Monday, March 11, 2013

Alum & Totland Bays

Alum Bay stairs
Yesterday’s sunny conditions are but a memory now, and the predicted snow seems inevitable as the temperatures drop with every passing hour. The best plan for Munson was to take him out for a good run in the morning so I could get him clean and dry before coming back to the B&B in the afternoon.
Alum Bay (1)
I drove back out towards the Needles in the hope of finding a marker for Tennyson’s old home, but reached Alum Bay without seeing anything. The pay and display carpark seemed to be free today so I got out and wandered through the small amusement/retail park adjacent to the sweet shop and glass gallery we visited before. There’s a chair-lift operating down to the beach normally but today’s access had to be via the hundred-plus stairs winding down to the wind-swept and wave-lashed shore. Ahead of us a party of people in yellow visibility jackets filed down and across the narrow strip of pebbles, probably lead by a guide explaining the character of the coloured sands up and around us.
Alum Bay (4)  Alum Bay (5)Alum Bay (2)
Since I’ve only got a few layers of clothing destined for a mild Australian autumn with me, I chose not to hang around on the beach too long. We returned to the car and again looked for the Tennyson house, but instead wound up on the next waterfront on Totland Bay.
Totland Bay (1)  Totland Bay (2)
While it was only a little less windswept than Alum Bay, we at least had good footing on the long concrete promenade and I could watch Munson run up and down the steps to the water, narrowly avoiding the odd crashing wave.
Totland Tides  The creature from Totland Bay
The restaurant bar down on the water was open and advertised some attractive meals for Mother’s Day (this day in the UK) and as it was listed on the dog-friendly pubs site I decided to hang around for an hour till lunchtime to take advantage of this. Unfortunately as soon as we walked through the door we discovered it had revoked its dog friendliness Sad smile.

I quickly located the nearby Highdown Inn where Munson was welcome and had lunch and a quick cider there before the mums-day lunchtime crowd arrived. With Munson dry and clean, I took him back to the B&B where he crashed out while I did some blog catch-up.

In the evening I went out looking for another pub to dine but was surprised to find that all the non-takeaway venues were closed on a Sunday evening apart from the few Asian places and I’d already done my quota of that for the week. After driving and walking around Freshwater area for an hour, my hands were going blue from the rising wind and newly arrived sleet, so we settled for fish and chips and retired for the night.
Highdown Inn Munson over and out

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