Holiday to Dorset – Climbing (not) and a day in Weymouth
Wednesday morning dawned bright and sunny once again we had no sleep as the room was so hot. I therefore went out for an early morning walk into the reeds of the Lodmor Country Park as the sun rose.
I returned with croissants for breakfast for Anna and Morgan. We complained about the ridiculous heat in the room yet again at reception and at least today they said an engineer was on his way to take a look at it.
Climbing (not) at the Cuttings.
We then headed out for the day with our first stop being the Cuttings on Portland for a spot of climbing. We go there quite early to avoid the crowds and joined another family on the easier routes at the western end of the cliff. I used to climb these routes all of the time when I was doing my PhD. here and often took friends here for an introduction to climbing, I’ve even solo’d many of the smaller climbs in the past. Mind you, that was all before a day late in my PhD. whilst hanging off the high cliffs on the western side of Portland when I suddenly decided that I no longer liked heights. It really was that sudden, there I was dangling on a rope a few hundred feet above the sea, logging rocks as I had been doing for the past couple of years when I just decided to lower myself down and not do it anymore. I don’t know what prompted this sudden change of heart, but I haven’t climb since that day.
I had kind of assumed that I would be OK with the easy climbs of the cuttings though and would be able to introduce Morgan to some proper outdoor climbing on rocks using the easy, bolted routes here. I had to think about what I was doing as I hadn’t done it for about 20 years, but I worked it all out in my head, showed Anna how to belay and set off up what should have been an easy climb. Once off the ground though it wasn’t so easy and my head for climbing obviously hadn’t returned. I’m ashamed to say I couldn’t make it to the top of even the easiest climb here, one that I used to do over and over without any ropes. I know I’m quite a bit older now and have responsibilities but I should have been able to do it. Needless to say, I didn’t really succeed in giving Morgan a particularly good introduction to climbing and we didn’t really get to make much use of his new climbing harness that we had bought especially for this trip on the way down. Morgan did manage to top-rope up to where I got to, which he was OK with, but it would have been nice to do some more.
Feeling a little sheepish and disappointed at myself, we left the crags and headed to portland Bill for a stroll along the cliffs and an ice-cream.
We then headed into Weymouth and stopped at at Nothe Fort for a picnic lunch. I’d never been here before but had planned to meet some people later in the day nearby so we though we’d quickly check it out. It a really nice bit of parkland in between Weymouth harbour and Portland harbour, dominated by Nothe Fort at the end of the promontory. We didn’t stay long, just time to have some lunch and then headed into Weymouth for a round of crazy golf at Lodmor Country Park.
Lodmor Country Park
Another thing Morgan had wanted to do on holiday was Crazy Golf – In fact, Morgan seems to be trying to do a Crazy Golf World tour, so not to let him down that was the plan for the afternoon. It’s actually quite good fun, if a little touristy. But I guess we were tourists in Weymouth so we may as well act like some.
After the crazy golf we went for a stroll along the seafront and found a geocache before heading back to Newton Cove and Nothe Fort.
Sea Swim and Strength & Conditioning Session
I had planned to meet some of the Bustin Skin Triathlon team at Newton Cove for a Strength & Conditioning session. I also wanted to go for a quick open water sea swim before they got there so we ended up getting to Newton Cove a little earlier than we needed to. It was also quite cold here by now with the sun setting and a breeze picking up. We wrapped up warm and went for a walk through the park where Morgan played in the playground and fed the squirrels and then I eventually plucked up the courage to don my wetsuit and go for a swim.
Once in the water it was actually really nice so I swam out to a buoy a couple of times and then quickly got changed and tried to warm up as the people I was supposed to be meeting turned up. Anna and Morgan were freezing by now though so Morgan was wearing my jacket and once I;d introduced myself to the others they headed off to get the car and sit in it.
The guys and girls from Bustin Skin were all really nice so I joined in with their session as we hopped, skipped and squatted our way up some steps, ran back and forth along the prom, did planks and press-ups on the benches and generally strengthened and conditioned ourselves in the evening light overlooking Newton Cove.
It was now getting late though so we headed back to the hotel where the engineer had indeed fixed the thermostat so our room was a sensible(ish) temperature and we could at least turn it down to 19ºC. Although this required the air conditioning unit to be in full operation which was quite noisy, and quite why air conditioning is needed to get the room down to 19ºC when the air temperature outside was falling close to 0ºC overnight I’m not sure. Seems a little silly to me and a waste of energy.
We had a nice dinner at the beefeater though and then bought puddings (yes, several of them) from Sainsburys before settling down for the night after a busy day in Dorset.