This post is having it’s second coming – I had written it, was trying to add a couple of pics and I have no idea how I did it but I lost the whole thing. So here we go again, maybe this time it won’t take me an hour or more.
Why Portsmouth? Because it’s on the way to the most south westerly part of England; and I’m not sure why I’m heading there either, except maybe because I like the sound of the name, Lands End. It’s a bit like Timbuktu isn’t it, just sounds like somewhere that would be cool to go. Also, this having no plans is good but it does help to keep moving in one direction – so, off to Portsmouth.
In London I caught the tube almost to Natalia’s doorstep, when I arrived in Brighton I wussed out and caught a cab to the BnB from the train station. Being there almost long enough to be considered a local (just joking), I caught a bus back to the station when I left and on arriving at The Hard at Portsmouth I decided it was time to start walking from the train station to my new place.
How hard could it be, the maps thing on my phone said it would take 8 minutes. So, off I set, me, my big backpack (the 60 litre version), it’s little brother (5 litre zipped on to the big one), shoulder bag and phone with the map showing my route. Five minutes down the road I had to stop and de-robe, it’s amazing how hot you get walking and carting all that stuff around. So, stop, put phone in jeans pocket, take shoulder bag from around sling position and balance on top of backpacks, take coat off, add it to the pile, take fleece off, put coat back on while clutching fleece between knees, put shoulder bag back in sling position, retrieve phone, hang fleece over arm, grab backpacks and off we go again – makes you tired just thinking about it.
I really didn’t have the hang of following the maps directions, had a few scenic detours along the way; but thank goodness for the little flashing blip that showed me wandering away from the blue line, oops, wrong turn, oh well, we’ll just take the next one instead, and there you go we’re back together again. BUT, I think there might be a problem, I’ve been going for about 15 minutes and I’m nowhere near the end of the blue line and it said it would only take 8 minutes – took me a while to work it out, but that was if you were fortunate enough to be travelling by car! Well, the wonderful feeling you get from exercise or maybe it was stubbornness made me keep going, but after another 20 minutes or so I was certain I’d gotten myself hopelessly lost when I was almost there according to the bloody blip and the blue line; I just couldn’t seem to find the last little bit.
So, I called in to a little pub and asked if they knew where this place was, turns out I was only half a block away. Who puts a photo of the front of a place on all their advertising and gives an address that takes you to the back gate that looks nothing like the front??? Another good lesson learned, check what mode of transport the map is using before making any hasty decisions.
All things considered though, I didn’t do too badly and Ashby’s Gastropub’s a great place; I have a lovely ground floor room, there’s a bar and restaurant and best of all – free wifi! As if getting there wasn’t enough walking for one day I then went out and had a wander around the neighborhood, seems like I’m actually in a part of Portsmouth called Southsea – not far from the ocean and some really nice houses to drool over. The wifi kept dropping out in my room so I spent the evening happily ensconced in a comfy lounge chair out in the bar area catching up on some blogging and researching my next destination – had a yummy Ploughmans platter for dinner and a nice glass of cab-sav.
Off to the historic dockyards tomorrow, think I’ll be catching the bus though!