A Weekend At Butterfly Paragliding
Our weekend away for my b'day celebrations, began with our first ever hitch-hiking adventure.
The main reason we decided to pop our hitch-hiking cherry this time, was due to the ridiculously expensive ferry cost for bringing the car along - £100 versus £30 total for foot-passengers. Plus we will definitely be doing it in our future travels, so we thought we had better gain some confidence!
Our first lift came after an hour and a half of trying; we were losing daylight and I urged Taran to ring the guy who runs the B&B we were headed to, which was when we got our first pick-up! It was from a young family man, an English soldier based in Germany, who told us about himself and how expensive a taxi is on the Isle of Wight; the things you can learn about complete strangers in a matter of minutes is pretty cool.
He helpfully drove us to Newport bus station; he was so quick off the mark once he dropped us, within about 5 seconds of getting out, I realized I'd left my hoody in the car...rookie mistake! TOP TIP, put any extraneous clothing in your backpack, don't tie it your waste or prop it through your straps...
Our next lift came from a lady who had fatefully delayed her drive home and then saw us standing with our sign for Chale (in almost pitch-black night at this time) which turned out to be a remote village, and she felt bad knowing there were no buses going there, so invited us to hop in! And so she drove us right to the door of our destination, navigating narrow, restricted country lanes like a pro.
Arriving at Butterfly Paragliding B&B at around 10pm, we were given a warm welcome, shown our caravan and told to come inside to join Dave and the other guests when we were settled.
Nestled amongst bushes and trees, sat our unassuming little vintage caravan; several spiders had made their home inside and the thought of sleeping in there put me in a tizzy...
In the end I made peace with the fact these spiders seemed quite comfy in their various little corners around the van and hopefully didn't feel like inspecting us scary humans during the night. Plus, they were there first!
Breakfast was a table abundant with choices, and so it was a relaxing and exciting start to the day. I think we had twice the food we'd normally have, then Dave (the b&b owner) brought out freshly made bread which we obviously had to sample too.
The breakfast fridge was open to us all day if we wanted, so it felt like a super cool experience all ready, with a cosy caravan, and a warm, welcoming environment, thanks to the effortlessly laid-back and easygoing host.
Then came time to do the thing we had come all that way for...
Read all about our paragliding experience Here!
After paragliding, and a quick sarni, we headed to the bottom of the garden to do some rock-climbing in an attempt to reach the deserted coast-line below.
We carefully made our way through the semi-marshland, and boulder-filled landscape, with me losing a foot into the bog, and Taran losing a foot in some sinky-mud. The beach was not as easy to get to as we'd first thought, so we had to settle for some awesome views of it instead.
After our Beach jaunt, we decided to walk to the nearby village Niton to fetch dinner supplies. Chale was quite a sleepy place and so a trek was required.
Here another rookie error was made, in that we didn't wear any sunscreen and ended up red-faced and little sickly... never underestimate the sun! Our walk was across rolling hills all the while loving the sea-breeze and far-reaching views.
Niton turned out to be a small and pretty village with pubs and a little supermarket were we stocked up on snacks and pizza. We got the bus back to the b&b because hunger and my poor walking shoes had got to me; always hasty and unprepared, I'd chose not to wear my good walking shoes in favour of my useless primark lace-ups.
Heading back, we made dinner and positioned ourselves back at the breakfast table, where we yet again languished ourselves reading and drawing, playing a bit of music and enjoying the sunset.
We both really wanted a couple days of no-frills relaxation (mixed in with some adventure) and this was fitting the bill, and then some.
We didn't want to leave come Sunday, and opted for the buses, seeing as Chale had little through-traffic for hitch-hiking.
Dave saw us off with a hug and a sincere goodbye, but at this point it was clear to us that we would be returning in the future.
We both loved our weekend at Butterfly Paragliding; even if you don't fancy the dizzying heights of flying, you can still bet on it being a really great stay here, feeling out of the rat-race, positioned right on the coast, but with all the warmth and comfort of home. I always end up wanting to stay and live in places like this, but then the fondness of it is knowing it's there, this grand old rickety house on a hill, with it's kind, smiling host, happily awaiting our return.
Thanks for reading!
Hannah and Taran here. We hail from Southern England, where we met online and are now realizing our mutual passion for travel here at Nomad'erHowFar. We discuss Nomadic Living, Simplifying your Life and Long-term Travel, to empower, motivate and inspire our readers. Get to know us here!