been saying about them and much merriment was had by all…..

So, this was a day in lovely company once again, probably totalling around ten miles because of some extra distance to get to the hotel and restaurants. We had some rain during the latter part of the day, but we missed the worst part of the rain which came just after we had got to the B&B.

What I would say is that Hike Norfolk is definitely becoming rowdier, but I am the person who can take charge of this week and show that it can be brought back under control….. Poor Susan and Katherine experiencing this on their first trip away with the group…..