Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sun, Sea & Cycling and some Hills Killer!

Back from a great weekend cycling at the Isle of Wight. Every year I take part in an event called the ‘Hills Killer with a mate from the Midlands. The event itself happens on a Sunday, usually the last in September, it’s really tough on the old bones, hence the name Killer. Twenty six miles off road biking, across seven of the largest hills on the island. This year was no different to any other; it took us ages to complete. Keep on talking, chatting and admiring the scenery, more like tourists than competitors. All was good in the end, you can see the route here.
Friday night was a night out in Sandown. Looked at a couple of places to go, all of them great if you’re about a thousand years old and can remember the crusades but not for me. Found a pub down a side street, it all went quiet when we walked in, folks don’t like strangers - like Thatcham on that score. As it was getting late and we were walking home I got to thinking it’s quite a warm evening. Looking across at the sea it started calling out to me in a soft sea like voice… saying “Paul, it’s so warm, come in”. Honest! It really did talk to me, or at least that’s my excuse. I walked across the sand to the water edge, took my kit off and went for a swim. Don’t get me wrong I’ve never done this before. In this here year of 2011 though, I made a new years resolution to do things I’ve never done before, well, this was certainly one of them. Whilst in the water there were parts of me getting very closely re-acquainted. It was Fr fr freezing. Highly recommended and very liberating though... Not sure if it’s legal.
Saturday was exploring day, I saw a picture of a beach on a website and thought it would be quite cool to visit. The picture showed a coast line at the bottom of a hill with a back drop of cliffs and a guy using a rope to edge down the slope on the way there. Rocken End, was the name of the place, looked Jurassic surrounded by huge cliffs and wooded areas.
We eventually found the place and discovered a path from the top of the hill going down through the trees, over streams and around rocks, so off we went to find this beach. After a while of following the path you could begin to hear the sea rolling onto the beach, there was a smell of breakfast being cooked too. A few more steps and there it was. Wow… I’ll say that again, Wow. It was awesome, a picture perfect beach stretching into the distance, well worth the long trek to get there.
There were a few people scattered about, surfers, guys fishing and some just sitting watching. We walked down past the others and found a spot to sit. A guy came by casting for fish from the beach; I’d never seen anyone catch from the beach until then when he landed a few mackerel. Five minutes later I was debating whether to swim, looking up at some cloud the sun finally broke through in all its glory. That’s when it happened! Folks started to take their tops off for sunbathing - I took mine off to go for a swim. I jumped in the water and swam out, on looking back I realised that the other folks on the beach didn’t stop at just their tops… they were naked… aaaargh, I was on a nudist beach. What are the odds?
Well, you should be getting to know me by now. When in Rome… do what the Romans do. Happy days with another first for the year…

Grand National 2019