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Totland Bay Weekend - August 2015

Our return to isle of Wight began on Friday though some had already arrived the day before, and others would stay an extra night on Monday. We were joined for the evening meal at the youth hostel by those staying at B&B’s. After the meal, Roger gave us the walking itinerary for the next day, and not a very promising weather forecast.

On Saturday morning we all caught the bus. The B party got off at Brighstone, while A party just about got off in time at Shorwell. After an amusing misunderstanding about who would lead the A walk, Aline and Anthea volunteered.

B party walked to Freshwater bay, via the 'Isle of Wight Pearl' shop, only tea and buns being purchased. They made it just in time to Freshwater Bay before the tea shop there closed. Due to the heavy rain they wisely decided to catch the bus back but were caught up in a dramatic traffic incident.

A party walked along the coast, had lunch at the Pearl shop, and set off for Tennyson Down as the rain began to fall. By the time we had reached Freshwater Bay the teashop had closed. A decision had to be made. Catch the bus, or press on. We decided to press on. We were very wet by the time we reached the Tennyson monument. The rain began to ease a little as we made our way back to base and a welcome brew.

Roger set us a challenging quiz in the evening, with questions ranging from chemistry to current events.

On Sunday we all caught the bus to Yarmouth and began to walk up the Hamstead trail along the coast, led by Roger. We had lunch at Newtown Bay, where some us had a paddle, and Cockney Dave stuck to his promise and plunged in. After lunch we split into A and B parties. B party did a brisk circular walk back to Yarmouth, catching and overtaking A party; Roger was on a mission!

A party went for a second visit to Tennyson Down, actually enjoying some sunshine and a refreshing breeze as we walked along the edge of the golf course approaching Freshwater Bay. We decided to catch the tourist bus up to the Needles and then back to the hostel.

In the evening Jonathan had a quiz for us based on the history of Footprints, some past events and members, which was really interesting. This was followed by a lively game of Pictionary.

On Monday it was goodbye to some, and more walking for others. Due to a forecast of heavy rain for mid-morning, Colin decided to postpone the start of the walk until midday. However a few eager ones headed out anyway while four of us played cards. After we finished the game, and with only only light rain falling, Colin and I set off in pursuit. We caught up with six others on Headon Warren, and then walked down to Alum Bay where Eva, Karen and Jonathan had to leave us to go home. After refreshments we proceeded up to the Old and New battery, where we had more tea and cakes in a 1940's style cafe in the Old Battery. After looking at the rocket exhibition we began yet another trip to Tennyson Down, where we met Claire and Claire! When we were nearly at the hostel, we saw Diana, who had visited Carisbrooke castle.

In the evening, eight of us went to the Waterfront restaurant for a nice meal and we had some very funny conversations which I cannot do justice to here. In the morning, the sun was shining as we sailed across the Solent.

Thank you to Greg and Roger for organising the trip, and to others who pitched in to lead some of the walks.

Chris and Diana