Day 3 of our little holiday and the day began with Kas scooting off for a bit of a run, leaving me and the girls to grab a lardy breakfast and then kill an hour or so waiting for her to come back. We opted to kill our hour by walking just up the road to the Maumbury Rings, a Neolithic Henge just up the road from our hotel.

When we arrived the grass had been recently mown, so the undoubted highlight of the visit was the impromptu history lesson which resulted in us constructing a scale model of the nearby Maiden Castle from the grass clippings. Obviously we decided to name it Hayden Castle, as you would. It is plainly visible on many of the photos I took while we were there.

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Once Kas was sorted out it was time to begin the main event(s) of the day. It was time for a bit of walking & caching, followed by a bit of a dip in the sea, with some random geology. First up was a cache named for the Osmington White Horse, which was conveniently sited in a posh new car park built just to provide a good overlook of the White Horse itself. Ideal, in fact, for doing photos of the horse standing on your hand.

Osmington_09.JPGAfter which we proceeded down to Osmington village and then drove round in circles for a bit trying to find somewhere to park. We ended up in the pub car park. The pub was open so we could use the toilets and buy a couple of drinks and some crisps to take on our walk. It also had a cache in the car park. Cha-ching !

The walk stretched for about 4 miles or or so and consisted of walking up and over a rather large hill, down into a valley, and then along a ridge above the White Horse, with a final steep drop back down into the village. There was a selection of types and sizes of cache, and Ami made an event of it by taking photos of a trackable keyring dog (which she decided was called “Cow”). She photographed it everywhere. Kept her busy, I suppose.

By the time we got back to the pub time was marching on and we all had throats drier than a Pharoah’s sock, as it were. So we went back into the pub for a drink and some more crisps before moving on. I’d been collecting information for a multi-cache as we were walking round but because we were doing it’s loop backwards it turned out that the final was a half a mile back up the path where we’d just come from, so we didn’t bother. Getting a drink was more pressing.

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Durdle Door is one of those places I remember from school geography lessons. I’d been there once before on a family holiday in the early 80’s I think. Aside from the nostalgia though, it is worth a visit, but if you do go, remember to take a bucket load of coins with you. The parking meters on the top of the cliff wouldn’t accept a credit card and we had no phone signal so we couldn’t pay by phone. We eventually managed to scrounge enough coins between us to pay for a visit long enough to be worthwhile.

The girls descended straight to the beach while I went for a bit of a stroll along the cliffs to grab a couple more caches. There were some steep hills on the way. And some more on the way back.

Down on the beach, the girls were already in their costumes and having a bit of a plodge in the sea. Just after I arrived Ami decided to go for the full dip/swim. She was welcome to it. The water was perfectly warm enough but the beach could best be described as painful. It was all bug pebbles and smashed up bits of cliff, so it was really painful to walk on. In fact, I remember eventually I gave up trying to walk without shoes on and started crawling around instead. Ouchy ! Didn’t seem to bother the kids so much though.

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Lulworth Cove is another place I remember from school geography lessons back in the day, back when the Interweb hadn’t been invented (but after everything was in colour instead of black & white). I came here once before on a family holiday too. Funnily enough, the same holiday and the same day as my previous visit to Durdle Door. This was our final touristy act of the day. I think it was about 5pm when we arrived, having already been to, well, all the other places further back in this post. No need to list them. If you’re still with me at this point in the proceedings you’re doing well (and I luv you).

We weren’t really planning much other than a bit of a look around and then maybe stop for something to eat. In the event, we ended up down by the cove, as you do, and my camera automatically realised I wanted to produce a panoramic shot, so it produced this rather impressive image without me having to do anything clever, and without reading the manual. Problem is, I’ve never managed to get it to do the same thing again.

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After this, Ami expressed an interest in going for a walk around the beach. Kas and Izzy weren’t bothered, and to be honest I wasn’t that bothered either, despite there being an Earthcache around there. But if we’re going anyway well, it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it. It’s quite a difficult beach to walk around, as it’s all big stones and unevenness. But we got round there eventually and collected enough goodies for the Earthcache. We seemed to be getting a lot of Earthcaches down here. Must be something to do with all the nice scenery. Good geology, you know. Can’t beat a good bit of geology.

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Back at the plot, all of this business during the day was taking its toll and we’d all just about had enough, so we decided it was time to grab something to eat. We looked at a few places in West Lulworth but nothing really seemed worthwhile. Everywhere looked a bit expensive, or had menus that the girls wouldn’t eat, or any one of a number of other reasons, so we decided we’d try driving back to the pub in Osmington where we’d parked earlier. Turned out to be a good choice. They did a carvery in the evenings, so the kids gorged themselves on roast dinners. Excellent stuff.

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And then we drove back to Dorchester and put the kids to bed. And ourselves. Long day !


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