…..but the views from the tops were stunning.
The ride from the YHA (where I camped) in the New Forest began with a few kms of rough stuff, eventually dropped down to the beach at Bournemouth, where I had a glorious 12km riding between beach huts and a pristine white sand beach, the likes of which I had never seen in the UK….
At the end of the Sandbanks peninsula, the most expensive real estate in the UK, there is a chain link ferry that takes you over to Studland and the Purbeck hills, and my route took me past Corfe Castle, Lulworth Castle and Durdle Door….
…to finish on Portland (famous for its stone) and Chesil Beach, a long dune of stones and pebbles, made famous by novelist Ian McEwen.
Here I end my little flash-dash of 260km, camping in the garden of the YHA overlooking Chesil Beach….
and given the garden has a 15% slope, there may be a few slumbering bodies at the bottom by the morning….😊
Ah, the wind is coming from the east…..so back down to Brighton on a train crammed with beach-loving trippers who want to stretch out on the piercingly uncomfortable pebble beaches of the south coast……and get a tan.
I step off a beguilingly air-conditioned train to be greeted by the suffocating heat of Brighton… I started feeling week at the knees immediately….so, westwards I headed, enjoying a garden BBQ with family on my first night….
then on a long drawn out day, I painfully negotiated both Portsmouth and Southampton in my bid to get to the New Forest, only to find a chained gate trying to deprive me of my rightful access to a bridleway…..
I make a mental note to complain to the Forestry Commission….
but, as ever, there were moments to savour on the day’s 117km (73 mile) route….including the growing discomfort of the saddle!