Isle of Wight Rally 2007
There were three Minors and two trailer tents set off from Driffield at 7am on the Thursday morning, Chris, Paul, Sheena, Jackie, Graham and myself plus Lora and Jamie two of Graham and Jackie’s brood. Two way radios charged up and at the ready for the long trip down the motor way.
I never mind the trip and always find it quite entertaining (ofcourse I am only the passenger)! But with the radios it tends to be like one big party right from the start as the chat is always lively going back and forth between the cars.
The first stop was just after we got on to the M1 as the loos have now closed at Howden and after several cups of tea it was a welcome break………we had some breakfast and then got on our way.
At the next stop Leicester Forest East we met up with Richard who was just on his way out as we arrived. We had decided to stop for lunch at East Isley which is just passed Oxford, this is a super little pub that Maurice introduced us to on our first trip to the IOW three years ago. As we pulled into the car park Maurice, Jean and Richard were already there, they had just about finished and were ready to head off for the Ferry which was their next stop. After saying our goodbyes and arranging to meet on the Island the rest of us had a nice leisurely lunch as we were in no hurry as this was part of the holiday, the food in this pub is really great I just wish it was a bit nearer home!
The only hic-up we had on the way down was Paul having a flat tyre, this we had changed in two minutes with the precision of a pit stop at Silverstone. So we were back on our way very quickly and despite a diversion in Lymington – we even caught an earlier Ferry than we had planned.
Chris and I were booked into a B&B, and the other six were camping just around the corner – infact they were so close we could still use the two way radios!
We had decided to do the tourist bit this time and visit some of the famous land marks that the Island has to offer.
Our first trip out was to the Amazon World Zoo at Arreton, it is classed as a zoo but it really wasn’t like the zoos I remember as a child. All the inner portion was re-created to be just like the Amazon Rain Forest, it was quite fascinating with all the small exotic birds flying straight over our heads, and of course all the rest of the animals there were native to this region, it explained what were endangered and what sort of habits they had so it gave us a good insight to their behavior and why they were struggling to survive…… The highlight of Sheena’s day was looking at the Red Foot Tortoises, as she has two at home as pets. Paul had just treated himself to a new digi camera so it was an ideal place for him to have a really good try out with his new toy! Most of the photos for this write up are supplied by Paul…… All of us had a really great time, it just goes to show these places are not just for kids……….
We dropped Paul’s punctured tyre off at an ATS place in Lake to be collected the next day.
We tootled around the coast and drove into Ventnor, what a pretty little place this is, but perhaps you should not try to attempt to go down to the front in a Morris Minor……….once committed to this particular road there is no turning back. The old saying of ‘what goes down must come up’ (I know that is the wrong way round) is not necessarily true here as the road is almost a sheer drop, going down was not too bad……..coming up, a nightmare! There was a small modern car in front of us and it was burning it’s clutch trying to get up – so it was with absolute will power and determination that we made it!!!!!!! Good job that we had taken Graham last month to do some hill climbing practice in Whitby.
Our next stop was Allum Bay this is where all the sands are a different colour, and ofcourse home to the famous land mark on the IOW the Needles. There is a cable car to take you down to the beach where you can catch a boat to take you out to the Needles for a much closer look. We didn’t have time to go out on the Friday as we were too late after the zoo but we decided to go the following morning and do the whole trip……..
Saturday: Sheena, Graham and Richard (who had joined us for the day) elected to walk down the long flight of steps to the beach to catch the boat while the rest of us that were much braver elected to go down on the chair lift – legs swinging over the tree tops making sure not to lose our shoes as there was evidence that people had obviously done this before! The view was spectacular and well worth the five minutes of fear……….
The sea was really calm and the colour of emeralds – this was a good job as Graham and I were both suffering slightly ‘jippy’ tummies………..
From the boat we could see the old smuggler’s caves and the Victorian Fort that was hand dug down through the rock, there were the look out windows and apparently behind them are some quite big rooms, these also all carved out by hand – amazing……….
The Needles towered above us, they are quite a sight close to. Paul and more photos!
There is also a fort in the middle of the bay that was built by Henry 8th in 1600 & something, it is now empty and abandoned from what we could gather which is a shame as I would have loved to have gone and had a look.
Back on dry land and another chair lift ride, the fit folks raced up the steps to beat us to the top, we did a bit of tourist type shopping in the well set out complex and then drove on to Lake to pick up Paul’s tyre before having our picnic lunch.
We drove towards Sandown but turned back as the traffic was unbelievable for the IOW, we dropped into Shanklin Bay instead, we soon found out why the traffic was so heavy – The Red Arrows were giving an air display at Sandown. It was great for us though as we watched it all happening over Shanklin Bay while we were eating.
We went for a really long stroll along the front between the two towns, before heading back to the campsite for a BBQ. It was a bit like the invasion of the Minor as Maurice and Jean also joined us. The campsite warden I think was fascinated by all these little cars!
Sunday was the day of the Rally. This was their 21st Event and was free entry, normally at the IOW vehicles are put in their correct sections, commercials, 2 door etc. but because there was no judging as such we could all park together as a Branch, which I think works much better and as we had elected to BBQ for lunch it made the organization much easier.
It was a really nice sunny start, the air race of last year taking place again over our heads so it did make it a little noisy at times but it didn’t bother us that much. The Rally was well attended as it always is on the IOW, people do come over on the Ferry from the South of England as well as the Islanders themselves and of course we from our Branch all do about an average 600 mile round trip to get there.
One really interesting thing about the day was nothing to do with the cars at all - but the hundreds of red Dragon Fly’s that were every where.
We left the Rally around 3.30 and headed back, we had elected to try some of the islands fish and chips for tea, with a stroll around the pretty side streets of Yarmouth. It is amazing how quickly the three days on the Island had gone, mind you I saw more of it this year than ever before. I think the next time we go I would like to go for at least a week as there is so much to see and explore.
Monday saw us on the 10 o’clock Ferry and on our way home. We meandered up the country stopping for lunch again at East Isley. We did a small detour to the main Combi Trailer Tent importer to have a look at what is on offer new nowadays, as trailer tents and the MM seem to go together very well…
Chris and I finally arrived home at 11.30pm. Long day - long weekend. Very enjoyable………
The weather was fine and dry all weekend