Our first camping venture was brought to an abrupt end by rain coming through into our tent after a night of steady rain halfway through the week! We decided to carry on with our holiday from the relative luxury of a nearby hotel (so much for camping being a cheap option!), and had a lovely time despite this setback.
Put up our little tent amongst many giant canvas buildings in the camping field of an enormous caravan park.
Felt a bit like aliens, as people openly turned to stare at us. I guess a family with two mums and no car was just too outlandish to pass without comment in that environment.
Went for a magical evening walk and saw bats swooping around our heads.
The campsite's outdoor pool was not heated enough for our skinny babes, so they splashed around in the indoor one for a bit. We spent the afternoon happily at Carisbrooke Castle, where we enjoyed the first of many gift shops on the island.
In the evening we rode down to the beach in a lift and walked back up to Shanklin's Old Village through the amazing Chine.
A lovely day in Sandown, just up the coast a little bit, where we visited tigers at the zoo (depressing reminder of their imminent extinction), learned a bit more about fossils and geology at Dinosaur Isle (warning: roaring website), and blew a load of money in the various gift shops. We followed this up with an impromptu visit to the beach.
That night it rained…
The morning was taken up with deciding what to do about our leaking tent. By the time we'd booked a hotel room and installed ourselves there it had stopped raining and turned into a beautiful afternoon, but we had already decided on a swimming trip, so I took the kids to the leisure centre in Sandown.
Ever in search of more gift shopping opportunities, we set off across the island to the Needles Park at Alum Bay. P. spent her last pennies on a glass tube filled with coloured sand from the amazing cliffs, we all enjoyed the thrilling chair lift ride,
and we watched boiled sweets being made.
After a frankly unpleasant lunch, we walked up onto the cliff top where we saw amazing birds of prey hovering absolutely still in the very strong winds. The man serving teas said he thought they were peregrine falcons, but we now think kestrels is more likely. Does anybody know?
The views were stunning.
We had planned a beach day for our last day, and there was some jolly good beach stuff done in the morning, but the clouds opened again,
so we retreated back to the hotel.
Other bits and bobs
The day before we set off was our neighbourhood community festival (seems ages ago now), and both kids dressed up as characters from Alice in Wonderland for the parade – Leo as the dodo
and Pearlie as the mouse.
This week they are both doing council run athletics courses, Leo's for an hour a day (at 9am!) and Pearlie's for most of the day. While she was running, hurdling, long jumping and hammer throwing today, Leo and I met up with some MMs friends for a very enjoyable Booth Museum and park outing.
As we had already booked another small camping trip for the bank holiday weekend, Allie had to rush out and buy another tent today. Hope this one works better…