Isle Of Wight, UK Week 39 14th - 19th January 2012
From Avebury we headed to the Isle Of Wight.

The air may be cold but the sillage is obviously not.

We took the back roads through small villages and towns.
and the ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth.
We've seen a few "toys" on our trip.

Here are lots. All parked up waiting for an occasional sail on the Solent.

Cowes has Cowes and East Cowes.

The floating bridge plies between the two.

Free to pedestrians.

The south east corner of the island has Alum Bay.

There's a ridge of chalk (limestone) that runs east-west across the middle of the island.

This is the older sedimentary rock just to the north of the chalk ridge.

Overlooking the Needles is the old battery.

Built in the 1860's when Britain was concerned about a possible French invasion.

The shells for the muzzle loader weighed about 250lb (120kg).

Ali and old friend Jutta trying to stay warm.

The Needles.

The eroded tip of the chalk ridge.

The thin spiky bits that gave them their name have long since been eroded away.

Tennyson Downs. West of the Needles.

There's a fierce wind blowing.

Looking back towards the Needles.
The south coast has layes of sandstone over clay.

Hence some spectacular landslips.

Carisbrooke Castle.

About 800 years old.

Closed during the week in winter.

We could just about fit this campervan inside Tardis.

Its a locally made Romahome on a Citroen base.

The main entrance to Carisbrooke Castle.
A big surprise.

The old cattle shed protecting the dilapidated ruin of Brading Roman Villa has been replaced.

An enthusiastic volunteer explaining the site.

The attraction is the mosaic floors.

It must have taken forever to lay the 20mm square tiles.

Gallus, the chicken man.

This also has a building which is unique among Roman mosaic floors in England.

A very complete floor.
The villa was an agricultural site.

The round things on the wall are hand driven mill stones.

Memories of the Italian Alps before we crossed to Switzerland.

This is a rebuilt section of local stone tiled roof from the villa.

There were also half round tiles from a later era.

Something about the presentation of the site. Easy to view without damaging and just the right amount of information for us.
Off to one side outside was a section of hypocaust.

The Roman underfloor central heating system.

The villa is in the field in middle right.

The original harbour, presumably used to export agricultural produce, has silted up.

We drove home on the road which followed the central east west chalk ridge and watched the sun set.
A quick shopping expedition to Newport.

New boots for me. Waterproof overtrousers for both of us.

A visit to Newtown.

It used to be the capital but went into decline as the harbour silted up.

There's a couple of salt ponds to the left.

Strange how we keep colliding with "salt".

Newtown was a rotten borough. It had shrunk to just a few houses, yet still returned two members of parliament.

No longer though!

A little egret.

The ornithologists of England, of whom there are many, have apparently been seeing birds that they used not to.

A design for an anchor that I haven't seen before.

I guess it would work well in the muddy bottom.

No boats around at this time of year (sensible?) though they must be a reasonable size.

And so we left the Isle of Wight. Thanks to Jutta, Tine and John for all the hospitality.
Charmouth, UK Week 39 20th January 2012

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