It sounds quite romantic and tempting to strand on an empty and uncivilised island, not knowing where to sleep because that makes things exciting, right!? When I saw the Tesco – Three Miles Away sign, with my stomach already starting a revolution, I started questioning that naive (stupid) lack of preparation. Now that’s a slightly more dramatic picture of what reality had for us. We’ve vaguely heard of a operating bus network on the mainland, so there must be a hint of civilisation, we just had to find it (without walking three miles).
I’m talking about the Isle of Wight, located somewhere on the English Channel between Portsmouth and Southampton. It’s lonely enough to serve as a perfect little weekend getaway and close enough to be worthwile for only 48 hours. 48 unpredictable, sunny, rainy, muddy, hilarious, disturbing and unforgettable hours.
Having woken up at 4am after a night out in London, thinking ‘Maybe we should just leave this’ and thankfully still being dragged to a certain Coach Station, another world was waiting in Fishbourne. One that didn’t feel so English and rather put us into a mediterranean setting. Once we climbed up the mountains for a view on the famous Needles and the Alum Bay, ‘blue’ suddenly didn’t seem to do the sea justice. In fact, I found myself inventing new swear words to cope with it. (That three-hour sleep evidently helped in gaining a new degree of tender eloquence.)
We soon found ourselves chilling on the hills, being granted pure natural perfection teamed up with a deep physical exhaustion that can only come from walking with a huge backpack. (There’s this girly thing again, how on earth is it possible to fill a whole 40 litre Berghaus for two days!?) Fast forward 30 minutes, we bursted with laughter when discovering that the bus that would take us to the hostel (Yep, we did eventually find that place to sleep) runs only four times a day and we of course arrived five (!) minutes late. Not quite the London pace of life but hey, there’s sheep. Lots of them. And they look fluffy. Can I take one home?
Behind all the white fluffiness there was the most amazing café, the Warren Farm Tearooms, located right in the valley. So after a refreshing milkshake, a walk (!) across the West Coast, a ridiculous sunset, the most disgusting sausage and our numb legs, we had to celebrate the fact that we were still alive. You only live once. And that is why you should hop on a ferry to the Isle of Wight. I’ve heard they do decent music festivals in summer, too, in case too much nature and silence scare you.