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Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Day On The Isle Of Wight

Kiera was away for a girly weekend in Glasgow, the kids were at their Grandparents which left me with time on my hands. As I also had the weekend off what better way to spend my time than out on my bike.

I had intended to spend a day exploring the New Forest and travelling down lanes that I haven't been on before, but at the last moment I thought why not head over to the Isle of Wight.

It's been years since I was last there and that was on business so I have never had time to explore the island.

So booked my ticket and was due to sail at 0740hrs. I set off in plenty of time, I had to go to the ticket office and collect my ticket so allowed ample time with the plan of having a brew when I got down there.

But as soon as I stepped out of the ticket office I was told I could catch the earlier ferry if I was quick!

With no time to spare I hopped on "Lucille" and we were off!

Once on board, I went upstairs to the top deck and we left the port of Lymington heading over to Yarmouth.



The crossing is short, so no real time to do anything, I just stayed up on top and watched the Island get closer.

Once we had docked, it was off the ferry and my rough plan was to circumnavigate the island in an anti clockwise direction.

I headed towards the Needles, as it was still very early in the morning it was dead, but similar to Lands End a complete tourist attraction and money maker, exploiting the tourists. I turned around sharpish vowing never to go there again!


From here I headed back onto the A3055 and Freshwater bay. I thought that somewhere along the line I would come across somewhere to have breakfast.

Out of Freshwater and up the hill are some magnificent views.



Heading towards Ventnor the roads were great. Going into Ventnor the roads were steep and narrow. One of the things that I no longer have on "Lucille" is my comedy backfire. Since fitting a new Iridium spark plug it has cured it! So the down hill stretches were quiet!

The only place open as I came into the town was a Honda Motorcycle dealer, so I stopped as it was right on the pavement and asked for the nearest petrol station, I had plenty but so far garages were thin on the ground and at this time in the morning also shut!

The next one was a few miles away at a place called Lake.

Onwards back out of Ventnor, another steep hill and down into 1st to get me up it.

Stopping for fuel at Morrisons I did think that I could nip in their cafe and have a breakfast, but I was rather hoping for a cafe with a bit of a view! So on I went.

Shanklin and Sandown were soon passed and out towards Bembridge, surely a cafe with a bit of a view would appear soon?

Finally I pull into Bembridge which had some rather splendid house boats moored up, and yes a cafe! Well that is what it said on the sign.

I found myself at The Best Dressed Crab In Town Cafe. However, if you wanted crab or sea food then I am sure that this is the place to go, but when all you want is a fry up then it was rather a bit of a let down! 

You would of thought that it would of at least done a breakfast! So just a coffee and a look over the harbour.

From here it was onto St Helens and Seaview where you had a good view across the Solent towards Southampton.


Still no breakfast! The few cafes that I saw were either shut or had no view and I really wanted a view!

Through Ryde where I did spot a couple of pubs doing breakfasts, but decided not to stop, which in the end proved to of been a daft idea!

Into East Cowes and thought I had to double back on myself, I did not realise there was a chain link ferry you could use to get across to Cowes.

My second ferry of the day, I only had enough time to get my gloves off to pay the man the £1.30 before the ramp was down and it was like the charge of the Light Brigade as cars, bicycles and pedestrians all went for the ramp at the same time! Chaos! I stayed back as I had no one behind me and was last off.


Heading back towards Yarmouth and a full trip of the island and it was only just after 1100hrs!

Back in Yarmouth I came to the conclusion after looking around that a cafe with a view was just not going to happen, so settled for a bacon sandwich and a coffee.

Here I contemplated my next steps. Either try and get the next ferry back or have a bit of a bimble. I decided on bimbling.

Back towards Freshwater, but spotted a brown tourist sign to Colwell Bay. Rode down and it was a small bay with a launch slip and a couple of cafes.

A great cafe serving good coffee with a fine view directly towards Hurst Spit. A place where I have sat and looked across at the island a few times.


I spent a good while here after all I was in no rush. Finally heading off towards Freshwater.


Here I spent a few minutes watching kayakers then headed out up the hill. It was getting warm and in all my motorcycle gear so was I. So stopped where I had earlier and had a 30 minute snooze led on a grassy bank looking towards France.


Back down the hill, and a quick splash of petrol and with a full tank headed back into Yarmouth. As I came into the town earlier I had spotted a place to park up and so I headed here with the intentions of brewing up.

I had packed my camping stove and kettle along with brew kit. So with a good view and a dark chocolate kitkat had a relaxing 30 minutes.


I watched a ferry come in and by this time it was just after 1600hrs, so packed up and thought I would chance getting an earlier ferry back.

They let me on no problems and I was home not long after.

A great day out covering just shy of 100 miles from start to finish. "Lucille" as always ran sweetly.

Finally once home and showered I headed off in our VW T25 to cook myself a wickedly hot chilli con carne. Just down the road is Keyhaven Marshes a great place to park up.


This is where I cooked and listened to the birds out on the Marshes.

Needless to say I slept soundly on my return home.

The journey continues......

A Quick Trip To Calshot

Last Sunday late in the afternoon I found myself with a couple of hours spare and so I took the opportunity to get out on my trusty Honda C90 aka Lucille.

Heading across the New Forest I was aiming for Calshot.

It didn't take very long to get there and the traffic was light. I have been to Calshot before but never to the end of the spit.

This time I rode to the very end and it was well worth the trip. Watching the boats come in and out of Southampton docks as they make their way around the world. It really is a busy port.

A small castle built in 1539 sits at the end of the spit, protecting the entrance and there is a large hanger which used to be home to the flying boats, now an activity centre.




I could of spent hours watching the boats, but the sun was setting and it was time to give my new lights a good work out.




The trip home was easy, but I regretted not wearing my bike trousers as I was just in Jeans and was a tad cold by the time I got home.

A round trip of 40 or so miles and as always "Lucille" performed brilliantly.

The journey continues........