Sunday, February 4

Sunday stroll

Sun out, and away from house earlier than normal with my two walking companions, so I chose to take the opportunity for longer wander than usual.

This was the sight that met me at the car park. Usually half full, today it was completely filled with the entrance road being used as an overflow. First time I've ever seen that and not even the tourist season yet.

This is next to the Holmsley Caravan/Camp site in the New Forest, usually deserted at this time of the year, but with a unique attribute of having a wide traffic free road leading to it. Ideal to teach kids their initial cycling skills in a traffic free environment. But unless I 'd missed something really obvious here, why all the parked cars?

Within about two minutes I realised what what was up. The sight of the sun seemed to have galvanised many indoor types into a frenzy of outdoor activity and some weird mental abberation.

As I left the car I watched one old guy, gamely using two new trekking poles, but patently unused to walking upright, never mind on rough ground, lurch off into a nearby gorse thicket.

Meanwhile a child on a motorised kiddy size quad bike headed directly away from the car park, not veering off his straight line route, nonchantly followed by a 'concerned' parent strolling slowly along. I figured the plan was to wait until the petrol ran out so the parent caught up with the child sometime during the next hour or so somewhere on the outskirts of Bournemouth. Or perhaps another gorse thicket.

Lovely start to a quiet walk.

Head down, I wandered off and within ten minutes - no sight or sound of any other human. That was more like it.

Over the brow of the hill heading towards Holmsley Ridge the wind playfully chilling me to the bone. The ground dry underfoot after many weeks of mud. The views clear and enjoyable over towards Dur Hill and Ringwood.

And that's the way it stayed for the next couple of hours.

Not a sight or sound of anyone else. So many cars, so many people, so little curiosity in this free to roam area. Their loss, my gain.

And so to the return. My companions pausing briefly in their activities to pose for a photo.

Before leaping into their more usual roles

Down dogs.

Finally back to the car park.

As I watched a couple of concerned parents fired up a kiddy sized motocross bike for a four year barely large enough to sit astride it, I loaded up the car and drove away.

Different strokes?



I think you had a walk in the ideal location for the planned "UK Outdoors Blogger Con"
What try that in our newest National Park and risk the wrath of all those nice new spangly Forest Rangers.
Shame on you

Anyway we'd never hide that many away wildcamping
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