Look Who Came For Brunch!
I was awake early enough this morning to watch the sun rise. The woodland where we are camping is just north of Brockenhurst in the New Forest National Park, and the open space beyond the trees is called Balmer Lawn - 500 acres of grazing lawn surrounded by trees. It was a beautiful view with ponies in the distance. I enjoyed my walk but then went back to sleep when I got back to the van. I was tired and slept another 90 minutes!
My friend and I had a late breakfast after she went out on her bike and bought some hot cross buns at the bakery. Yes, that’s bacon in the buns, with orange marmalade! It was delicious!
And look who showed up! The New Forest ponies are owned by the New Forest Commoners but are allowed to roam freely throughout the forest, so only in that sense are they ‘wild’. The commoners are allowed to graze their ponies and cattle in the open forest and they help to maintain the landscape. This tradition and rights of the commoners goes back to medieval times. So camping in the New Forest means that you have to be willing to share that space with the local residents! I’m not sure if they were lured by the smell of bacon, but they didn’t seem that interested and just walked right through our camp without taking much notice of us!
The afternoon went quickly while we did LOTS of talking and catching up of news! It was another hot day but we were totally comfortable in the shade. We stopped for a late lunch and before we knew it it was after 6pm. We decided to go for a drive and ended up at a place called Taddiford Gap - a beach and cliff walk west of Milford-on-sea and Lymington. We had a short walk and enjoyed the sunset before continuing our drive. The bottom left picture shows the view out to the Needles on the Isle of Wight.
We ended up back at our campsite just after 9 and we had a late supper of bread and cheese and wine, with plenty of more conversation. It was a perfect chillaxing day! What a beautiful place!