Friday, 31 May 2013

The Freshwater Way

Today was beautiful and my person is on holiday from work so we went for another walk.  This time we went over to the west of the island, to walk the Freshwater Way.  We usually start in Yarmouth but it was very busy there with a festival so we started in the middle and did a figure of 8 walk.  More about the festival in a minute.

We started on the causeway at Freshwater, this picture is from another day but it is the same spot.  Then we walked down the disused railway to Yarmouth, you have seen me there before too.  Just to remind you.

It is woody and there are trees to climb. 

Near to Yarmouth there is an old watermill which we belive belongs to the family of A J P Taylor, the historian, but I don't know this for sure.

We got to Yarmouth, you have seen me there before but it was different today because they had the Old Gaffers' Festival.  We are not islanders and it took us a few years to find out what this was about.  As far as we understand it gaffers are a type of old wooden boat and they gather together at Yarmouth at the end of May each year to chat about old times.  They looked very pretty with their flags flying.

After leaving Yarmouth we went along a wooded path.

and then a field path

then more woods and fields until we got back to the causeway at Freshwater where we looked at this interesting church and grave yard, it is All Saints church.

When we do the walk the normal way, starting at Yarmouth, we only visit the causeway once but doing it this way you meet it three times.

We decided to have our sandwiches at the reed bed by the causeway.

We could see a view when we got up on the wall.

The hill in the background is Tennyson Down I have shown you close up pictures of the Tennyson memorial up there before.

After lunch we carried on.  After a little bit of walking on the road we got to a big field with horses.  We had to cross that and were making for the golf course. You can see the buildings of the golf course in the distance here.

Now baboons aren't silly when we got to the golf course we just kept walking fast, golf balls can be painful to the head and we weren't hanging around.

We climbed down to Freshwater Bay.

I had a disappointment there!  There is a cafe called Cafe Delicius at Freshwater Bay and I would have had tea there.  Sadly I have been forced to give this cafe a very low baboon rating.  It does have nice cakes and a great view of the sea, but it is never open when we are there, even on a sunny day in half-term week it was closed.  Very disappointing.  If you are ever at Freshwater Bay go to the Dandelion Cafe in the walking holidays hostel, it will be open and they do nice scones.  Sadly we didn't stop today.

We carried on through a nature reserve.

and, after a little bit of walking on a quiet road and through another pretty path, we reached the End of the Line cafe at Freshwater.  Now this cafe never disappoints!  Nearly always open and great cakes and lunches.

This picture is when I went there with Jens on his visit in April.  We stopped there briefly to buy some of their delightful date and walnut slices, for breakfast tomorrow.  We always give this cafe a 5 out of 5 baboon rating.

After that we walked down more of the disused railway (see where the cafe got its name), back to the causeway, where we had left the car.  It was a lovely walk on a beautiful day.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Bembridge to Brading

Well yesterday was a bank holiday so we decided to go for a walk.  The morning started in rather a frantic way so, being a baboon with a coffee habit, I decided we should start with coffee.

Most people know all about Costa Coffee, this particular chain gets quite a high rating on the baboon scale as they do a breakfast banana loaf.

Then we drove to the Tollgate Cafe in Bembridge, I think you probably saw me there with Jens when he was visiting.

On the baboon rating scale of 1 to 5 this cafe gets at least a 6, maybe even 7.  Great food, great atmosphere, any souvenier you could possibly want to buy, I challenge you not to find something on their menu that you want and its on the beach.

Anyway, the walk.  We started at the Tollgate and walked up to Bembridge Mill, which I also visited with Jens.

After leaving there I climbed a tree to check out where we were going.

This is what I saw ahead of me.

Then we started walking across fields.  I had to climb a number of styles and I did stop to rest and look at the scenery on this one.

You might just be able to see the windmill in the background.  Then we walked along the old sea wall, which is quite far inland now as Brading Harbour has silted up over the years.

We had to walk across an airfield.  We did that quite quickly as planes were coming in to land over our heads, quite low.  We did get a picture of it from the sea wall, you may just see the planes in the background.  Behind that you can see Culver Down and Sandown bay is behind that.

