Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Wilderness and Islands
Before the weather changes and the summer turns to autumn, I thought maybe one more outdoorsy type trip could be squeezed in and so enamoured by the stay in a Yurt with Canopy and Stars, I found us a shepherds hut at Knepp Safaris in East Sussex.
We arrived as the sun was setting, so had to find our way into the woods with a torch, other campers told us to grab a wheelbarrow to transport our bags to the hut and so we wove our way past the dining area and glamping kitchen into the woods.
A fire was soon lit, my other half now calling upon his skills as a boy scout, whipped up a roaring one in the outside fire pit.
The hut was super cozy, we made the mistake of lighting the indoor stove and it was too hot. I loved that bed, snuggled up and outside total darkness and the sounds of owls and other nocturnal creatures.
The next day we followed the walks around the area of our camp. The owners have been re-wilding the fields and now there are wild horses and pigs roaming free. We didn't spot any deer but did spend a lot of time with squirrels and rabbits, birds and insects. There were no organised safaris on the days we were there, so we made our own and with the aid of a compass and map, a flask of tea and comfy shoes.
As we were near the coast I decided on a whim that we could hop over to the Isle of Wight. OK, a very extravagant whim, considering how expensive the ferry across was. I was truly gobsmacked that it cost 99 pounds to cross the tiniest stretch of water! I'm sure it's cheaper to go to France. But, I had never been to the Isle Of Wight so I bit the bullet, paid the ferryman, and booked us a room with Air bnb in a cute cottage on the coast.
My main reason to visit was as a pilgrimage to the home of Julie Margaret Cameron, the first female photographer, I have been in love with her work for as long as I can remember. Her house, however, was a bit disappointing, but it just has to be the first thing on my list.
It also rained on this first day on the IOW but undaunted, we packed in every single sight we could see. Our Air bnb was an annexe to a house which was originally the coachman's cottage for the John Nash estate. John Nash, famous architect built himself a castle on the IOW and many buildings around, I shall investigate this on our next visit. The host of our Air bnb is an artist and holds retreats at her home, set deep into a long stretch of woodland and right on the coastal path, the setting was perfect for long walks.
And before we got back on the ferry we had a hunt for red squirrels in one of the many wild woods but sadly to say I did not see one. This must be a sign that I should return with the sole mission to commune with red squirrels, armed with nothing but nuts and a long lens.
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