Our Travel blog
We were spared our regular bird life wake up call today. After the usual ablutions and changing the gas canister with only minor swearing we asked at the site shop about the charge on our leisure battery. It doesn't seem to want to charge from the hook up, although it does when the engine is running. Anyhow, all sorts of unintelligible technical language was exchanged with the man in the shop which resulted in Ali giving South Coast Auto a call.
Well, let it be proclaimed now that Sean at South Coast Auto is a prince amongst men, although we suspect he had more heavily inked forearms than most royalty. Not only did he arrive within 10 minutes he was charming, diagnosed the fault almost immediately and didn't want paying. We did of course make sure he didn't leave empty handed.
And so, buoyed up by the tattooed milk of human kindness we walked towards Portland, a journey which somehow contrived to start and finish at sea level yet be considerably more uphill than down. We caught the bus across the causeway and around Portland - circuiting the forlorn settlement of Southwell, which from appearances as bus passengers appeared to be nothing more than a big estate, and then into Easton where we alighted for coffee before visiting the wonderful St. Georges Church. St. Georges is a mostly disused church, with two central pulpits and each of the boxed in pews unusually facing towards them rather than the altar. Joy of joys, we had our own guided tour from an ex-quarry worker, who even let Alison ring the church bell. We learnt the history of some notable memorials included the fascinating tale of the victims of illegal press gangs and many other titbits. A most welcome surprise.
We then picked up a path to join the South Coast Footpath high on the cliffs, back towards Weymouth, with mostly stunning views along the way, stopping to enjoy our picnic lunch. We were graced with mostly stunning views, although the recently fallen and severely leaning cliffs perilously close to us encouraged us to hurry to firmer ground.
We're sure Portland has many charms but even with the views it seems to bear its industrial quarrying heritage as a permanent scar; even the disussed quarry which had made valient attempts to enliven itself with sculptures made out of the local stone was sullen and clearly used more by locals to exercise their dogs, or at least to dispose of their waste. The prison, as bleak and foreboding as you'd expect, seems to loom over the west of Portland too. Maybe on a brighter day and with more energy we'd have found more to charm us.
Descending into Chiswell for a reviving cuppa on the beachfront we climbed to Fortunewell, which seemed somewhat neglected and peeling so we caught the bus back into Weymouth, making it back to Mavis just in time to shelter from the rain.
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