A pleasant warm afternoon.
At Alton Station, a little garden, help yourself. A lady had picked runner beans and placed on chair. I helped myself to a handful. Hopefully they were not for her. In the past, there has been a donation box in the station Ticket Office, but today I did not see one.
I wish they would repair the old bridge at Alton Station. It has been derelict now for months.
Bus down, No 64, was a City of Winchester Park and Ride. I double checked to ensure it was the correct bus. The driver said it was the only one available. It was a brand new bus.
Alight at bus stop before town centre and walk down Magdalene Hill. Apart from the traffic, a pleasant walk down into Winchester.
Winchester appears to have a fleet of brand new buses. Contrast with the old buses that serve Aldershot. At a guess, because in Winchester Stagecoach has competition from a rival bus company.
Wednesday is street food market in Winchester. Each time I visit, the market has shrunk. Mid-June, it was smaller than winter. Two weeks ago, it had shrunk again. Today, it was yet smaller. At this rate, it will soon be non-existent.
Luckily the falafel stall is still there. Falafel in a wrap with salad, my lunch in the grounds of Winchester Cathedral
I wandered into the Cathedral cafe. I fancied ice cream with blackcurrants. None in stock. I had a chat with the manager. They try and be as environmentally friendly as possible. To discourage people using takeaway cups, they give a 25% discount on a drink if you bring your own cup. Water help yourself, even ice by the side, but why plastic cups?
I found there was a back entrance through a hole in the wall. This led into a maze of back streets which I had not explored before. I took one that led off at an angle. To my pleasure, it led to the street with Coffee Lab.
Cappuccino in Coffee Lab. I sat outside, but it started to rain.
I picked up a well thumbed copy of South West Independent Coffee Guide, now in its second edition. I have its companion, The Northern Independent Coffee Guide, or I did until I gave away my copy. I suggested to Coffee lab that they had South West Independent Coffee Guide on sale, as that was how I obtained The Northern Independent Coffee Guide from a coffee shop, Coffee Aroma Coffee House.
I also suggested they sell bagged beans in 250 grams not 150 grams.
Coffee Lab have a coffee club. An annual fee of £25, gives discounted coffee mid-afternoon, free entrance to evening events.
Something I had not noticed on previous visit, on the communal table at the back, leads to charge phones and tablets. I would have preferred a row of main outlets, plug in a charger, or usb outlets, but I can see if desperate, it could be useful.
Just time to walk down the side of the river, out into the countryside, around the back streets and back to catch the bus. Walking down the side of the River Itchen, what used to be the boundary of the Roman city, a door in a garden wall, a cat sat watching the river.
In the evening, it now appears they use their new fleet on the No 64 route. It appears to be the same as the Park and Ride slight different seats. Why use new fleet. At a guess, more fuel efficient, better passenger satisfaction. Both have usb charging, in addition to wifi. This time I notice a blue light glowing, which I had not seen before. Maybe indicates working, in which case, previous bus trips not working.
There needs to be more information on the bus on thse usb outlets. What for example the output? If we assume 1A per usb outlet, that is a lot of amps if we add in all the seats. I noticed what I had not noticed before, two usb sockets. I would be reluctant to plug in an expensive phone or tablet. Is it sourced from battery? If from a generator, could be very dirty supply. On the other hand, most vehicles these days have a lot of electronics, including on-board computers, therefore would need very clean power supply. I would only use, if no other option, and desperately needed to use phone or tablet and battery was dead or dying Maybe better to use to charge a power block, then use power block to charge phone or tablet.
Alighted one end of Alton and walked through the town.
Said hello to Peter in O’Connor’s Secret Garden. He said they had a wedding party. That was ok, as I was not stopping. He confirmed that The Old Curiosity Shop had closed.
Chips off the fish n chop shop near the station. Avoid. They had been fried hours ago.
The Station Cafe is now in new hands. The curry looked ok.
Wednesday night Bikers Night. Very few bikers around, many leaving as I arrived.
Excellent service in Waitrose. As always, puts to shame the piss-poor service in Waitrose Farnham and their appalling stock control.
Aldershot Station, just missed a bus. 25 minutes wait for next bus. Early this month, for about a fortnight, a gang of drunks hanging around the bus station. Not seen them for a couple of weeks. They are back.