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Wonderful Wight

Sunday 14th - Wednesday 24th May 2017

Wonderful Wight was the very apt name of the Walking Rally held from the 14th to 24th May 2017 and wonderful it was thanks to the great planning and execution by Graham and Beryl de la Feuillade and Mike and Sue Parry-Evans as Rally Officers. Arriving by Ferry across the Solent in sunshine it was only 30 minutes to where we pitched for 10 days at our site, Orchard Caravan Park which is fairly close to Yarmouth.

It was my first Rally with ICA, having been invited by Sandy and Jo Sanderson to join, so I was slightly apprehensive but the ICA strap line, “MAKE FRIENDS, SHARE EXPERIENCES, HAVE FUN, LEARN, LAUGH AND LIVE”, certainly applied with a warm welcome and invitation for Tea and Cake when I had settled in.

The welcome meal was held at the local pub (which was excellent) and I started to try and remember fellow members' names, setting a target of at least two names a day.

We had seven walks organised and two free days. They were scattered around the Island which gave us an insight to the varied landscapes, walking creeks, cliffs, beaches, ridges and general countryside generally arriving at the pick up point in time for a beer or cream tea. The all important weather was pretty good, with the occasional light shower over the first couple of days but then gradually improving as the week progressed, with just one wet day which luckily was one of the free days. Plenty of options on the free days with National Trust Properties (I went to Mottistone Gardens and to Bembridge Windmill), Osborne House, Cowes or Newport using the excellent bus service which picked up from the site.

Favourite Day? For me it was Ventnor, walking along the cliffs looking down onto the Undercliffs with Lunch at the aptly named Steep Hill Cove and the 150?? steps leading to the Devil Chimney where we squeezed up and though to the Smugglers Gardens Tea Rooms (didn't realised Smugglers were into cream teas) or was it the Steam Train Ride or the fabulous walks? It does not really matter as it was a special 10 days and I am looking forward to meeting up again in France in just two weeks!

Thanks to our Rally Officers sailing pedigree we were able to have the formal last night farewell meal at the Royal Solent Yacht Club which was again a lovely meal with fabulous views over the Solent towards the mainland on a beautiful evening.

Too soon we were hitching and packing up and heading home or onto new adventures, and long may it be so.

Bob Lukins