VSOC Link Home page
Back to Old News Page    Back to 2024 News Page

Island Safari

I started my journey to Hayling Island at approx 11:15am on Sunday, filled up with petrol and set off down the Alton road through Selbourne passing Petersfield on the A3 until I reached my destination Hayling Island. My favourite part of the Island that hosts miles of beaches is opposite the Coast Guard Cafe fish and chips shop where I've eaten my usual sausage and chips many times. I parked my Xj600 at the bandstand. After I had my fill of chips I walked towards the Lifeboat station along the beach and nice beach front houses. It is such a nice walk, clean sea air and views of the beach and the sea. The great thing I like about Hayling island is that there are plenty of places to park, cafes and free clean toilets. The weather was great on Sunday, perfect blue skies, sunny and warm.

After a few hours by the beach, I decided to make my way home along the main road out of the island towards Havant. I had only ridden a little way when I noticed a traffic jam in the opposite direction at a complete standstill trying to turn into a housing estate. I continued ahead and soon stopped as my side of the road was totally jammed also. There was no traffic coming in the opposite direction, so I decided to filter on the opposite side of the road for what seemed like miles, passing so much stationary traffic until I reached a roadblock. I thought I could get through, until a cop came out of nowhere and told me that the road had been closed for two hours with no outlook when the road would be opened again.

He told me to turn back and take another route that will eventually bypass the road block. So I turned around and as I was riding back past the stationary traffic, I was stopped a few times by drivers wanting to know what was happening ahead. When I told them, they got in their cars and turned around. By that time I had forgotten the name of the road, so I stopped to look at Google Maps familiarizing myself with the route. I rode further on and I met the jam that I originally passed on the way out of the island. I had no option but to ride on the opposite side of the road until I reached the road that led into a housing estate. I asked a Tesla driver which way I should go and he gave me the directions. By that time no traffic was moving in both directions, drivers wouldn't give way to one another, just sitting in their cars staring at one another. So the only way to get past the traffic jam was to mount the pavement and ride to my turning. Again both directions were jammed up. I spoke to a few drivers who told me to stay on the road as it's the only way off the island.

So it was stop/start for a mile then I saw a flood sign. There was a stretch of road completely under water, maybe 3 to 6 inches. It meant that I couldn't creep stop/start with putting my feet down in the water. Cars were speeding towards me, sending a wash from the flood everywhere. I was desperately waving my hands to slow the cars down, I didn't want to get soaked by some ignorant drivers. Luckily my frantic waving worked, then I had to wait until the car in front completed the twenty yards of flood because I didn't want to put my feet down in the water. Then I crossed the "road river" slowly and made it through. Then I took a left and back on the main road out of the island.

The ride home was a relief. I could open up the throttle down the A3 back to Selborne and enjoyed the bends of the Alton road back to Basingstoke. I have ridden and driven to Hayling Island many times but never had such an adventure as I had on Sunday. It certainly was an eventful Island Safari, translated from Swahili to English, an eventful "Journey or expedition". It was certainly an enjoyable ride and expedition indeed.

Phil