Guessing in the early New Year that the weather might be getting warmer by the end of May, we booked again to take a week at Netley Waterside -- and despite some headlines mid-month saying that the cold weather would last at least another month, we did get the good weather, but without it being too hot and bright for driving into.
This time, nothing essential got left behind (though I did realise that my strategy for wet weather was not to be caught out in it), and swinging around well west of Reading and (thanks to a closure on the A340 near Aldermaston) Basingstoke too, the drive down was not too stressy, despite the nigh-constant sulking of the satnav when we declined to head for the nearest motorway -- and we got to see all the stationary traffic on the M1 while doing so.
The theme for the week was cars and boats and planes; not so immediately interesting as last time's wildlife focus, so we sat out most of the trips, and instead did expeditions at our own pace back to places we had gone last year, only in better weather, and without having to spend the best part of 2 hours in loading and unloading.
Monday we went back to Marwell Wildlife
and were able to go all around, and see most of the talks, including the penguin feeding, at what would have been queueing up to go on the coach time.
The one organized trip we did go on was to the Beaulieu Motor Museum, somewhere I'd not been for the best part of 50 years, and which Karen had never seen. So there was a lot of stuff that was either not yet built, or still in active service back then.
The centrepiece of the museum this year is a Bond in Motion display covering 50 years of cars and other transport gadgets:
Wednesday we took a rest, and just went down the road for a pub lunch, and then Thursday we went back to the Andover Hawk Conservancy, where again the flexibility of going by ourselves -- and the dry weather this time -- meant that we got to see all the displays, and not just the mass flights of kites and vultures. Even if the fishing eagle managed to splash down every time, rather than skimming its food off the surface of the little pond in the display area.
And then to top-and tail the week, I went for a few exploratory walks, extending beyond where I'd done much less ambitious wandering last year:
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