With various meeting points between Bicester and Newbury, nine of us met up to ride down to Swanage on Friday afternoon. The traffic was horrendous with lots of filtering making it a long journey to the Swanage Bay Holiday Centre and to meet up with Deb and Roger who live in Swanage now. However, the journey was soon forgotten when we all met up for drinks and eats at the Holiday Centre and watched Wales win (!) before toddling off to bed to get a good nights sleep before our trip to the Isle of Wight to see Roger and Jill who used to run our previous venue, Foxcombe Lodge. Infact, for those in the caravans it was more of a mountaineering course as it was a continuous climb to the caravans perched on top of the hill!
Saturday dawned bright and dry and off we set to Southampton Docks – again traffic was quite heavy but we all arrived safely to find that the ferry had been delayed due to the round the island yacht race……ice creams soon softened the blow and time passed quickly as we waited. Arriving later than planned, it was a quick dash across the Island to Roger and Jill’s at Sandown where we were greeted with wonderful sunshine and great hospitality. The sumptuous food was irresistible as we had a lovely few hours relaxing in their beautiful garden chatting about old times at Foxcombe Lodge. A brisk walk down to the beach and a paddle for those who insisted on testing the water (i.e. Tracy and Erica – cameras banned) and it was time to bid our farewells all too soon. Back over on the ferry and a brisk ride back to Swanage, after being caught in a very heavy rainstorm as we left the terminal. Spirits were lifted with fish and chips on the prom and a lot of laughter before climbing the hill once again.
Sunday morning saw a walk to the beautiful seafront, coffee and icecreams being the order of the day before everyone invaded Roger and Deb’s house for another sumptuous buffet lunch sitting in their lovely garden! Once again too much was eaten and everyone then waddled back to the bikes for the return journey to Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
An excellent weekend – brilliant hospitality from our hosts Roger and Deb and Jill and Roger and lots of laughs with great company throughout.