Thursday would prove to be the least 'thirsty' day of my entire Hants holiday funnily enough, at least in terms of GBG ticks.
It was another bleary-eyed early morning start, which found me on the train to Salisbury, my final remaining 'impossible' tick located on a nearby bus route.
KLO and Colin continued their squad rotation system. Not sure my mini blueberry muffin, Tropicana multi-vitamin and Arctic Coffee was a substantial enough brekkie, but it was all a bit rushed. I'd located a very weak hair dryer in my Premier Inn so had spent ages finally drying my shoes!
It was time to bite the bullet and see how many Hants pub I actually had remaining as that map was getting dangerously green. Only 9 (NINE) left! Fantastic news. With three days left down here, that meant I should be able to get the nine done in the next two days, and still have time for a day on Isle of Wight for a nice little change of pace.
But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, if it could go wrong, it probably would.
And I certainly didn't want to get distracted by Salisbury, as much of an exciting multi-tick town in a neglected county (Wiltshire) it was. It even contains the GBG pub I most want to tick but have never managed .... the Haunch of Venison, which I read about many years ago in my 'Britain's Strangest Pubs Book', the book that first made pubs fascinating to me. This pub contains the mummified hand of a cards player who had it chopped off cos he was cheating! I pass the pub on the high street, and it looked suitably old and impressive.
My step count was on an upward curve as the week was progressing, yesterday's Fritham epic the highest yet .....
The bus took me to Breamore (pronounced Bremmer) meaning a 54 minute walk to the pub, shorter than yesterday by four minutes!
It had been a sunny morning (shock horror) but OF COURSE that fine misty rain that soaks you to the skin starts up about five minutes into the walk.
|Or Turds, as they are known in Hull|
I'd just said 'good morning' to two hi-vis elderly cyclists, but caught them up a few minutes later changing into their 'wet weather' gear, so I sarcastically said "another fine day for it!" and that seemed to tickle them.
It was a winding but even more rural walk than yesterday, I barely remember seeing a vehicle and rang #MummyBRAPA for a long chat before the phone signal dropped as I descend into the village. It was approaching noon, and having the same 11-3 & 6-10 opening hours as Fritham (must be a New Forest regulation), it was open and in full swing when I arrived, well once I located the unlikely side entrance.
Star, Ringwood (which I'm thinking must've been in a GBG at some stage) was the perfect example of why the Good Beer Guide is a BEER guide, and not a pub guide. What a gem. Atmospheric, old, healthy crowd, young, old, men, women, a guv'nor who seems a bit of a twitchy eccentric character, sliding in a mention of his time in 'the theatre' etc. at regular intervals. Someone on Twitter tells me he was in the Archers, which would make sense. An excitable young couple talk about their own exploits in the 'arts', or at least whether they were more successful doing Mariah or Whitney on the karaoke. The Landlord (Tim Taylor) is less exciting, slightly unconvincing at the start, limp and lifeless half way down, and I'm pretty much failing to detect any pulse on it by the end. Not good at £4.80 a pint. Oh well, at least it explains its lack of GBG inclusion.
|Blatantly not true|
|Not the Coeur De Lion, but it is a start|
|Possible rare sighting of our one minute stout legend|
|Parking ticket inspector drama in full swing|
|Dave from Stockton does the honours|
|Love for Wimbledon / Ukraine|
|Bit of Vibrant Forest foreshadowing for tomorrow|
So there we go. Four done, five left. Tomorrow would be an important day as I looked to get Hants fully greened up.