Despite a sudden abundance of free time, the usual lack of friends in the same situation was occurring. Fortunately, there was an exception booked in the diary.
October 5th. An otherwise uneventful Wednesday. A first peer into Santa’s grotto for the year at a local garden Centre which preceded café chat focused on work, Christmas, and Russia… Aren’t we fascinating… I reflected on having not been in this situation for a long while. I’m not interested in the bustle of the large group activity, nor the type where you cannot hear each other think, let alone have a catch up. Call me old-fashioned, but it was quite refreshing to simply sit in a café, alongside those long-standing regulars, appearing deep in overheard chit chat around finances and gardening. The milkshake and panini also wasn’t bad. A spread of cranberries, lathered the bread.
But alas this lengthy introduction wasn’t the day highlight, yet was a memory with a long term friend. Before we left, we spoke about my friends’ desire to acquire many shopping items when the opportunity presents, quite the opposite of myself who only buys “functional” items …
After he made the arduous decision to not buy 50 mini cacti, or top quality clutter, we left, with the faint suggestion to explore somewhere.
I noted a small island, touted as a detox retreat, rebranded as a home to some privately rented hotels. Osea island it was …
I also highlighted the fact that we only had a short window to cross the road leading up to it, without the river Blackwater hiding it. As much as I would love to tell you all that I had planned and timed this perfectly, this was a day trip. So there was some room for the “turn up and see” approach.
Turn up and see
And so after a short drive and chat about my local roots we arrived. A signpost labelled Osea leisure park met us. All was well. The sun wasn’t shining, it was especially windy, with slightly slanted driving rain, passionately drumming the damp surface.
To make matters even better there was a bounteous “house” lorry, trying a 3 point turn with quite possibly an entire oblivious family on the trailer. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to wake up in the same house in a different location, but that isn’t the point of my story.
At this point, things actually worked out quite well, since we got to chat for a little longer, while waiting behind the lorry… Quite unlike being locked in the cupboard with a characterless nuisance… It was imposed however, as not only was the behemoth shuffling its structure in front of us, a Yaris with a driver not as keen on the art of fruitful conversation, had sealed the deal by blocking us in from the rear. We were now truly committed.
It occurred to me the road simply looked like a private location, so it probably wasn’t going to be publicly accessible, even after the “house” was successfully moved.
Fast forward several minutes, and we arrived at a caravan park, with a couple of non-labelled parking spaces fortunately not blocking any entrances there. We therefore parked nearby after a quick Google, to establish how close we were to the island. To see the island, we ruled out the road we were on, due to the obstruction of a kissing gate, donned with the label of “private road”. We also ruled out where we were parked, due to a unequivocally obvious dead end ahead. This meant we were left with the final options of head home with some humble pie, or explore the caravan park a little more closely.
As most motivational articles would suggest, we leapt out of the car, and ran along the coastal path, beyond the caravan park, onto the island. however that’s also not the point of my story.
What actually happened …
We got out the car briefly, before I confirmed I definitely needed my coat, which I then put on and clung onto, to avoid the spray of rain hurting my eyes. We then staggered to the back of the park, to find most of the caravans did not have any gap to allow walkers to pass. After a few direction changes, and repeating that process, we noticed a gap. This gap lead to some steps which travelled up to a coastal path, which we then followed back towards the direction of the private road in a semi circular direction.
Lo and behold, there it was …. The road onto the island. After a few emergency social group selfies, I was sufficiently reassured it was worth hiding my iPads’ camera under my coat. You can rest assured it wasn’t exposed to the “then light rain”, for long …
There was even a car crossing at the time on the Roman causeway out to the island, which was undoubtedly my trip highlight. What are the chances of that, considering Osea is a tidal island accessible by a 1-mile causeway, for only four hours, out of every 12 hours?
So after a few further pictures, we made our way back down the road leading to the island causeway, passing some rain and sheep. On a side note, the road lead to the private kissing gate mentioned earlier, which paradoxically was backed onto by a public road, leading into a public footpath, none of which were labelled private, except the causeway entrance. Even the back of the gate wasn’t labelled private …
Either way, we hadn’t crossed any boundaries. Except the gate to return to public territory.
Osea island is only accessible for a very limited time per day, and only to those who are renting property on the island. The internet provides mixed reviews on whether the island is worth a visit. I would suggest finding it is an adventure in itself, for a fun and free trip out.
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