Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sept 6th - NeedlePoint: Bournemouth to Wroxall

First part of today's route. Second part of today's route

Finally, today we actually did have another relatively easy day. By staying overnight in Bournemouth with family, I was already some 10 miles further on than Andrew. He came to Bournemouth for breakfast.

The journey to Lymington, where we would catch the ferry to the Isle of Wight, was pretty easy once we'd cleared the Christchurch traffic. We got off the main 'A' road as soon as possible. Apart from an emergency stop and minor head butting incident, when a car suddenly emerged from the shadows under the trees at a junction, this section of the ride was very pleasant with modest climbs and little traffic. One particular high point was when we were treated to one of the worst pieces of overtaking I've ever experienced. The driver concerned seemed intent on destroying the transmission in her Nissan by flooring it so that the engine was hitting the rev limiter, and then slipping the clutch as she crept past. The smell of tortured transmission parts was very evident for a considerable distance after this miserable overtaking attempt. Goodness only knows what she would do to go past anything moving faster than a couple of knackered cyclists!

The weather was fantastic and the ferry crossing from Lymington to Yarmouth was smooth. We arrived on the Isle of Wight before midday. We took a leisurely pub lunch in Yarmouth during which we decided that we were so early that we had time to visit Alum Bay and the Needles. The ride to Alum Bay was easy and the path out to the end of the Island is well maintained because there is a bus service. The bus is the only permitted traffic.

We rejoined the Island cycle route at Freshwater Bay. Since we'd both cycled the route earlier this year, the roads were familiar. The climbs are challenging, but not as tough as those we met earlier on this trip. We finally arrived in Wroxall for our overnight stop feeling that we'd had an easy day, which was just what we needed.

Today's picture is of the Needles. There is only really one viewpoint from the island, which probably explains why most pictures of the Needles look like this, although not all have such a crooked horizon!.

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