Jurassic coast day 1 | Cruising to Dancing Ledge

Keeping with my desire to travel within the UK, this was my very first road trip ever, with a bunch of friends no less. Jurassic Coast was a 3 part disaster, as you will see, through no fault of the gorgeous landscapes that surrounded the area. Instead, await the lame-ass human drama that made up this trip. First, some background:

I had specifically mentioned my wish to not drive during this trip. There were 5 of us and only 3 drivers, including me – not great for a road trip. I am an inexperienced driver and made this pretty clear. Friend A & B claimed this wouldn’t be an issue as they would take turns to drive, and I would be back up if anyone got really tired. Alright then.

pier (1)

We started out bright and early to take the national express from London down to Dorset, where we would rent a car for the next 3 days. Morning was spent calling friend C, who just wouldn’t pick up. A, B, D and I all met up and as we were boarding the bus, found out through a frantic call that C had overslept and was taking a cab down to London from Hatfield. He of course, didn’t make it and had to wait for the next bus.

lunch

This meant that we reached an hour before him, and so went to get the car and find lunch. We had this gross Thai food (why is Thai food so sweet in Europe, nasty). We then went to fetch him and were off on our merry way. The idea was to start at Swanage and travel down the coastline to Dancing Ledge.

swanage

Too bad, as it turns out, A can’t drive for shit. He confessed to driving maybe once, a year before (seriously) and was prepared to take on this entire road trip! Needless to say, our lives were in danger but we got to Swanage, with both B and I directing his driving. There was this pretty pier and bustle in the town where we stopped for some pictures.

durlston

Next was Durlston Country Park. By this time, B was trying her best to convince me to drive in A‘s place. A is not exactly the best with criticism, and was getting more flustered and agitated. When he almost hit a divider, B took over and drove most of the rest of the way. One person can’t do a road trip on her own.

durlston-view

Durlston Country park was beautiful, with a spectacular vantage point. The ocean was so vast and beautiful, it felt like it could never end. There were also these gorgeous cliffs and with almost no one else around, the serenity was refreshing.

Along the way to our last stop, Dancing Ledge, I did some of the driving which everyone thought was at an acceptable level (well, at least compared to A). The scenic route wasn’t too traffic heavy either, which built a bit of my own confidence. It was then decided I would drive some of the way the next day in his stead (which I wasn’t too happy about, but what other choice do we have?). Must have hurt his ego or something.

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Anyway, Dancing Ledge was drop dead gorgeous and easily one of the highlights of the trip. As dusk was approaching, everything was just better as well. We were really close to the water, everything felt wonderful. For a while, it felt like the bickering was worth it.

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The wind was just lovely and the waves thundering towards to the rocks were just mesmerizing. This is honestly such a great place to sit and do nothing. Soon, it started getting dark and we decided to head to town to get dinner. The most experienced driver, B, took the wheel.

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We were all chatting in the car when we saw a flash. It was dark and there were no other cars around. It was a speed camera. We were all stunned – it may seem obvious that country roads have lower speed limits, but none of us had ever driven on country roads. This is when A went on his tirade, just talking shit about B getting a speeding ticket. We all said we would split it – I mean, why not? A got really annoyed, trying to figure out whose fault it was and bla bla. Then B said she would pay for it and told him to shut up, which he wouldn’t.

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He was so incredibly concerned about the car being rented out under his name, even though B clearly said he didn’t have to pay if he didn’t want to. The dude just would not shut up, even while getting dinner.

We drove our way to our Airbnb and tried to understand what exactly his problem was, and why he was being so petty. He just kept saying he needed to think about it. I think his ego was hurt and he was throwing a tantrum because something minor went wrong. Oh well, I didn’t care enough to argue, so I just kept quiet.

And that was it for the day. Great, huh? There’s worse to come.

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