Field Dressing a Wound In your Jacket.

For some strange reason the kids can’t seem to wear anything without ultimately destroying it. Just check out Lil’s boots from our last trip. Ok they weren’t brand new when she got them and she did easily put another 100 miles through them so it shouldn’t have been a surprise really.

Just before we headed off on that trail we found a huge tear in the sleeve of her waterproof and not having the time to sew it up, or the money to replace it we went about fixing it with gaffer/duct tape. And it only went and worked!

So when, after the trail, we found some small tears in her insulated jacket, probably from the brambles she just had to run through, we set about fixing that in the same way only this time we photographed the process to share with you.

Pay Attention now, it’s very complicated.

Step 1.
Locate the holes in the jacket and pop any loose stuffing back inside with a finger.
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Step 2.
Cut a big enough bit of tape to cover the whole. REMEMBER Measure Twice. Cut Once. If you can’t find scissors use your teeth.

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Step 3.
Place the tape on the hole and make sure it’s stuck.

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Step 4.
Wear your newly repaired jacket with pride. A taped up jacket not only looks cool but you can do that “lets compare scars” thing like in Lethal Weapon (Only with less kissing!)

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Step 5.
Start making pre-taped jackets and sell them on the High Street like those jeans you can buy brand new with holes in them. Once you’ve made enough money you can place that order for a new Patagonia puffy.

In all seriousness though it’s a really important way to help reduce our impact even further. We often use Reduce, Reuse and Recycle but how many of us actually Repair. At the end of the day a bit of tape will help Lil’s jackets get through another winter so surely it’s worth spending those 5 minutes to save both the money for a new coat and the resources needed to make it and get it to the shop.

And she gets to look really cool too!

Review: SIGG Water Bottles & Flasks.

*I bought this product with my own money.
The post contains an affiliate link so if you choose to purchase this product from that provider, we will see a small kickback if you use the link provided.
We have also included direct links to the manufacturer if you prefer to order direct.
Rob.

 

IMG_0848It seems it’s really hard to review a water bottle. I’ve been sat here for ages, typing a bit, deleting, starting over. How do you review a bottle. It holds water. Done. What I think I’ll do is try to tell you why I like these particular bottles so much. And if that helps you in the decision making process, I’ve done alright.

  1. They feel solid. These are the metal ones and feel really durable. We’ve bought cheaper alternatives before and once they’ve been dropped a couple of times they split. These bad boys have already been dropped numerous times and wear their scars beautifully. Also the lids fit well while on cheaper ones there’s always a fear that the seal will go or the lid will get cross-threaded, not on these.
  2. The Hot and Cold bottle does exactly what its supposed to do. The heat retention is amazing. I take one with me for work everyday and because I work so, so hard, I can make 300ml of black coffee last all day. And it’s still hot, not warm but hot. In fact, after making my coffee at 7 am, it’s just about cooled down enough by lunchtime. The instructions say to warm the flask before filling but unless you like your coffee at the temperature of a thermo-nuclear war you may want to skip that step.
  3. sigg-trinkflasche-colour-your-day-black-touch-orange-06-l-8536-90They look good! For once I’m not the guy on the trail or at the climbing gym with a scrunchy plastic water bottle. People have even commented on the coolness of my SIGG bottles (the black & orange one especially) and believe me as I near 40, cool matters!
  4. And this is probably the biggest factor. I use them. Maybe it’s my subconscious justifying the extra money spent on these bottles but I’ve always got one nearby, so I drink more water, which I’m told is good.
  5. As we’re yet another blog taking on single-use plastics with our Zero Waste Hiking plans, I need to mention this. Any reusable water bottle, even the cheap ones are better than their single use alternatives but by spending a little more cash on a simple item, we look after it better. The chance of it getting left behind is reduced as is the risk of dropping off a ledge, and while these seem to last longer than others, if you do lose a lid, SIGG actually sell spare parts!

So thats 5 reasons we love our SIGG bottles and once our children’s plastic bottles for school get lost/broken/chewed we’ll be in the market for a few more.

View the range of SIGG products on Amazon UK*

Youtube: Oh The Places We’ll Roll.

