Friday, 22 March 2013

Winspit- an inadvisable excursion...

Not exactly a travel blog, but expeditions to a different county about as exciting as I can hope for at the moment...

It probably says something about me* that nobody was particularly surprised when I arrived to see my family in Lytchett on Saturday morning saying I'd spent the night in a cave. This ill advised plan was, for once, very little to do with me... I watched passively as it mutated from a gathering at the Square and Compass and staying the night in my friend's van, to climbing in Wimborne and the possibility of camping down on the coast somewhere. Desperate to escape the library and working on the usually reliable assumption that the majority of the population are more sensible than I am, I felt safe enough to go along with whatever conclusion my friend Dom eventually came to. He does work for the RNLI after all!

Looking slightly worse for wear after our Lifesaving AGM the night before, I packed my bag with characteristic flippancy; I couldn't possibly need much for two nights away and carrying my big bag on the buses and trains didn't appeal (walking boots? - too heavy! roll mat?- too bulky! head torch? -no, I just couldn't find that one). I actually felt quite smug about the fact that i'd managed to fit everything into a bag the size of something most people would take to the gym as I set off for Dorset. Ginger hippy or not, at least i didn't take up much room. Hurrying through the train station, I was happy to find both that my train was delayed (I was running late of course) and a family friend Adam** on the platform. It seems slightly less hoboey to curl up on floor between carriages when you are with somebody who has a small suitcase!

When I arrived in Poole, I was half expecting Dad to be picking me up after work and had to keep reminding myself that he was actually in the Hebrides. Thankfully Dom and the van were there instead, so we set off to pick up another friend and head to the climbing wall. Climbing was half fun and half frustrating... Having not been in a long time, my finger strength is pathetic and there was even a point where Dom took pity on me and yanked me up on the rope instead... probably not my finest nor most elegant moment.

I left Wimborne irritated, but promising myself some new climbing shoes and practice at the uni bouldering wall. The second half of that bargain i've actually kept to quite enthusiastically so far.

 By the time we'd finished, gone to buy some ravioli and spent a bit of time lost in the fog, it was pitch black and raining. I think Dom may have been hoping i'd say no when he asked 'So, shall we do this?', but we could hardly back out now and I certainly wasn't going to be the one to give in first. We slipped and slid down the path to the sea, where i suggested that as long as we were going downhill, it was probably the right direction. In fact, we went a little too far down and ended up right next to the waves before heading back up to the quarrys Dom was thinking of. Still these cavernous holes didn't look too inviting... I had to explore right to the back of our chosen camping cave before i could relax in the knowledge there were no monsters. After a few beers I slept surprisingly well, despite the dripping roof. With my lovely down sleeping bag and a borrowed roll mat, i was quite comfortable and just pleased to wake up having not been crushed by a loose boulder.

I'm not sure if I could recommend Winspit as an ideal bivying spot, but if i was a tramp***, id deffinitly give the caves an investigation. You cant fault the sea view.


*or my slightly ecentric family
**mentioned in the Islay blog, for avid fans...
***a not too unlikely possibility for my future