Plans?! We don’t need no stinking plans!!

After the wedding the plan was to head over to London and get my bike serviced along with new tires.  I figured I could wait a little for both and so thought I’d head south to Portsmouth and then from there take the ferry to France.  One of the joys of this kind of trip is making plans and then breaking them on the spur of the moment. 

Riding the smaller A roads in England leads you to many brown signs.  Brown signs?  Yes, they’re the ones indicating a place of interest- ie a castle or some olde thing or other.  On my way south I passed a few of these, the most famous one being  Blenheim Palace.  I’m embarrassed to say I can’t recall ever hearing about it (I’m sure my parents will inform me that we visited it when I was a child!) since it’s an amazing place.  The palace itself is built on a massive scale and is a good visit, but the true stars are the Churchill information and the varied grounds.  Give the palace and hour or so and then the rest of the day to the Churchill exhibits and a long walk (a picnic should be considered mandatory) through the grounds.  Portsmouth isn’t going anywhere and I’ll just be getting there a little bit later than I planned… 

My brown sign detours eventually lead me through The New forest (some great little riding roads, but you can get mired in traffic) and a sign pointing to The Isle of Wight ferry.  IOW?  Sure, why not!  It’s small- I’ll take the ferry there, ride the coast, and then take the ferry to Portsmouth.  Passing yet another caravan being towed by some ridiculous little car that shouldn’t be towing a pushcart, I head off to the ferry.  I’ll get to Portsmouth soon enough…

A short ferry ride and I’m on The Isle of Wight.  The ferry has lots of IOW brochures that I’ve flipped through and it seems like a pretty cool place- half Coney Island, half Vancouver Island.  Then after we debark, I head off along the coastal road and really start to think that I may need more time.  Sorry, what?  Portsmouth?  Oh, yeah, I’ll get there at some point I guess…

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