February’s microadventure would take us to the coast, for our 1st taste of seaside sleeping.
We made the 90 minute journey down to Poole, then on to the sandbanks chain ferry, which in just a few short minutes takes you away from the glamour of sandbanks into the wilds of coastal Dorset. We had thought it would be great to spend a night in the dunes, the classic sleeping on the beach scenario.. it was soon very obvious that it wouldn’t be the case.. A stiff 15mph onshore wind was blowing, making a potential night in the dunes a little exposed, none of us fancied waking up covered in sand.
Thankfully we did have a plan B, so we quickly parked the car and took a late afternoon stroll to have a look at the lie of the ground. A small woodland would provide some shelter from the wind. We walked a little further, taking in the stunning sea views and daring to carefully look over the cliff to see the sea crashing against the cliff face.
The sun was getting low in the sky, the scattered clouds glowed red as we made our way back towards the car. We were glad to have found our nights location, so could relax a little till was time to make the return trip to our spot.
We made it to the pub, grabbed a pint and watched the England V’s Ireland 6 nations match (washed down with some more pints and food) It all too soon came time to leave the cosy fireside seats and head back out into the wind. It wasn’t particularly cold as we picked up our gear from the car, I chose to not wear any thermals as it didn’t look like it would be a cold one.. The sky was clear, and the constellations of Orion and Ursula Major were visible. Whips of cloud blew past the moon as we walked up the footpath, slightly powered by beer and cider.
Once in position we soon had bivi bags out, the snack bags appeared and we ate a little more. The soft woodland floor was covered in wild garlic, and now we were lying at ground level you could certainly smell it. It wasn’t a late one this month, and shortly after 10pm we were asleep. I had set my alarm to get up around 6:20, with a plan of heading off to take some photographs of the sunrise. I woke, and noted that there wasn’t much light in the sky, so dozed for another 20 mins and then headed off with the camera and tripod to the cliff top.
As the sun rose Mark appeared from the woods with his photography kit, we enjoyed the early morning light for 30 mins or so, then made our way back to join Nick, who was making the most of a Sunday morning lie in.. We got the brewkit on, and soon were holding hot coffee, ready to get the day underway.
As the area would be popular with walkers we packed our bags away and decided to eat our porridge back at the car. It was starting to cloud up as we made our way back, a few walkers passed us, assuming we were early morning walkers, unaware that we had only been awake a short while.
The roads were quiet as we headed back towards the chain ferry, whilst waiting to load the car I was able to take some lovely shots of Studland beach, I’ve mentally earmarked this as a future location for a night!
It was great to get away to the coast for a night. I suspect that the benefits of the sea air were neutralised by the local beers and ciders consumed. I later discovered that Nick and Mark had great joy in sending me home with a good amount of garlic leaves in my bivi and sleeping bags, which I’m still airing to remove the scent! We have some great plans for other adventures through the year, and really looking forward to better weather and later sunsets to make the most of being outside.