Isle of Wight
Isle of Wright Special
What a fun weekend, Easter weekend turned out to be for the Explorer Unit! The Explorers visited the Isle of Wight for a hiking holiday. Along the way, the Explorers tackled a 24 - 26 mile walk, got 'chased by a man with a shotgun' and wasted all their money on arcade games and 2p machines.
The start of the adventure for the Explorers. At 7:30am, the Explorers packed up their kit bags into the mini-van, said their good-byes and ventured to Portsmouth to catch the ferry to the Isle of Wight. On the ferry, Ben spent most of his time outside, experiencing the 'high force gales' while everyone else sat inside and thought about what laid ahead. Once the Explorers reached the Isle of Wight, they were driven to the centre of the island to the pub, The Blacksmith Arms. From there, the Explorers grabbed their kit bags and walked South East picking up the Tennyson Trail. Eventually, the Explorers reached their destination and camp for the night, a pottery. For their keep, the Explorers had to cut and chop logs and organise them into sections. After the logs, the Explorers pitched their tents (under shelter, luckily) and made themselves tea/dinner. The young men then went to get fish and chips and to my displeasure, lots and lots of curry sauce. After a brief visit to a very stormy beach, the Explorers returned to the pottery, only to be welcomed by a colossal thunderstorm but, thanks to the shelter, the Explorers stayed dry.
The tweets of birds and rustling of leaves was the sounds experienced by the Explorers as they slowly awoke from their curry smelling tent (we're looking at you, Ben). The Explorers then, made breakfast and packed up the tents and cooking equipment. What the Explorers didn't expect was that they would be facing a 26 mile hike up and down hills. The Explorers said thanks to the landowners and headed off to pick up the Tennyson trail. The trails lead them up and down hills which contained golf courses on top of the Gail force hills. The Explorers past Sandown and walked past the Tennyson monument. Past the Needles and Totland, they marched. Once they reached Yarmouth, some of the group wanted to quit, but they continued on past Shalfleet and up towards Thorness Bay. At Thorness Bay, the Explorers reached the finish line, a caravan site called Thorness Bay Holiday Park. Awaiting the Explorers was a barbeque in Ron and Carol's caravan which I have to say was absolutely marvellous. The Explorers watched TV for most of the night but, had no choice otherwise because when they attempted to stand up, their legs caved in. Early nights were in order for the Explorers and they went straight to bed (inside the caravan).
Sunday had to be the relaxation day that the Explorers needed. First of all, they had a hearty breakfast and explored the park. The Explorers then went swimming at the indoor 'heated' swimming pool where the Explorers had one too many rides of the child slide! The Explorers then went to visit Carisbrooke Castle which was a castle used for many purposes in its past, for example, as a home and an army base. The Explorers fully enjoyed being able to walk around the castles battlements and enjoyed a well which grabbed their attention for most of the visit. The Explorers went onto the beach where they spent their entire money at the pier on games like Time Crisis, The House of the Dead, go-carts and, with the change, on 2p machines. Once the Explorers returned to the caravan, a roast beef dinner, cooked by Carol, was laid out for the Explorers. After the beautiful feast had been eaten, the Explorers walked to the onsite beach to occupy time. The beach was where the shotgun incident occurred. In brief, Conor and Gyles walked onto explore a boat on the beach while, Ben and Sam (myself) walked back to the caravan. Ben and I heard while walking back 'he's got a shotgun'. I looked back to find Conor and Gyles dashing towards us. Their story was that they smelt rotting flesh and that they saw a man, apparently, carrying a shotgun, shouting at them. After the event, the Explorers returned to the caravan only to be taught the game of Hearts by Ben's dad, John. After the game, the Explorers settle down, once again, in their nice warm beds.
Monday marked the end of the adventure. Explorers packed their kit bags and tidied the caravan up, before going to the onsite arcade to have a go at Guitar Hero and Time Crisis. The Explorers were then driven to a pub where they enjoyed a carvery dinner. Presents, goodbyes and goodbyes were exchanged and then the Explorers were driven back home to Sidcup to reunite with their families.
Thank you to Ron, Carol, John and all Explorers for making the trip the best we have had for me and for everyone else.