England Vacation 2009 -- August 21

Today we did the medium walk Winkle Street to Hulverstone. It was 14 km (8.5 miles) and 300m (975ft) of ascent. We were dropped off in Calbourne (SZ 424868) and walked back to the house.

The walk started with a visit to the Calbourne church. There is a brass memorial from 1379 in the church placed there by the Earl of Salisbury in memory of his son William. William was jousting with his father and was blinded by the lance and later died.

From the church we headed to Winkle Street (or Barrington Row). There are a couple of explanations for the name Winkle Street – Winkle use to mean “to twinkle”. It also meant a lane that goes around a corner but doesn’t lead anywhere. It might also refer to a type of seashell. The lane has some older stone cottages and thatched cottages on one side and a stream on the other. At one spot in the stream there is a stone wall with vertical groves down into the stream. They can drop wooden pieces into the vertical groove and let the water come up. It then becomes a sheep wash, last used in about 1976. There was a flower called Monkey Musk growing in the stream - it looked like a cows face. The sign board warned not to pick these flowers as they don’t last long once picked.

We then wandered through some fields and past a farmhouse and out buildings. They were busy doing something with grain, it was pouring into the top of something like a silo but we didn't see a top for it and it was much shorter, not quite as high as the building. We stopped for some elevenses just before leaving the last of the farm fields and entering a wooded area. The rain held off until we were into the wooded area, so some put rain coats on and some didn't. Helen Anne had already put the rain cover on her camera (it has a very cute rain coat) and Karen put her camera into her pack and put the packs raincoat on. Otherwise, we didn't bother with wet gear. It did rain heavily for a very short time but didn't really get through the trees to us. As we left the woods, the rain stopped.

From the woods we passed some bronze age barrows and then went down to the longstone for some lunch. Legend has it that St. Catherine threw the big stone at the devil and it land standing upright and the devil threw the little one back, but it is laying down. St. Catherine's Oratory, from where the stone was supposedly thrown, is about 3 miles away. It is apparently something like Stonehenge and was possibly used for 'council' meetings of some sort.

From the stones we made our way to Hulverstone and had a drink at the pub, plus a comfort stop for those that wanted. We then made our way to the coastal path via Brook where we stopped to visit Saint Mary the Virgin church. When lifeboat stations were all around the island, each station maintained a list of every rescue. When the stations were closed, the lists were removed. Saint Mary’s has the list for the rescues at Brook. Each list contains the date, the name of the ship and the number of lives saved.

The coastal path led back to Freshwater House. The tide was out so we were able to do part of the walk on the beach. There were people kite surfing. It was very windy and they looked like they were having great fun. We saw some rocks that are supposed to be fossilized dinosaur footprints and just had fun wandering along the beach. (The Isle of Wight has one of the largest concentrations of dinosaur fossils in the world.) The Coastal Path is rather hilly and it was a lot of up and downing. We ended up dropping back and coming at Karen’s pace as her toe was acting up (note from Helen Anne: Karen, don’t kick the bed – note from Karen: I didn’t kick it, it attacked me).

The evening was the guest talent show and we had some rather talented guests participating. There was a group of 15 walkers from Germany. Many of them are in choirs at home so they got together and formed a choir. They sang in German and English and got the group to sing with them as well. Another lady claimed to have gotten access to the leaders secret guide for 2009 and then read us some of the “guidelines” including

#3 – mention frequently the number of loos available on the walk

#130 – Above all have fun.

The pathway fund raiser was limericks again. They asked that we submit limericks and Friday evening people vote with coins. This time £34 was raised. Helen Anne’s limerick was

We came to Freshwater Bay

The leaders had lots to say

About all the views

And plenty of loos

So we were all very gay.

Karen’s still needs to send me her limerick. Maybe next week.



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