Another beautiful day on the Island, with temperatures nudging 20 degrees C.  I’ve decided to get on the bus to  Ryde to do a bit of shopping.

I’m ashamed to say I cannot remember the last time I went on a bus.  I usually drive myself about or am a passenger in Sam’s car, but it’s quite costly to bring 2 cars over on the ferry and Sam isn’t back until Saturday.  Therefore for the rest of the week I need to become acquainted with the Vectis bus timetables.

The Internet is behaving itself, which allows me to check the route number and time of arrival of the bus.  Apparently there is one every hour.  I walk down to the main road and cross over.  Arrgh!  There is no proper bus shelter on that side, just a small patch of grass next to the road that now resembles a mud bath.  Cars whizz by, their wheels spraying a fine mist in my direction.  I don’t know where all the water has come from, as it hasn’t rained all the time I’ve been here.

The bus arrives 10 minutes late.  Never mind – there’s a sort of mañana feel to the Island as far as I’m concerned anyway.  My trainers are now filthy with mud, something that the bus driver notices straight away.  I can’t help it, as there was nowhere else to stand.  I leave muddy footprints all along the aisle as I walk towards the back of the bus, which is almost full.  The passengers, all of them at least 10 years older than myself, stare at me as though I have two heads.

It’s an agonisingly circuitous route to Ryde, a journey I could have completed in half the time in my car.  Never mind – I’ve got nothing else to do all day.  I’m bumped about in the back seat and my bones are rearranged by the bus as it rattles along, but never mind, I’ll get there in the end.

Get there I do, and it’s off to the myriad of shops that Ryde boasts.  I’m pleased as punch to purchase a pair of trainers in a sale for half price at the Mountain Warehouse.  I ask the sales assistant why there’s not many shoe shops anywhere these days.  He replies that so many supermarkets and other outlets sell cheap shoes, that it’s put actual shoe shops out of business.  I hadn’t realised this.

Usually I’d put all my purchases in the boot of my car, but now I have to carry them back to the holiday site.  Never mind, I have a sturdy rucksack.  To walk to the bus station from the shops in Ryde involves walking down a very steep hill that in the past always had my quad muscles screaming and at one time they locked up altogether.  However…. result!  All the cycling and hiking over the last year has caused me to be able to saunter down the hill with the locals with no problem at all.  I cannot believe my luck.

I even have time for a cup of green tea by the seafront, and I watch a hovercraft arrive before the bus goes again.  All in all, a nice morning out.  I think storm clouds will be gathering tomorrow, so looks like it might be a computer day!

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