Ever dreamed of packing everything into an RV and disappear on a never ending road trip. Of course you have but these guys have only gone and done it.

www.ohtheplaceswellroll.com

I’ve only watched the first few episodes so far and, “tainted Mac’n’Cheese” and vehicle troubles aside, they all appear to be embracing life on the road, dogs and all.
I’ll put the first episode here but please make sure you click subscribe

As well as new episodes every Sunday you can follow the adventures on social media AND if you’re feeling generous you can contribute to the coffee fund on Patreon

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Dartmoor 2018

This summer we visited one of our National Parks for the first time. Somehow, after 6 years of living on the South Coast, within a few hours drive, and after countless trips to Devon and Cornwall for family visits and “normal” holidays I had never set foot on Dartmoor.

The purpose of the trip to was to spend a few days down there and just boulder as much as possible and when we first planned it out the forecast was great for Friday to Sunday with a few showers on the days either side. On the week of the trip the forecast changed and we were faced with the prospect of torrential rain  over that weekend. I hadn’t had time to plan any wet weather hiking as an alternative to bouldering so I moved some things around, worked like a dog on Monday and Tuesday, cramming 4 days work into 2 and on the Wednesday morning we jumped on a ferry and headed west.

We took a slow drive down as it was meant to be wet in Devon that day, so we stopped at a few places for a wander and an explore. One of which was going to be Lyme Regis but the “park and ride” car park was bursting and we just didn’t want to put ourselves through that. We did stop at Haldon Forest , which was very busy too but we found a quiet spot in the woods for a picnic and an explore.

Back in the car we decided to take the smaller roads through the park rather than the ironically named Devon Expressway, and we’re so glad we did. We so blown away by the landscape, even from the car, and I said to Hazel that “this place should be a secret!”. My mind started whirring, wondering if we could come back and hike across the park. (If there’s an established route please let me know). We were heading to Down Tor and Sheepstor at the western end of the park, near Tiverton, as I’d found a guide to the bouldering on Down Tor and ,after a chat with Graeme at www.wildcamping.blog/  on Instagram, found that we could camp on neighbouring Sheepstor. (Cheers Graeme!)

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On the way across we stopped to investigate some boulders, so we parked up grabbed the crash mat and climbing shoes and hiked maybe a 1/4 of a mile to a promising looking Tor. We climbed for about an hour, just looking for any way up. The kids enjoyed squeezing into a crack and making their ascents that way. We were just playing really but having a great time all 5 of us doing the same thing at the same time and all completely knackered by the time we hiked back to the car.

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Suddenly it was 7 o clock and as we got to the car, we heard thunder, then the rain came and then we saw the lightening, none of which was on the bloody forecast! We sensibly decided to head for a campsite lower down rather than wildcamp high on the moor with all this lightening around. It ultimately rained until the early hours but that didn’t stop the kids getting soaked in the play area in the dark while I sorted out the tent and dinner.

The following morning was damp but breezy so we headed into town and treated ourselves to a big, dirty fry up to give the rock a chance to dry off. We drove round some narrow lanes and before too long we were there. A 5 minute hike took us to the first set of boulders, which we ended up spending a few hours at. To honest I climbed really badly but really enjoyed myself. The kids had a blast and after trying a few lines from the guidebook were happy just finding their own ways up things.

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After a brew we headed on up the hill and just had so much to play around on. We reached the top of the Tor and found some really fun stuff to climb, some in the guidebook, some not but we didn’t care. It was just great to be climbing outside. We were just discussing the plans for the next day when the rain started so we wandered back to the car for a late tea. We were hoping to camp up on Sheepstor but again there was some lightening around so we decided to just go for a drive and see what the weather does.

Then evening brightened up so we stopped for a little hike up onto another Tor from where we could see where we had spent the day getting sore fingers and grazes and then we went to find a spot to camp. The rain had started again so we found a layby, spent 10 minutes wondering if we could all sleep in the car comfortably and just started putting down seat when another car came into the layby. A young french couple asked if we were planning to camp here, so abandoning the chaos in the car we grabbed the tent and sleeping bags and headed only about 200 yards away and pitched up behind some gorse. The other couple pitched only about 10 yards from their car so we felt like we had at least made an effort toward stealthiness.

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It rained all night and into the next morning. The forecast said it was in for the day so we had a slow drive back to our ferry. This time the slow drive wasn’t our choice as the rain and holiday traffic turned our drive into an 8 hour marathon! Never mind.

Even though the weather seemed against us for this flying visit to Dartmoor, I know it will quickly become a favourite spot for us. Outside of school holidays, it should be a really accessible and beautiful “go to” place for us. Its huge amount of climbing, bouldering and hiking and being so close (on a good day) may just move it ahead of Snowdonia as our National Park of choice.