We walked through a number of fields full of buttercups, they were very pretty and shone under my chin, showing that I like butter.

We went on through the fields until we came to a wood.  It was sun dappled and full of bluebells, but to a baboon its an adventure playground.

We carried on through the woods, until we reached an stream.

It felt very peaceful there.

We could see Brading on the hills behind us.

We walked on along a little further until we got to just outside Brading.  We turned around there as the rest of the walk is on roadway and we were not going to Brading for any reason this time.  We went back through the fields.

and woods until we got back to Bembridge Mill.  Then back to the Tollgate for lunch, I had a cheese toasty with salad, highly recommended!  It was a lovely ideal sunny day and we are glad we went for that walk.  Most of our walks are seaside walks, which are lovely, but this one is a real country walk and that is a treat for us.

Sunday, 26 May 2013


Saturday morning at Baboon HQ!

Kolo: Well now the scaffolding has gone we really need to get this garden sorted out, it's a mess.  You were named after a man who knew about gardens, what do you think we should do?

Edward: First we need to get the surface sorted out.  I'll ring Decking For You and order some.  We could do with some benches as well.  I'll order those at the same time.

Two hours later.

Edward: Now Marley, Kolo wants us to bring all this decking up the stairs so he can start laying it.

Marley:  Right lets get going then.

Kolo: Thanks for bringing that up boys I'm getting it laid out.

Kolo: Right Stephen you can help me with the sawing, we need to cut some of the pieces up to go around the edges, this is how you do it!

Kolo: Now that is all done we need to assemble these benches, where is the bench assembly crew?

Yaya: Here we are Kolo and I've got the hammer, leave it to us, you take it easy after your hard work.  Come on Denis and Austin, now is our turn to do some work.

Yaya: Right we need to check out this bench and George, Abooo, Barnaby and Diego need to check that the tree is still good for climbing!

George, Abooo, Barnaby and Diego: Yayayayaaaa the tree is still good for swinging!!

Kolo: Ah now we can relax for a bit and plan what we still need to do.

We need to: assemble the other bench tomorrow, then we need to buy a nice new colourful plant and get the table and chairs out.  Not today though!!  I'm exhausted!!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Summer fashion

As some of you know the football season finished on Sunday (well done Arsenal for qualifying for the Champion's League but don't put us through that worry next year please), so the baboons at Baboon HQ decided to get out of their football kit and into summer fashions.

My person decided that we three big baboons deserved some new summer fashions as, since Edward arrived, we have been sharing my clothes.  We have to have human clothes aged around 3 to 4.  I hope you will like what we chose.

Marley chose first.  All the baboons at Baboon HQ love red and Marley ran true to form and chose this red T-shirt.

Yes, that is an applique shark on his T-shirt.  I think he looks very smart.

Edward chose next and he didn't hesitate to choose this navy blue one with sea creatures.

Isn't that just great, I could easily have gone for that one myself.

So Marley had the red one, Edward had the sea creatures one, what was left for me.  I was concerned that my brothers had chosen the best ones.  But hey, no way!  Once I saw this one I knew which was the one for me.

Yes, its a baboon.  How wonderful that somebody made a T-shirt with a baboon on it.

I hope you like our new summer wardrobe.  We feel very special to have such nice T-shirts.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

News from the Owl and Monkey Haven

I know that a number of you have sponsored monkeys or owls from the haven and some of you sponsored Martin

Picture from the Owl and Monkey Haven website

Mini-Kolo visited Martin last year before he and Lulu moved into their new home, they had a long chat about plans.

or donated to building a new home for Martin and his partner Lulu when she arrived from France.  Well we have wonderful news from the Haven.  Martin and Lulu have a new baby, Malou.  They don't know yet whether Malou is a boy or a girl but it is great news.

They Haven also mentioned in our local paper that they are trying to rehome the white-throated capachin that was owned by Justin Beber, so little Malou would have a playmate.

To read more about Malou see: he certainly is cute.

On a much more sad note my other personal favourite monkey at the Haven, Fudge, died in March.  Lots of you had adopted Fudge and we all loved him very much. 

Picture from the Owl and Monkey Haven website

Mini-Kolo also had a visit with Fudge last year and both Mini-Kolo and I have had long chats with Fudge and spent many happy times together.

