Although we were on the Isle of Wight for three days, that didn’t deter James from travelling back to the mainland for an appointment at the War Memorial Hospital at Bognor Regis.
It probably had something to do with the fact that it entailed a ride on the hovercraft! The hover service between Southsea and Ryde has been going for some 50 years.
The comfort level on board is just above basic. The noise levels are quite high and the ride is surprisingly bumpy but, for James, it’s still one of the best of rides ever.
In 2016 the comfort, noise and ride qualities may well get very much better when two brand new craft come into service. Can’t wait!
After his appointment (which concluded that he need’s a new hip!) he arrived back on the island rather deflated (only the hovercraft that is).
We stayed with friend Jonathan for a couple of days and on Thursday we met up with Jon’s mum, Sylvia, for brunch at a cafe on Ryde beach. A walk along the lovely wide sandy beach was enjoyed by all of us but especially Jon’s dog Sasha.
Sasha and Doug are the very best of friends and for an old, and quite large dog, she gets a bit excited when he’s around (and sadly pays for it the day after!).
At Ryde there’s a beautiful old boathouse which has thankfully survived to the present day.
It was Sylvia’s suggestion that we pop the short distance to Puckpool Battery between Ryde and Seaview to have a look around. Built in the 1860’s to defend Britain from a possible French invasion, it’s still in remarkable condition.
All the main gun emplacements are still there …..
… and they make a good backdrop for a lovely photo of Jonathan and his Mum.
During the Second World War a gas decontamination facility was built – this is still in great shape but, logically, all the interesting bits inside and underground are locked off from the public for safety reasons as this is now a public park. Thanks to Sylvia we had a fantastic few hours discovering something we didn’t know existed on the island.
On the last day, just before getting the ferry back home, we popped into the Garlic Farm to buy a few bulbs. There’s garlic everywhere – even the old tree trunks have been carved to look like it.
You can enjoy an interesting hour or so (but we didn’t have the time) – however there’s always something that can be learnt …….
…… in the ten minutes it takes to buy a few bulbs.