Mind you there’s still a few we haven’t visited yet.

Thanks again to Graeme at Dartmoor Wild Camper and Pete Saunders at Rusty Peg

Review: OrganiCup

*I bought this product with my own money
Hazel.

A few years ago, in a previous life (before the kids came along), at an outdoors expo/trade show type event, I was approached by a rather enthusiastic man selling menstrual cups. I had never thought of using one before, and to be honest I hadn’t since. The gentleman in question went into almost graphic detail about its use, including a demonstration involving a the pouring of a red liquid which I hoped was Ribena, and as you can imagine, put me off entirely.

Recently our family have made a commitment to reduce our impact on the world. We practice “Leave No Trace” on the trail so why not at home. So after researching plastic free alternatives and zero waste practices I was reacquainted with the menstrual cup and thought now would be a good time to give them a try.
After the initial shock at the size of of it (I’m a size B after 3 children), I found it quite liberating. My period was no longer a pain. Changing it twice a day was no hassle and you don’t notice it’s there. But how would it fair on the trail?

I used it on the Isle of Wight Coastal Path,  with good access to toilets with a sink so cleaning it was no trouble. On a more remote hike I would probably take some wipes, as the ease of this would outweigh the small amount of plastic. I would definitely recommend this as a zero waste and minimal hassle alternative to traditional sanitary products.

Have a look at it on Amazon

3 Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic on the Trail

I should call this “3 Bloody Obvious Ways” to use less plastic, but to be quite honest, the amount of these types of litter I see on our local trails makes me wonder sometimes.

Swap a plastic bottle for a good one.

sigg-trinkflasche-colour-your-day-black-touch-orange-06-l-8536-90Spend some money on a proper, durable water bottle. The number of “Spring Water” bottles that get either chucked or if we’re being generous “left” on the trails is obscene.
Just don’t buy bottled water, there’s no need, especially in the UK.
We’ve topped up from outdoor taps in churchyards, farm yards and gardens (with permission, if we’ve found someone to ask). Failing that, I’m sure no one will say no to filling a bottle if you ask nicely.  Failing that, carry a water filter.
Also if it’s a decent bottle that has cost you a little bit you’ll retrace your steps if you forget it, or the next person along will pick it up and keep it for themselves. At least it’s less likely to stay in the woods.

The kids use their school ones which are plastic but last a year or more, usually. Next time they’ll be replaced with a metal one like mine from Sigg.

Use Dry Bags instead of Carrier Bags

78431302_4plInstead of relying on plastic bags to organise stuff in our packs we use dry bag stuff sacks. As well as the usual things like spare clothes and sleeping bags, we’ve started keeping other things in them too.
For instance, we use one for breakfast and dinner foods but a different one for snacks/lunch so we don’t have to get everything out for a handful of peanuts.
We carry one each for wet stuff or dirty clothes and the “toilet” equipment is kept in another (Nothing worse than damp toilet paper)
We always have one dedicated to rubbish which gets emptied when we find a dustbin.

We got ours fairly cheap from sports direct and there’s a variety of sizes. I know they’re more money than a bag for life but some of ours are 4 years old and still going strong.

Paper Bags and Bulk Bought Snacks.

jelly-beans-children--plain-1-820x532We go for a hike which lasts 5 days, there’s 5 of us. On an average day we consume:
5 packets of instant porridge
5 packets of instant noodles
10 cereal/chocolate bars
1 pack of Tortilla Wraps
1 pack of Tuna

To be honest that’s probably a minimum but that’s nearly 100 bits of plastic over the duration of the hike. That’s just not good enough so we’re trying to change that. And you can help by leaving your advice, ideas and tips in comments below.

For our last big hike, I went to our local weigh shop and bought various nuts, dried fruits and sweeties for the trail. These were packed in paper bags which we then put inside a drybag to protect from the rain. We topped up with fresh fruit when we could or bought plastic free extras along the trail.

 

Going Plastic Free on the Trail

I’ve given Rob a challenge. While I have the monumental task of making our household free from single use plastics, at a manageable budget, I want our hiking trips to be just as ethical. So he’s in charge of that!

His first reaction was that it will be easy, by the time we pay the extra for plastic free alternatives, there won’t be any money left for long hiking trips. However, we’ve made a solid start at home and he’s starting to plan how to get rid of single use plastics before our next trip.

Just Up The Trail, saving the world, one cereal bar at a time!!!