I am particularly sorry to say goodbye to Fudge but the Haven gave him a very happy life and that is the most important thing.

The Haven will continued to do great work for monkeys and owls and will visit them again in the summer.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Walk around the Ryde area

Today we had some friends walking with us, Kate and Carina, I meant to have a photo taken with them and forgot, but I will next time.  We started the walk from home in Ryde and walked down to the seafront through the houses and arrived at the coastal path which goes through a golf course  You have to be careful there but it is very pretty.

We got to Holy Cross church in Binstead which was built in the 13th century.  You that's old, just wait!

We carried on through the woods and farmland to Quarr Abbey.  There was an abbey built in 1132 but that was destroyed during Henry VIII's dissolution of monastries.  There are still ruins of the old abbey near the new one.  The current abbey was built in the Moorish Expressionist style in 1910.  Its very lovely.

We will be back there later.

We carried on through Fishbourne and Wooton doing a circular walk and reaching St Edmund's church at Wooton.  A saxon church on this site was recorded in the Doomsday book in 1086.  However, the current church was mentioned in the church rolls in 1378 but I can't tell you when it was actually built.

After this we took a slightly shorter walk back to Wooton Bridge and then retraced our steps to Quarr Abbey.  By this time we had walked 10 miles and had two more to go to get home, so it was definitely time for lunch and there is no better place to have lunch than in Quarr Abbey tea room, this cafe always gets a 5 baboon rating for food, coffee and atmosphere, especially in the garden.

This was the sandwich of the day french bread with prawns in lime mayonnaise with chips!!  It was yummy.

That gave us enough energy to get home again.

Its a great walk with lots of varied countryside and views. 

Thank you for reading.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Another walk - from the End of the Line

Yesterday I mentioned Dr Beeching and today's walk took in more of his handy work.  We started the walk at the End of The Line Cafe, where I went with Jens just recently.  This is the old Freshwater Station site and from there we walked more disused railway from Freshwater Station to Yarmouth and back a different way.

Not long after the start you come to the lovely Causeway.

If you cross the Causeway you can go to the lovely Red Lion pub which gets a five baboon rating for food and atmosphere.  Baboons cannot comment on the quality of the beer but it has a lovely garden.

We walked on towards Yarmouth along the railway and of course I found a tree to climb.

We didn't go into the town of Yarmouth but I do recommend it if you are here its a lovely town and I highly recommend the Gossips Cafe near the ferry terminal.  That also gets five baboons in the rating system for food, atmosphere and views.

We were continuing our walk along the harbour.  I met a very interesting sea creature.

He may not look it but he is very friendly and let me sit and look at the Yarmouth lifeboat.  Jens would have loved it.

There were some very expensive boats in the harbour, I don't think Mr Abramovich was there but some of his pals might have been.

We continued on along the harbour and then along the sea wall to Victoria Country Park.  We stopped for coffee at the cafe there, I think a four baboon rating I didn't eat so I can't give it marks for food but the atmosphere and views are good.

We walked through the park and I met a very strange friend.  He let me sit on him but I had to lean over to speak to him.

He wasn't at all vicious.

We stopped for a picnic on a bench overlooking Hurst Castle.

This is one of the many fortifications in the Solent all designed to keep out the French.  It is attached to the mainland at a place called Keyhaven and you can walk out to it along a sandspit.  It was built by Henry VIII.  It seems that generations of people have been keen to keep the French away.  I went to France once, I thought they were quite nice but there you go.

Now he is the thing.  Today is a birthday so cake was an important aspect of the day.  Now my people seem to have strange ideas about cake they talked about a date and walnut slice or a fruit scone.  Both very nice but hey is that birthday cake?  I don't think so!!  I think something with icing or at least butter cream.  We compromised with carrot cake.  Yes, a lovely cake but a bit too much like one of your five a day for birthday cake in my opinion.  Well here it is and it was very nice.

Well it was nice in a sunny garden and they had had pizza and banoffee pie last night so I let them carrot cake stand.

Thank you for reading about our walks this weekend.  It was nice to have the sunshine and to get out and about after that horrible weather we had.