Monday, May 17, 2010
Adventures near and afar
This weekend we went to Southampton to visit Kieran and Alice and we decided to go for a bluebell walk in the New Forest. I suspect that Mike would argue that it is neither new nor a forest. However it was new 900 years ago when it was created by William I and there is common grazing hence the heathland - but there are also wooded bits. What it doesn't have is many bluebells or waymarks on it's walks We were following a walk from a book, which is usually very reliable. It did warn us that it might be boggy but we thought that we'd be OK as it has been a dry spring. The walk started well as we encountered wild ponies and highland cows(!) on the common. Then when we entered the woods the path was blocked by a fallen tree. So we diverted out of the woods onto a clearing. We realised that it might be a bit muddy here as the ponies were up to their knees (or whatever that joint is called in a horse) in mud. Also the path was very unclear.The going was incredibly hard work. The woods were now behind a wire fence and Kieran suggested that the path actually should be on the wood side of the fence. We weren't all convinced but it was much drier that side so we all climbed over or scrambled under the fence. However after a while we saw a sign which informed us we were in a reserve for red deer and we realised we should be on the other side. So we all clambered or crawled under or over the fence again. We all saw a herd of red deer apart from Trev who was in mid clamber. We made progress using fallen trees as bridges without disappearing too deeply into the bog and then we found the path again. Hurray! After a while we came upon a field that was in the instructions. We had to walk miles around it to find a way over the brook that wasn't mentioned in the instruction. Then we saw a gate. We decided that this must definitely be the stile in the instructions and clambered over it. We came across a gravel path which seemed right. However I suspect we were meant to join it later as we had to cross a ford! It was at this stage that Trev announced we were only about half way around the walk. When we came to a road and Trev suggested we could cut out a large corner from the walk by staying on the road. The thought that the footpaths could be adventurous as the first half meant that we all agreed. It was actually great fun but we definitely felt we deserved an icecream at the end
We went to see Hairspray in the evening at the Mayflower theatre in Southampton. It's a fantastic Victorian theatre which miraculously escaped the blitz. The show was brilliant apart from the annoying women who came in late and stepped on Alice's foot to get to their seats and then kept talking. Grrr!
A fabulous weekend all round.
I have included some further pictures of Erin's travels. She has left Vietnam and is now in Cambodia. She wasn't able to download photos in Vietnam but had an excellent time there. She hasn't labelled many of these photos so it is partly guess work on my part.