The biggest worry is food, because our usual staples of noodles and pasta snacks are usually wrapped in plastic as are our go to snacks of jelly beans, cereal bars and beef jerky. We may need to get creative. We may need to bake. We may need a dehydrator. We will need a bigger pack. And while tupperware is the easy option for storage/packing, its just not that great in a backpack so solutions for that will be necessary. We could use foil, or wax paper but won’t that get squashed/torn/wet? Research definitely needed.

Other than food packaging I can’t think, off the top of my head, of much else where we rely on single use plastic. We do have those silicon pop up bowls and plastic cutlery but those have already lasted 3 or 4 years and when they die I’ll try to get a replacement from another material. The kids have plastic water bottles but we already intend to replace them with metal bottles like Rob’s SIGG when the time comes and I can’t remember the last time we bought bottled water, anyway that’s why we have the filter.

So if anyone has any tips on packaging hiking food in non-plastics, any plastic free snacks or if you want to share some delicious recipes with us, leave them in the comments below.

I’ll check back in on the plastic free mission between now and our next big hike, which will probably be at Easter, and let you know how we’re getting on.

 

Project Zero

Our continuing mission: To hike as far as we can without relying on single use plastics. To save the world, one cereal bar at a time.

We go for a hike which lasts 5 days, there’s 5 of us. On an average day we consume:
5 packet of instant porridge
5 packet of instant noodles
10 cereal/chocolate bars
1 pack of Tortilla Wraps
1 pack of Tuna

To be honest that’s probably a minimum but that’s over 100 bits of wrappers and rubbish over the duration of the hike. That’s just not good enough so we’re going to change that. And you can help by leaving your advice, ideas and tips in comments below.

Here’s all the posts about our Zero Waste Hiking mission, in one place.

Podcast: Hike or Die.

It was this or the drone of the mower engine.
And wasn’t I pleasantly surprised.

You know those days that happen every so often, you’ve got a long day at work, mowing lawns and you’ve caught up on all your favourite listening material. That happened to me a little while ago, after sticking “Hiking” into the search of the Podcasts App and scrolling past those I’ve heard and those I’ve tried,  I stumbled upon this “little ripper”.

HIKE_OR_DIE_OUTDOOR_ADVENTURE_PODCAST_LOGOPressing play on Episode 1 (there were only 4 at the time) my heart sank a little as the loud guitar riff kicked in and I started to wonder what I let myself in for. As the hosts voices came into my earbuds I realised they were Australian and by putting the opening riff and the accents together I decided that I couldn’t be bothered with listening to a pair of typical Aussie Blokes, probably brash and sweary and anyway what does Australian hiking got to do with me anyway. I listened to something else for a while but the autoplay function put this on while I was mowing a massive lawn so it was this or the drone of the mower engine.

But wasn’t I surprised.

First off, Tom and Craig (our hosts) are both well AND softly spoken and have a real passion for getting out there which comes across during the podcast, and during that first episode I found myself giggling as they recounted the story of their first hike and how they awoke to a massive bush fire and try and save themselves and their new gear.

On later episodes they discuss topics such as photography, Leave No Trace and Trail Safety, all the while dropping little nuggets of wisdom or more than valid opinions, but it’s their reminiscence of their times on the trail that prove to be the real soul of the show. Mind you, even hearing them talk about the stats from their Youtube channel is pretty entertaining.

My own highlight is Episode 3 where they record the episode from the comfort of their rainforest camping spot. The lost coffee sachet is the real star of this particular episode but I won’t reveal its location here because, Spoilers.

I would take this opportunity to apologise for my initial impression of this great little show and I’m really glad I gave it another chance. New episodes appear in my feed every month or so but not on any set date so it’s always a nice surprise when a new one appears in my feed. I would add a little warning; Don’t listen when driving late at night, the soporific tones could lead to an accident, but as it’s tipping it down and the kids are at school and I’m at home, I’m off to listen to Episode 9, Hammocks Vs Tents.

If anyone else listens to this or does so as a result of this post, let me know in the comments below as well as any other Outdoors Podcasts you know of. I’m always in the market for more armchair hiking resources.

Review: Mountain Hardwear Lamina 0 Sleeping Bag.

So here’s a story. Last Christmas my dear old Mum gave me this sleeping bag. Brilliant, a nice warm sleeping bag for late autumn/early spring, just what I needed. Turned out she had bought it for my brother who didn’t like it, and so she gave it to me instead. Again brilliant, it would be perfect for our Easter trip on Glyndwrs Way,  and if a little heavy, it would be warmer than the one I already had.

