A Very Different A3!

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Day 9 - Friday 8 September

Today we say farewell to our little cottage; we'll be in Douglas for the last couple of days. We're taking a very indirect route, though, via Port Erin and a boat trip to the Calf of Man, which is a small island just off the southwest tip of Man. It's farewell to our bikes, too, we will be back in the car again. Vroom! Vroom! Ish.

We trust this is not our boat.

No, it's a small stop en route to see the beach at Niarbyl and take a walk.

Not the clearest of signs. Fortunately, a) we have GPS; and b) if you go off course you'll fall in the sea and notice very quickly.

Good rocks for climbing over.

Pretty hazy, eh?

We've been told that on a clear day you can easily see across to Ireland, but today is not that day.

So on to Port Erin.

Amanda is most taken by the way that they paint so many of their bollards a very shiny silver.

To the boat!

Past a rather splendid ship.

Grey seals, I think.

They have Common seals here as well, but apparently the Common is less common. Right.

A Fat Yak kayak; file with the Rabbit Mower?

The boat departs, leaving us to enjoy a few hours on the island. We'll slowly walk across it and return from another beach on the opposite side.

There are two now-disused lighthouses. Why two? So that ships could avoid a dangerous rock that the lighthouses were aligned with. If a sailor could see that the two were exactly lined up, they knew they were heading for the rock and would need to change course until the lights could be seen separately again.

They've been replaced with a lighthouse on the rock itself, but in this murk it's quite hard to see with the naked eye if you don't have a telephoto lens. Not exactly clear even then.

But if you look away from the sun, you don't see the mist at all. It's quite weird how different things look in different directions.

The four-horned Loaghtan sheep, native to the Isle of Man. They almost died out in the 1950s and are still relatively rare, but they flourish here. (Most of the pictures we've seen of them have much more symmetrical-looking horns!)

Lichens on the rocks at the beach where we are waiting to be picked up.

Oh yes, Feb came too!

And so to Douglas and the giddy heights of the Premier Inn.

Ah, not quite the finest crystal but it will have to do.

The glassware company Riedel make almost as many different glasses as there are wines, claiming extraordinary boosts to the sensory pleasure by choosing the correct shape for the wine. Philistine that I am, "claret in a coffee mug" is fine.

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