UK Exploration, Walk
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Manx Man Sam(eer)

In which we see Manx Men, Manx Cats, Manx Sheep, Manx Sea Lions, and various other beasties.

And I learn never to start a blog post in the third person.

Once upon an august evening, two explorers set off on a train to Liverpool…..

… and when their journey hit the edge of the island, they swapped smooth tracks for floating ferry.

A couple of hours and a dodgy wifi connection later, they reached The Island.

(and went to sleep)

(after first finding their airbnb. Which definitely didn’t involve Tegan walking into the wrong backyard to find the key and Sameer freaking out and then lecturing her on white privilege)

Early the next morning The Explorers walked to the town of the Castle (Castletown), and tried unsuccessfully to find nice coffee….

… before trying slightly-more-successfully-but-definitely-also-with-a-strong-local-assist, to find the bus to Port Erin.

(The busses run kind of on timetable, but also make their own decisions when the day is a Saturday or there is an event or when the wind blows some way or other or some such).

The Explorers were joined on-bus by an older lady who was quite chatty, and told them about life on the Island, and how her decision to move there for retirement was driven by the fact that her own grandparents courted there (and I think also conceived her parent there??).

This narrative lined up quite perfectly and charmingly with pre-wiki’d knowlege about how the island had had a huge heyday as a holiday spot back before cheap flights to Spain and other countries with actual sun were invented.

The lady guided The Explorers to the right stop, they said their goodbyes, and started to stroll.

They walked along the sea,

Past some fields….

… and by some ambivalent sheep.

At some point, the views turned from really quite pleasant, to dramatic

(Although obviously, I won’t even try to convince you that the photos do it justice).

Shale shards and steep falls.

After a bit more walking, The Explorers reached the famous Chasms, as signposted by a house sitting at the top of a split in the rock…

Getting from the cliffs inland, past the house, took a bit of squeezing though some rather spikey plants.

For those wearing short pants, doubling back around and leaping through shorter fields was a better option.

The Brave Explorers, Now with Slightly Scratched Legs crossed inland to the historical town of Cregneash…

… which had cute olden-timey buildings and fun games where you could attempt to get milk out of wooden cows.

They were not successful in this venture.

They were however, successful in their primary mission to buy, and then devour, some Manx fruitcake.

Continuing on their way, The Explorers saw:

  1. Several Manx Loaghtan, a rare breed of Isle of Man- specific sheep. The initial sighting somehow triggered Sameer to audaciously declare that every Loughtan on the island had exactly three horns… Future Loughtans proved this to not be the case

2. Infinite hedges of the omnipresent Isle of Man Fuschia-  “Jeiryn Yee” meaning “God’s Tears”- (a local emblem of the Island, despite being originally South American).

3. And the greatest of all things.

An actual Manx Cat.

(Who walked straight past Sameer and let Tegan give him a little pat).

The route had beautiful heath-land flowers for miles…

… which sometimes involved a bit of effort to get through.

With a bit more walking and a small deviation further inland, the Explorers reached the Magical Mull Circle.

Which apparently you can only reach through rainfall.

Then, at some point of the journey, The Brave Explorers got so stared down by angry cow that they had to both rapidly repeat, and reckon with the very real possibility that they were not so brave after all.

They doubled back to the coast….

…. wandered past another magic circle…

…. and crossed the ferny gully.

At one point, there were parkour sheep.

And more cliffs.

And more rambling fields to conquer.

At one point a choice was made to go down….

.. which some did more gracefully, and others more… rapidly

*Shame hide*

And then, just as the Explores were starting to think it was time to explore home and a nice cup of tea instead of the great outdoors, the most exciting part of all arrived.

Sea Lions!

Lots and lots of playful, beautiful, perfect sealions!

And then, just a few more kilometers, a few more cows, and The Explorers reached Port St Mary.

All up, that first day of hiking on the Isle of Man was all kind of amazing and beautiful. Although we missed our third hiking buddy who sadly didn’t make the journey due to injury, it really managed to exceed expectations.

Five out of Five, would recommend.

Part II here:

24-25th August

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Still on the Island – Fish with Whiskey

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