The weather forecast was promising, the steam train was running, what could possibly go wrong on my trip to Douglas today? I was out scouting for a new breathable waterproof jacket so the plan was to get the train to Port Soderick and walk the 4 or so miles into Douglas via the scenic marine drive.
I arrived early at the railway station and immediately had doubts as there was no train in the station and all the sheds were locked up. I had checked the timetable and there should have been one at 1 o’clock. Arriving at the booking office, the board proudly announced the next train would be 2 o’clock. Not wanting to waste more than an hour and a quarter I hopped on a bus. Only the bus doesn’t go to Port Soderick and I hadn’t got a map with me, so my guess was to get off at Santon and walk the extra couple of miles to Port Soderick. After all, I would still get there before the train.
So, that’s what I did. Only, not only was the weather forecast wrong, it pelted it down for the first half hour and I was beginning to wonder about the wisdom of getting off the dry bus when I could have gone all the way to Douglas on it. Anyway, too late. I took the attractive footpath behind the big house at Santon which leads to the old Castletown road. At least I kept mainly dry this way.
Then I had to follow the Old Castletown road until the turn off to Port Soderick, not the most exciting walk especially as drivers are using it as a short cut during the races, but necessary in the circumstances. And it rained. By the time I arrived at the lovely Port Soderick Glen and the coast, the weather had brightened up a little, so I enjoyed my sandwich and Millionaire’s Shortcake in something resembling sunshine.
Photos: Port Soderick Glen
Photo: Port Soderick Bay and the Port Erin to Douglas steam train
I took the steep stepped path up to the coast road. I instinctively knew that I would see the train at this point and I was not disappointed, although it looked somewhat strange with its engine facing the wrong direction. I turned on to Marine Drive and followed this lovely route and a lady walking very briskly all the way to Douglas. It kept mainly dry until the end when the wind suddenly got up and the clouds darkened before spitting out another dollop of rain. As you can see from the featured photograph (the one at the top), Douglas had put its coat on this afternoon, but by the time I arrived there, it was brilliant sunshine and it remained so for the rest of the day.
Did I get my waterproof? Well, yes and no. I had gone with a list recommended by reviews and no-one had any of those in stock, but I did take a fancy to the Berghaus Glissade 111, so asked for this to be put by for me. I came home and ordered it through Quidco, thereby getting cashback of £12.90 on the same item, which I shall now have to collect from Douglas another time. But then, I shall get the bus!!
P.S. I tried a different camera for this trip, but my mobile phone is so much better I shall have to return to this next time.