Our first overnight trip this year was a great experience for me with lots of great people, incredibly beautiful landscapes, one emergency and two funny nights out.
Weymouth & Portland
Our destination was Weymouth which is located in the centre along the Jurassic Coast. It took us three hours to get there by train. We arrived in Weymouth around noon, dropped off our bags and quickly went to the bus to catch the next bus to the peninsula Portland. We walked a breathtaking path along the steep cliffs, an old quarry, and a school that look like a prison. I imaged how this could be a good set for a horror movie. Just before sunset we reached the lighthouse of Portland. We had to walk back along the fence of that prison school again, and as it was getting darker I imaged all sorts of scary creatures that are kept behind this fence. Luckily the next pub was close. We crashed into the pub with 22 people. The woman behind the bar looked bewildered for a moment but then smiled as she realised they going to do good business.
Back in the hostel I just wanted to chill in my bed but the night was just about to begin. I first helped cooking pasta for everyone. I never realised that before but now I know how challenging it is to cook for a large group of people. Everyone seemed quite pleased with the food and the bowls were soon empty. It was 10 pm by then and some people started going to bed.
My eyes followed them enviously but as the marketing officer it was my duty to ensure an entertaining evening. So we played some card games. The last one was about your reaction time which is certainly not one my strength, so I lost very high. Suddenly, someone suggested to go to the beach and we all followed. I was already getting tired of the beach and about to go back when some people wanted to see more of Weymouth. We ended up singing karaoke and clubbing until 2 pm.
Durdle Door & Emergency
I think I was the last person to show up at breakfast, so there was no food left for me. I quickly downed a bowl with milk and granola before we took the bus to Osmington. It was supposed to rain the whole day and the weather forecast was unfortunately right. So we strolled on some muddy path along the coast getting wet from the top and dirty from the ground. The muddy terrain was a real challenge for some people so the group was split in half after the first hour. Finally, my group reached a steep hill that looked like we were almost there. Unfortunately it was the first of four hills, all with the same steep in- and decline.
Just before Durdle Door, our final destination, Cameron, vice president suddenly received a call from Daniel, our president, who had led the slower group: A girl had tripped and fell into barbwire with her face and he should instantly come back. Laura had to pick up the paramedics from the next parking lot, the coast guard came and eventually the girl was brought to the hospital. In the meanwhile, my group enjoyed lunch with amazing view on Durdle Door.
It was almost three, and with the sun setting we decided to walk to the next village and take a taxi home instead of walking back.
The village of Lulworth is next to a perfectly round shaped cove, that acts as a natural harbour. Still waiting for the other group to arrive we spend the time taking stupid pictures (one can be seen below). The next challenge was to call a taxi for 21 people. I called three different taxi firms to get an eight-seater from each of them.
Bowling & Karaoke
Back in the hostel I started to feel the fact that only had gotten five hours of sleep the other night. I had little time to relax though because we had booked a table at 7.30 pm. The restaurant was called The Rendezvous, a Mexican place where we enjoyed decent food that we had pre-ordered. The distribution of the food caused some confusion though, because a few people did not remember what they had ordered. But in the end everyone was happy.
With our stomaches full we went to the next place. A bowling place that Daniel had organised for everyone and was included in the ticket price. Our president landed a few strikes and I perfected my two handed throw, so I would call it a success. The wasn't enough for the our crazy party club though. We went to the karaoke place from the night before and everyone ended up singing on stage. The audience consisted mostly of club members so it almost felt like a private audition. Cameron and me tried singing Africa by Toto but I didn't hear my voice except of the very beginning. I later realised that after the DJ heard me singing he must have turned off my microphone. Other performances were definitely better, like My Heart Will Go On which was probably the best performance ever made in this venue. We also went clubbing afterwards but the DJ refused to play good music so I could finally go to bed.
West Bay & West Bexington
The next morning I got up early to make sure I would get some breakfast this time. Laura got up two hours before everyone else because her roommate was snoring. She made scrambled eggs, sausages and pancakes with homemade blueberry sauce. This trip would have been only half as good if Laura hadn't been there!
We left our luggage at the hostel, walked to the bus and picked up a present for our president from the adult store.
The bus took us westwards to a small village called West Bay. Everyone bought postcards and pies from a bakery before we climbed the yellow cliffs right next to the sea. We had lunch at a beautiful beach and with the sun out, it was was the biggest contrast we could get to the day before.
We continued walking, this time though we had to go through deep sand, so everyone was tired soon. We soon realised we wouldn't make to Abbington, our final destination, so we went to the next closer village instead. The next bus was coming in 1.5h though, so we spend the time walking to West Bexington where we watched the sunset with a pint of beer in one of the cosiest hotels I've ever seen.
The bus back to the hostel was quite long so I lay on the last row and fell half asleep. Someone had realised during that journey that we would only have 30 minutes to walk back to the hostel, get our luggage and then get to the station. So when the bus stopped we all almost ran to the hostel, grabbed our luggage and rushed to the station to catch our train. The issue was that our caring president had bought enough cornflakes, pasta and juice for 10 hiking groups. So when Laura, Daniel and me left the hostel at last, I was balancing three big boxes of cornflakes that nobody had eaten on top of my luggage.
In the end we got the train and had some cornflakes for dinner. We had to go on a bus replacement between Pool and Bournemouth, which took us an extra hour to get to London. To combat our frustration we opened a bottle of wine on the bus and almost got fined because alcohol is illegal as the bus driver informed us.
We finally arrived at 10 pm in London. The meeting with my bed was delayed for a little longer though because Daniel walked back to get the cornflakes that we had carried so far. Daniel never found them though, so no cornflake assets for the Hiking Club.
All in all a very funny trip with lots of good hikes and an incredibly nice group. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again on our next hikes.