Day 1 – Lyndhurst, Barton on Sea, Bournemouth, Salisbury
We conveniently picked up Jane Elizabeth Austin the Jazz from Budget in Battersea. Bloody good location for us to get in and out of the city, without getting smashed by London traffic.
Off we went.
Alysha in the drivers seat, Maddie napping in the back and me navigating the trip.
Destination: New Forest.
The ladies at work recommended this beautiful patch of land to me and I thought we would have enough time to explore it this long weekend.
We avoided the highways and took the quieter, lower speed limit, narrow roads option, with rolling hills that turned into tree tunnels and forest greenery.
I could feel the leafy goodness seeping its way through my pours after such a long time away from it.
The freedom and independence of driving was exhilarating.
We weren’t the only ones basking in this joy. We found ourselves on an unofficial racing track for every 50+ London male who wanted to take his expensive sportscar for laps with his 25 year old girlfriend. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the frustration on their faces in the rear mirror as they waited for a break in the traffic.
Lyndhurst’s Fox and Hounds turned out to be perfect for a spot of lunch. Luckily for us a vegan convention in the town meant our beef burgers and goat’s cheese tarts came quickly.
We ventured into a field of men playing cricket. Sun, fun, and animals on the run.
The ladies at work had explained that there were wild horses and donkeys throughout the forest, but I had assumed they’d been in confined area. No, they were on the roads, in people’s gardens, on cricket pitches and mowing away at the grass in front of pubs.
I attempted to pat a horse and an unfriendly cow as we watched cricket balls fly in the air. Then in an instant, the weather suddenly turned and next thing I know, I’m sprinting to the car as ice flakes fell on my jacket.
We pressed on to see the forest and the sea in one day.
We made it through the wilderness. Yeh we made it through….and found the ocean. It was beautiful. A little coastal town called Barton on Sea. We stood on a cliff overlooking the ocean and watched a storm build momentum. This time we ran back to the car as rain fell on our jackets.
Bournemouth was our final destination before heading to our accommodation in Salisbury.
English seaside towns are extremely interesting.
It was like they all picked up similar blueprints: boardwalk, weird gaming centre, children’s show rides and ice cream.
Even when it’s raining or below freezing outside.
It is slowly make sense to me though.
I imagine as a seaside town in a country where you can only enjoy the fun of the beach for maybe three months of the year, you need to offer some type of enjoyment.
I wiggled my toes into Bournemouth’s sandy beach, breathed in the smell of BBQ and watched the sun sink into the ocean.
We powered to Salisbury in under an hour, had a spectacularly delicious dinner at Leonardo’s Ristorante, met our AirBnb hosts (more on them tomorrow) and fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillow.