The weather was great so after a brief discussion we decided to take a trip down memory lane and for Michele to revisit the Isle of Wight.
Breakfast at the hotel was only £5 so we thought bargain and enjoyed a buffet of the usual bacon, sausages, eggs and hash browns. The ride out to Lymington took longer than expected, with poor quality roads and lots of traffic all heading the same way as us, towards the ferry. We just missed the ferry as it was just lifting the ramp as we arrived so we had an hour to wait. Costa coffee has a cafe at the terminal so we grabbed a coffee and sat out in the garden enjoying the sun. There’s a train and bus which also run down to the terminal so it would be quite easy to travel from further afield to the Isle of Wight.
The ferry across to Yarmouth was quite good chatting with locals who were also making the crossing, however the cost of the ferry is outrageous costing more than the ferry to France at £33 return.
We decided to take a ride around the island and stop at the holiday camp that Michele worked at 29 years ago. We rode out to Puckpool and it was sad to see the old holiday camp which used to be filled with hordes of holiday makers was now fenced off and abandoned. The old staff quarters we once lived in is occupied however it’s looking pretty run down in need of painting and renovation with the guttering hanging off.
I’d heard the holiday camp had changed hands after I had left but I wasn’t ready to find it in such a state and it was quite confronting.
We rode down to the old gun battery where the holiday camp meets the beach.
The old tennis courts were still there but there was a new playground and beyond that the fencing continued around the holiday camp. The chalets were in a bad state, obviously vandals had been busy despite the signs warning against trespassing. Further along the two storey brick chalets looked pretty forlorn and nature had been busy reclaiming the old camp.
As we sat at he beach cafe I reminisced about the days when Renee and Renata (huge in the 80’s with the song Save your Love for Me) had a permanent gig at the camp.
After a few photos we headed off to check out the scenery and circumnavigate the island.
Phillip Island not far from Melbourne has many places named after the Isle of Wight so for Ron it was interesting to compare the two islands. The rustic charm that I remembered and was telling Ron all about sadly, only exists in a few places. St Helen’s with kids playing soccer on the Green and houseboats ringing the marina had a nice feel. Some towns were quite magical to ride through however, when we stopped at Sandown Pier it was the first time I felt unsafe. It was one of those places which seemed that time had forgotten. The crowds of smiling holiday makers had moved on and now it was filled with shady characters who looked like they would roll you for a fiver.
The sunset at Ventnor was pretty nice and was one of the highlights of our trip but it also signalled it was time to head to the ferry. I made the mistake of asking Ron what he thought of the Isle of Wight for is reply was “Not much”. Maybe it’s all the stories he’d heard, and all the people reminiscing about the Isle of Wight, but he reckons Phillip Island is heaps better. Better roads, better weather, and better attractions.
On the way back to the hotel we stopped off at the local pub and enjoyed a meal at a reasonable price.
Tomorrow the weather reports are forecasting rain so we’re heading back to London.
Take care Michele and Ron