Saturday, September 19, 2009

Walk 2: Carisbrook to Brighstone

To say I was a bit tired after my exploring of the Western point of the island was an understatement....I was out for the count at the third bong of News at Ten, which NEVER happens. Anyhoo I decided that for day 3 of the trip a shorter walk was probably a good idea. My folks were off to pay a visit to Queen Victoria's old digs, Osbourne House, which was going to be all paintings, cotton tops, musty smells and creaky, armed with map, water and pasty I got them to drop me at nearby Carisbrook for an inland walk across the downs to Brighstone around 5 miles away.

Straight away the track I was walking started to ascend...that's the ironic thing about 'downs' they're always up. A few minutes into my walk I was surprised by a small furry creature who jumped out of the hedgerow just a couple of metres in front of me...apparently the feeling was mutual as the little stoat dived back into the bush...curiosity got the better of the little critter though and it was soon inching it's way back towards me....I have a feeling it could smell my pasty. As I attempted to get a hold of my camera, having never seen a stoat in the wild before, I was aware of movement behind me...two cyclists, slightly insane, taking on the steep incline and making much noise with it...which had the stoat promptly diving for cover and myself flattened against the bank....As I inwardly cursed the bikers....and spandex is not a good look on anyone...the stoat disappeared from sight.....I didn't get the picture but it looked something like this:

The track soon evened out to open fields and showed some stunning views across the island. I caught sight of Carisbrook Castle which dates back to the 12th century.

The great thing about the island is that it's very difficult to get lost, well on foot anyway, the paths, tracks and bridleways are well mapped, maintained and in the middle of nowhere, when you reach a 5 way junction, there are signposts. The route I was on, Tennyson Way, would eventually lead all the way back to the Needles.

I stopped for lunch in the sunshine at around the halfway mark then ventured into Brighstone Forest....where I freaked myself out, with my stupidly over active imagination, at every snapping twig, rustling leaf and dropping conker.....dork.

Luckily the Blair Witch didn't disembowel me and I was soon exiting the wood onto Brighstone 214 metres it's one of the highest points on the island, though the banks of bracken made it difficult to see the view from the top.

Wandering back down the hill I was greeted with an amazing sea view....the white cliffs to the right of the picture is Tennyson down, where I had walked the day before.

I continued to head down the track and in front of me saw Mottistone Down, which was the end of my didn't go unnoticed that the path I was on continued a fairly steep descent and the hill in the distanced was most definitely....up.

Climbing Mottistone Down....The view looking east.

Looking south

Looking back towards, the ever-so-slightly freaky, Brighstone Forest from the top of Mottistone.

Luckily at the top of the Down there was a bench where a couple and their cute black Lab pup were sitting, well the couple were sitting the pup was kinda bounding, jumping and rolling in rabbit poop in an attempt to be cute enough to scrounge some food...she succeeded.

Walking down Mottistone Down with Tennyson Down in the distance

I wandered back down the hill through a woodland path, by which time my feet were beginning to protest all the activity...I had just returned to the car park and was in the midst of a well earned rest when the parentals pulled in to give me a lift.....

Above, my route....I later worked out that my 'shorter' walk had turned into an 8 mile hike....meh.....calves of steel baby!


Firefly mom said...

Another fabulous edition of "Walking with Emma" ;D

I've never heard of a stoat - he's a cute little bugger! And I agree about the spandex. Living in a bicycle-centric area, I have seen far too many jiggly behinds crammed into it.

It wasn't the Blair was a rabid stoat stalking you...

Emma said...

Ta...I do like a bit of exploring when I get the chance and love my digital camera....

I'd originally thought the Stoat was a Weasel or Ferret, since they're all much of a muchness, but after I gave my description to dad he said Sotat was the likely culprit...I've never seen one in the wild before and i dare say it was as surprised to see me...shame the cyclists scared it off as I'm pretty sure it would have come right up to me.

Don't know why I got creeped out in the woods...walking on my lonesome doesn't normally bother me and it didn't take me long to walk through either...may have hoofed it a I say over active imagination....or possibly a rabid stoat ;-)