The Dorset Hike

ASE took us on an arranged trip to Dorset for some hiking and a visit to a local castle.  We began by trekking towards the path, surrounded by greenery, sheep, and mist.  We hung back with Andrew the internship coordinator, with whom we had a lively discussion about moles (as we passed many of their hills along the way).  We talked about what it would be like to be a mole, and how could we warn the moles that they were tunneling towards the cliffs?  We ultimately settled on posting signage with mole braille.

But our group moved out of the back once we heard that we were already running behind schedule, and could be late for lunch.  Bea took charge and began to set the pace for the group.  She and Pippa even started playing music, which greatly enhanced the hiking experience.  It’s quite something to hike along the English coast listening to Footloose.  After passing some cows and climbing up a huge hill, we reached an area where the mist had cleared, allowing us to see some breathtaking views.

But eventually we encountered a huge staircase that can’t be properly conveyed in pictures.  It took quite a bit of motivating music to get up the huge height, including  a replay of Footloose and I Need a Hero.  The image below does the best job of describing the distance we needed to travel, and this is probably halfway up.  The small figure in the distance is Maddie as she’s approaching the top of the giant staircase.

Our subsequent trekking involved going through mud that approached the level we hit on our famed hike to Bristol.

Now Bea had chosen the proper footwear for such a muddy excursion, choosing her wellies that she bought when we first arrived in England.  She was able to slosh right through the worst of the terrain.  And once she changed into her clean trainers on the bus (she was one of the few to bring a change of shoes), in the words of Maddie, “You look like a new person.”

Our hike eventually ended back in town, where we got soft drinks and pasties.  Bea brought supplemental snackage that amusingly seemed to be sorted by color, as her carrots and Doritos where carried together in one plastic bag.  We then sat around on stone tables outside, discussing the fact that English lemonade is basically Sprite, and our various opinions on terminology for restrooms vs bathrooms vs toilets vs the loo.

We ended our day with a visit to Corfe Castle, a fascinating set of ruins.  Lopsided chunks lie all over the place due to the fact that the castle had been blown up during the English Civil War.

Maddie and friends had a tendency to perch on every available high horizontal surface.

Overall the hike was a beautiful view of the English coast.  And while the weather was not ideal, it certainly added to an authentic English experience.  We may have seen a great deal of mist, but it was English sea mist.

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