25 August 2007

24-27 August 2007 - Dorset, England (walking)

The six of us (Allison, Tina, Jane, Eloise, Tom - and me behind the camera) all arrived at Lulworth on the Friday, with some of us driving down, and the rest getting the train. The day was beautiful and it was about mid afternoon when we all congregated at the ‘local’ (I know, it didn’t take us long to find the nearest pub!). But we had a valid reason…the YHA didn’t open it’s doors until 5pm.

Sitting at the pub we decided on the route we were to walk the next day and also organised a taxi to get us there as we would walk back from Weymouth to Lulworth (just a mere 10 miles, and a few hills). We did go for a small walk that afternoon and of course treated ourselves to a delicious ice cream (the first of many).

We couldn’t ask for better weather on the Saturday. Walking 10 miles in rain and wind would not have been fun, so the fact that we had sun the whole time was miraculous. The first part of the walk was pretty reasonable, one or two hilly parts but generally fine. It was after lunch that the fun began – and of course the big a**e hills came at the end of the day when we were already tired and sweaty!

Got to say though, between the huffing and puffing we had some fantastic views, gorgeous weather and had a good laugh or ten along the way. It is a beautiful part of the country and reminds me a little of New Zealand.

After a shower, change of clothes, and wine or two, we headed back to the local for dinner (Lulworth was full with day trippers and anything near the main hub of Lulworth, ie the cove, was expensive and packed…and we were too tired to walk far). A delicious meal, cold beer, and good company made the night pass very quickly. But most of us were in bed before midnight as the next day we were going on another (even hillier) 7 mile walk from Kemmeridge back to Lulworth (ie headed out north from Lulworth one day, and south the next).

Again the weather gods smiled on us and apart from some wind (which was cool and a welcome relief at times), we had another gorgeous day….to climb one hill, after another, after another….and the scramble down the other side wasn’t anything to scoff at either!

But we had a good time, and we even stopped off at a beach where 3 adventurous people jumped in and went for a swim (the fact I put a toe in and grimaced, was enough to tell me that it was far too cold to take a dip)! Instead, I had the very necessary ice cream back in Lulworth to cool down.

We headed back to the YHA and changed, and some of us drove to the nearest town 20mins away to get out cash as there are no ATMs in Lulworth and most places only accepted cash. But we made it back in time to sink a few wines before heading back to…yes you guessed it…the local!

On the Monday we were all a bit tired so we packed up and had a leisurely day off from walking. Some of us drove back to London (in very good time since it was a Bank holiday and the Nottinghill Carnival), and others took the train back.

I really do recommend these walks, and you don’t need to be super fit to do them, but a bit of perseverance and good lungs will help! (and of course the goodwill of the weather gods).

A big thanks to Jane who organised it all, and volunteered to drive some of us down and back.