01.08.2010 - 02.08.2010
A. and I have been on the move for days and it has been a fun adventure. Sadly, I am still finishing school work and applying for jobs. I wish that element would just stop. But A. is patient with me.
On Sunday morning we left Brighton early for the New Forest, the first stop on our "vacation." The New Forest has the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in the south east of England and was created as a royal forest by William I in the 11th century for private hunting. Building on the idyllic image of the New Forest are free roaming ponies (i.e. donkeys) who hang out in the streets blocking traffic and standing idly beside stores:
Here is a distracted A. vs. the spindly legged foal:
One donkey wandered over to me and started nipping gently at my hand, A. was trying to get my attention by pointing at the donkey. I kept nodding and smiling because the donkey was so friendly. How can I put this gently? A. was trying to get my attention because my new friend was very "excited" to see me. As soon as I noticed we took off, the purity of the farm experience tainted.
After attempting a mapped walk and getting lost from provincial directions we wandered aimlessly through the New Forest, startling deer we swore looked like Tyson Beckford (though r. disagreed). This is a tree that A. really liked:
Walking back through the heath we found cows, here is one in motion. These cows have absurd shaggy haircuts. It looks like A. is standing in front of a blue movie screen:
And this is the New Forest at sunset:
The next day we went to the Isle of Wight by ferry. Here is the view from Lymington Pier on our way to Yarmouth:
Like the rest of England, the Isle of Wight was marked by moody weather and a cold wind. We didn't really know where to go so we went west to the Needles, a row of three distinctive stacks of chalk that rise out of the sea. To get there we took a rickety old chair lift down to the beach:
We sat on the rocky beach, whipping stones at the sea and eating snacks. Here is the view:
We took a bus to the top and stared down at the sea. It's hard to believe this is an image of the chilly English coast:
In some ways it would have been so nice to stay in the forest, eating freshly baked scones for breakfast and lounging in the local pubs but instead we dragged our bloated suitcases to Bath for the next stop on our whirlwind adventure.