Tuesday 26 June 2012

Dorset & Normandy - Day 5

After enjoying our last wonderful breakfast at the B&B and checking out, we decided to try one last coastal walk before the drive back to Portsmouth. We chose a relatively short one along the cliffs near St. Aldhelm's/Alban's head. The walk started from the little town of Worth Matravers, passed through several fields and then through a gap in the ridge down to the sea at Seacombe, where we stopped to scramble over the rocks and enjoy the sea for a bit. From there, Gib & Cherrie went around to Winsprit and then back to Worth, but Stephen and I walked over to St. Aldhelm's before turning back in land. It was a stunning day for a walk, bright sunshine and a cool breeze (only about 10mph!) and being along the cliff edges was wonderful. The path took us through several abandoned stone quarries and many many nesting bird sites. The highlight thought was stopping into the National Coastwatch station right on the point of the cliffs at St. Aldhelm's and getting a little tour and explanation from the station master. I had no idea that this was a volunteer force, and was very impressed by the quality of their equipment and clear passion for keeping people safe while enjoying the sea.

We made a quick pit stop at the Square and Compass pub (great beers, good views, friendly people, horrible food) and then back to the B&B to collect our luggage and drive back to Portsmouth. I slept pretty much the whole way, waking up just long enough to find us a restaurant for dinner (Turkish at a great little place called Bodrum's). After that the only thing remaining was to do the "hurry up and wait" routine that comes with transport. We arrived at the ferry terminal in good time, easily found our cabin once they let us board, and then (after getting some sad news from home) Stephen and I watched the lights fade as we sailed out of Portsmouth into the channel. We were off to France! One more sleep and then the second part of our trip was to begin.

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