Breakfast was sumptious on both days. We started with fruit salad, croissants and yogurt. The first day both Chris and I had the full english, and the next I had buttermilk pancakes. The proprietoress, being American had a wicked recipe for these. Chris and I were brave and ate our slices of Black Pudding. This for those who don't know, is a British delicacy of a sausage made from pig's blood and some type of grain. It was actually quite nice. We had freshed brewed coffee and toast as well, which all went down well over the morning papers. :)
We got the bus to Newport, the County town of the IoW. It's the hib of the bus network, and so we could go on to any over part of Island from there. After some running around the huge Marks and Sparks for salad, we got the bus onto Shanklin.
Shanklin is a little seaside town, with a quaint old village and the usual British seaside tat. I wanted to wlk down the magical chine, but it was shut, so we climbed to the top of the hill, and looked into it instead. On that hill, chris and I ate our picnic, mused on life and what to put on postcards, and admired the view. It was fantastic.
We strolled along the seafront, had delicious ice cream apiece, cherry and kirch forme, and ginger for Chris. The aim was to walk to Sandown, another seaside downonly a little down the coast. Half way inbetween we had a little paddle as it was so warm, and Chris took pictures of his feet. We also encountered a charming art installation hung on a fence, it was giant xyolphone blocks painted with the words of "oh I do like to be beside the seaside." When struck with a stick, they were pitched to the right notes as to play the tune. Such fun!
At Newport we had noticed a cycle route marked '8 miles to Sandown.' and Chris suggested walking instead of taking the bus. I disagreed and said we should walk home instead. Which we attempted to do. After much searching of maps in the tourist information, we found the cycle path and began our walk in the late afternoon sun. Much of the old railway lines on the Island are now cycle routes and you can reach every major town. It was very picturesque, with wild rabbits leaping over the path, ducks and geese on the river and beautiful scenery.
I was beat after 4 miles along the track and begged Chris to let us get the bus. As it was dusk and Chris was getting hugry he agreed, and we caught the bus in the middle of nowhere, back to Newport. From there it was a sleepy bus ride to Cowes. We had dinner in a very empty Indian restaurant, having deciding against the pub where we orignally intended to eat. Rather than wasting holiday money on pub grub we went all out. Poppadoms and dips, lamb rogan josh for me, Duck in a creamy sauce for Chris, spiced aubergines, garlic naan and pilau rice, followed by a mango kulfi ice cream. We felt a bit odd because the waiters were verypeturbed to be disturbed by us, but the food was great.
The final day saw us again breakfasting in style, bidding a sad sad goodbye to the lovely room and trundling off with our back packs. We were going to go to Osbourne House, the summer palace of Queen Victoria, but were put off by the £9.50 entrance fee.
Instead, we walked slowly down the hill, had another go on the train ferry and re walked the seafront walk of our first morning. There was tea and teacakes in a very quaint cafe that a had a toy train running around the room. It also had a noisy and odd but witty owner, who told Chris off for choking on his tea. Then there was more lovely ice cream. Peach and Mango and Ginger this time. The funny guy behind the counter liked Chris' Google t shirt, and spent the hours between customers this early in season apparently googling his own name.
In order to kill more time before our ferry, we bought a paper, two pints of real ale and a bowl of onions rings in waterside pub. Watching the boats, commenting on society and me giving Chris a crash course in drawing saw us through till we had to get the boat.