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Trying out the new sleeping bag (thanks Mum)

A post shared by Rob Jones (@justupthetrail) on

At some point before we go backpacking, Mum decides she would like to join us for a couple of days on the trail. No problem. Whats that? She needs a warmer sleeping bag? Well being a dutiful son I suggest she use the one she gave me for Christmas and I’d make do, and when she leaves the trail, she can take my old one home and I’ll continue on with this one.

Snowy Tent

Now if you’ve read our trip report from Glyndwrs Way you’ll know just how cold it got and how we called the trip off after a couple of days because of the weather. I never got to try the new sleeping bag but on a positive note, the kids didn’t have to dig out Nana’s frozen corpse when the snow came.

Once Spring arrived properly I put this bag away until just last week, when I thought I might like a little extra comfort on our Round the Island hike, after all at the end of October we could get ALL the weather. It was quite a bit heavier than my alternative but it packed down nicely into the same size dry bag and to be honest, once I started hiking I didn’t really notice the difference.

The first night of the hike was quite chilly, around 5°C, so while setting up bed for the night I got out my spare fleece, puffy jacket and woolly hat and used them as a pillow and handy extra layers. I didn’t use them although I did get a little cold in the early hours. The second night we were a little further inland and it felt a little warmer and I was more than warm enough but the 3rd night we camped on the cliff tops right next to the sea and it was freezing out. I did climb into the bag with a fleece on and was glad of it for a start but woke up sweaty about midnight so I lost that extra layer and slept soundly for the rest of the night. The last night of the hike we spent “camped” in my Mother in Laws basement which was pretty luxurious and I used the bag as a duvet so I could stick a leg out easy enough to cool down.

Overall, this sleeping bag was great. It was a little on the small side for my larger frame and I’m not sure it would have been very comfortable if I hadn’t lost 2 stone over the summer, however it was easy to get in and out of, the zips worked and didn’t snag every time I used them. I didn’t notice the extra weight once I got hiking and I know if I had taken my other bag I would have been wearing all my spare clothes to stay warm, especially when we camped closer to the coast.

So it’s a great bag for late Autumn/Early Spring and a great gift. If I was choosing for myself I might get something slightly bigger so it’s not quite so tight, or I could lose some more weight! Oh and remember it kept my Mum alive in a Welsh snowstorm, which is kind of a positive.

Affiliate Link: Amazon UK

Almost Off Road.

For most of our first day on the Isle of Wight Coastal Path we had to share the route with some of the busier roads on the island. Now admittedly these roads aren’t major carriageways but having to shout to each other over the incessant burble of traffic isn’t fun. We hike to spend uninterrupted time in each others company, sometimes chatting about nothing, sometimes plotting our futures and sometimes just enjoying the silence. So imagine our relief when, between Whippingham and Wootton we find the first stretch of trail where traffic can’t go and we didn’t have to share.

 

Day 5 Totland to Home

Robs Round the Island - 462We left Totland before dawn, headed done to the bay and followed the seawall around to Colwell. No one was around and the sun was just coming up as we took another alternate along the beach. We climbed the concrete slipway and made our way through the holiday village and into the woods around Fort Victoria. From here we followed our second solar system trail of the trip (The first was Bonchurch to Ventnor) and came out on the top of the island with fantastic blue sky and Yarmouth Pier just ahead. It felt a bit strange to be honest, usually Yarmouth means were just getting home on the ferry and the trip is over but this time we still had a long way to go.

Robs Round the Island - 547We got some doughnuts for breakfast and sat on the benches by the green to eat them. It was 9 am. We wandered along the sea wall before nipping up and along the road for a little way before nipping into Bouldnor Forest and probably only the second stretch of this trail that we hadn’t hiked before. It was wonderful, with proper beaten earth trail being kind on our feet, tree cover for the kids to play their games while charging ahead and seeing just what happens when a forest meets the sea.

We broke out onto heath a while later and were surprised to see how far inland we had come but were soon plunged back into tree cover and then open fields as we reached Hamsptead. (which marks the start of another trail on our list). Here we decided to bypass a 2 mile loop which would bring us out about 1/4 mile down a gravel road led us away from the coast and as we crossed a little bridge we marked passing 70 miles on trail. Strange seeing as it’s only supposed to be a 68 mile trail. Back through tree’s passing close to Newtown Creek and into fields on the way to Shalfleet.

Shalfleet to home was a stretch that was worrying us as it appeared to be mainly on the road, we were pleased when the first section took us off the main road toward the quay and then across the creek to join the quieter back road a bit further along but we still had to negotiate a few miles of twisting, narrow country lanes. With nerves shredded and patience in tatters and feet on fire from the tarmac we stopped in Porchfield for a final treat in the pub before the last 3 or 4 miles home.

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The Trail to Thorness Bay started on the road but soon diverted through some fields and into the holiday park. We garnered some funny looks from holiday makers as these 3 feral kids and there unwashed parents came through with big packs but we were quietly pleased with our “Hiker-Trash” appearance. Thorness Bay opened out in front of us as the sun started to dip and we hastened to get done before sunset. The kids knew the way home from here and with that mission in mind they practically sprinted the last mile and a half, Hazel and I struggling to keep up. Of course they paused at the rope swing, where we did catch them and we hiked the remaining yards to our starting point together.  Looking at the GPS, we had hiked 18 1/2 miles on that last day, our furthest on any trail so far, AND we had hiked a grand total of 77.7 miles on this 68 mile trail.

As we strolled up the lane back to our home, we chatted about how far we had walked, how strange it felt to walk from our door and back to it 5 days later and we started to think about what we might do next?

 

Day 4 Chale to Totland

We woke up for the sunrise and for the first time on this hike there were clouds in the sky. It was quite chilly so Hazel took the kids on while Evan and I packed up. In our haste to get the children fed the night before we had inadvertently eaten all the porridge and with the alternative being pasta snacks we hiked on empty stomachs and a hope that the snack van that often frequents Compton Bay would be there.

Robs Round the Island - 392Our route took us along the tops of the cliffs that run along the south coast of the island, occasionally cutting inland to bypass a chine and it wasn’t long before we were passing through our favourite island campsite, now closed for the winter, and meeting the first other thru-hikers of the trip, although they did think we were brave to be camping at the end of October. Soon we reached Brighstone and the pearl selling place and into the strangest abandoned holiday park. It really felt like everyone had just left in the night for fear of falling into the sea. Through broken windows you can see cutlery left on tables and what remains of the still full swimming pool.

After a few more miles, Isaac got the stubborn go slows, and the other two had hiked on ahead in search of the snack van. I knew they had spotted it when they broke into a run from almost 1/4 mile away. They waited patiently for the rest of us to catch up where we all had a healthy breakfast of Mr Whippy ice creams (with a flake!!!) and some fizzy pop. Of course, from here we could easily see our next stopping point of Freshwater Bay and with the promise of lunch so soon after “Breakfast” we picked up the pace.

Hazels Round the Island - 393We have walked this stretch of trail so many times before but there was significant land slippage along this section that hadn’t occurred when Lil and I had hike this way for her birthday back in July.  At one point we had to negotiate wide cracks in the ground, just wide enough to swallow a small child. The track takes us alongside the Military Road for a little way but once it had veered off away from the cars, the kids ran on, knowing the trail, most of the way to Freshwater Bay. Here we made a little camp for our late lunch, it was about 2 pm, our stuff spilling out everywhere as we just dropped our heavy packs and sat. I walked the extra 1/2 mile to the shop to get supplies for lunch and some extra food for the evening.

Robs Round the Island - 434After lunch we headed up the second and last decent climb of the hike. Tennyson Down which took us up from Freshwater Bay to the monument to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, he of “Half a league, half a league, Half a league onward,” fame, from where we could see both sides of this little island, and the chimneys at Fawley that we can see from behind our home. Now it felt like the homeward stretch.

We pressed on towards the setting sun, along the headland that leads to the Needles and the most western point of the Isle of Wight. The views back across the island were fantastic, those to the nearby New Forest and further away Isle of Purbeck magnificent. Our view of the Islands most famous landmark however was not so great. It was obscured unless we were willing to pay entrance to the Old Battery, which owned by the National Trust is a worthy monument itself, however with tired legs it simply felt like another commoditisation of our natural landmarks (A rant for another day I think!).

Hazels Round the Island - 439

We dropped down to Alum Bay with a spectacular sunset behind us and hiked a little further to our safe haven for the night, Nana’s basement. We wandered down to the chippy for tea and made some “beds” on the floor of Hazels mum’s cellar. We decided it was the best option for a good nights sleep and without needing to pack a tent away we could get away super early for the final, and long, leg home.

Robs Round the Island - 460