Thursday, 6th July.
Today the plan was to walk to the other end of the Isle of
Wight. Hmm. Well after I got disoriented leaving the campsite
(memo to the lovely people at the Ordinance Survey - there is
a new golf course in Sandown!) I was directed towards the path
that would take me to Godshill.
I soon realised that this was yet another path that led through
marshlands. Marshlands, bah! Humid, sweaty, and infested with
insects. Ideal walking territory, compared to the rolling hills,
eh? I found another path that was a little longer but led through
some woods. I crashed through the undergrowth, and navigated
successfully to the town of Newchurch. Just a town. Through the
village I walked then I found the path off the road. Nurseries on
the left and massive greenhouses on the right. Along the gravel
roads on the manor and then I found myself at the arse end of
It was lunchtime, I was bloody hungry, and I was looking forward
to the postcard-scenery of the township. I was about to be very,
I rounded the corner to the centre of Godshill and found myself
looking along a tacky tourist street. In my time touring the
Historic Villages of Tasmania I saw some rubbish, but this took
the cake. The street was completely filled with old people walking
as slowly as they possibly could. There was no charm to the place
whatsoever. Nor was there anywhere for a hungry Tasmanian to eat
an appropriate hiking meal, but there were shitloads of tea rooms.
I spat the dummy.
I had been hiking for hours yesterday, and a few more hours today,
and I'd ended up in sodding Godshill. I caught the next bus back
On the way back the bus passed through a town called Shanklin,
which is notable only for its Western Shop - stocking authentic
western and line dancing gear.
Soon enough I was back in Ryde, where time stands still. And then
I was on the ferry back to Portsmouth. The brightly coloured fair
equipment on the Portsmouth shore contrasted with the monotonous
grey clouds. A town that only comes to life in the sunshine, the
ferris wheel and the rollercoaster sat silent and motionless.
England's green countryside flashes by my window. Victoria
Station, Dawes Road Palace. Effortless.