Friday, February 27, 2009


Had to post something to get that picture out of the way!

Looking at the South West Coast Path website it seems we've walked about 86 miles, so with the odd diversion or two I guess it's nearer 90. I'm really pleased that we've managed so well so far...and can hardly believe we've walked that far! I've been feeling more tired today than I was straight after the walk so it may be catching up on me.

I popped up to see Meriel on Tuesday and viewed the extent of damage from the leaking roof.
bedroom ceiling
In fact, after much debate, and replacement of some of the lead and worsening of the leak, they discovered it was a leaking pipe which was set in a channel of the concrete roof.

Kitchen ceiling.
By then the water had reached the kitchen ceiling and cupboards, and all down the wall in the bedroom as well as round the windows! It took much effort to correct, but is sorted. Meriel now has to deal with the consequences! She has had a dehumidifier going constantly, and they've thrown out gallons of water, a new carpet will be laid (though she has the excess to pay!), but first it will need redecorating.

I had great fun taking a stanley knife to the carpet, cutting into small sections to put in the bin. It was incredible to find that under the carpet, which by now appeared dry, the underlay was still wet! Anyway, that's all binned now so the room should finish drying out more quickly. It has been a real disruption and nightmare to live with - fingers crossed that the redecorating is done well and quickly so life can return to normal!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Clovelly to Hartland Quay 19th Feb

Just to prove we were both still there!

I left you on the path to Hartland with the robin, well this was one of the most beautiful parts of the walk - the cliff formations are a Geographer's dream, Tim had been spotting raised beaches and hanging valleys for days... now it was my turn to enthuse over the contorted strata!

Hartland Point is the home to a very large golf ball - it did cross my mind to see if I could get Tim to stand with a stick in hand as if he was teeing off to Lundy... but unfortunately (or fortunately!!) no appropriate sticks came to hand - his baby umbrella just didn't have the right look!

Lundy is about 12 miles off the Hartland Point and there was this little poem that we enjoyed..

... and this is what we saw...

After we had reached the headland and seen the lighthouse (land slips on the road meant that access to the lighthouse itself is barred), we headed for our B&B at West Titchberry Farm .

Yvonne made us so welcome and after a cup of tea and delicious home-made cake, sent us off to walk to Hartland Quay without our packs.

It's about 3 miles and it was getting near to sunset so we had to get a move on ... but what was wonderful was that we could go so quickly. We came to some steep steps up a cliff and Tim said "You go first 'cos you're a bit quicker than me." Off I went and couldn't believe that I was at the top so quickly. I turned round expecting to see Tim far below... and he was right behind me! Not carrying our packs had freed us and we were amazed at the difference. Carrying about 2stone extra weight really slows you down! This gave us food for thought.

The views were another delight, and really warrant far more time. we were astounded at how far we could see.

If this pic will open for you... have a look at the coastline, see it disappear, and then to the right of the patch of sunshine, see if you can spot what looks like an island. Tim said immediately that it was the Penwith Peninsula - beyond St Ives. After studying it closely, and looking at maps and Google earth I'm certain he's right. An absolutely incredible view.

Yvonne kindly came and picked us up from Hartland Quay, and we returned for soup and a bath(me)!

It had been such a fabulous day, and after some thought Tim and I decided that this was the place to stop. Yvonne had tried to arrange our next stop for us but all the B&Bs were full and we were faced with 15 miles to Bude with very difficult walking. The decision became easy. Yvonne dropped us off in Hartland itself next morning and we were homeward bound.

The plan is that we meet back at Yvonne's and take up the path from Hartland Quay. I'm hoping it's not too long before we begin again - with streamlined rucksacs!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Clovelly to Hartland Quay 19th Feb

Westward Ho! had been the best night's sleep... this was the worst for me. Outside my window was a very bright lantern, the curtains were thin and the bright white light shone all night... I could read by it! In the morning, after a sleepless night, there was only one thing to do - show Tim the card I'd been carrying for just such an eventuality... (thanks Jac!)

Don't wake the beast...

and show you the offending lantern!

Looks innocent doesn't it!

I felt like throwing things at it at two in the morning when I still hadn't gone to sleep... and when I actuallly did fall asleep, I woke up an hour later - I must have thought it was day... but it was only 4o'clock etc etc. I was not a happy bunny!

However, the sight of breakfast cheered me, and we were soon off again, slipping (literally) over the damp, early morning cobbles out of town!

What a gorgeous walk this turned out to be - we saw Angel's Wings,

and walked out to the most amazing viewing spot, peering over sheer cliffs,

past more wonderful trees...

spotting waterfalls,

and marvelling at the contortions of the cliff faces. It was stunning.

Often on our walk the sociable little robin would flit along in front of us, I managed to click this one!

Westward Ho! to Clovelley 18th Feb

We passed through Buck's Mill, another quaint little place and headed on for Clovelly,

through wooded areas - this tree is simply amazing -

and on till we glimpsed Clovelly far below us.

This part of the walk is along Hobby Drive which gently winds its way down to the top of the village, and it is for most people, a gentle stroll, but both of us found this walking difficult. Downhill, on solid roads, even when a fairly gentle incline, was knee-achingly hard.

Tim stretched further and further away into the distance as I stumbled along behind - my excuse was taking pictures... but I actually found it tough going.

However, we arrived in Clovelly and were pleased to find our next abode DonkeyShoe Cottage.

DonkeyShoe Cottage

The cobbled street is very steep and you have to tread carefully as it becomes very slippery in the slightest damp.

After we dropped our packs at the B&B we headed down to the quay and had a Devonshire Cream tea, which was yummy, and after, as we walked on the quayside, spotted a porpoise! Fantastic, and 'early' according to the locals.
There was also another lime kiln, and this lovely explanation (you will be tested on this at the end of the walk!)

Again we ate a delicious celery and stilton soup (I have the recipe!) at The New Inn, and then headed for bed.

Westward Ho! 17th/18th Feb

At Westward Ho! we once again received a very warm welcome, this time from Peter at his B&B called Brockenhurst. This was a beautiful old house with many original features.
I loved the way the latch doors locked, just by lifting and sliding in a little metal peg,

and this clock had the most delicate of chimes, a lovely gentle sound which made you smile.
Peter and Kim have two lovely dogs who were very fond of Tim, and they also housed rescued battery chickens which were happily scratching away in a run in the garden and producing eggs for breakfast.

Westward Ho! itself had lovely views up towards Saunton and Braunton Burrows

we discovered over the next few days that Saunton Sands Hotel, the huge white building in the distance, was visible from almost everywhere!

There were also these colourful little places...

Peter extended his hosting duties to arranging our next stop at a place in Clovelly. We had our evening meal at the pub across the road - The Village Inn - and can recommend it for lovely food, I wolfed down a chicken waldorf salad and Tim another delicious soup, both served with piping hot rolls!

We enjoyed our best nights rest so far and were ready for the off at our usual time. We had an easy section of walking to start with, along the disused railway track,

we skirted the cliff top along shingle beaches,

we encountered some muddy stretches,

and the fascinatingly shaped trees continue,

I'm certain this one holds great stories!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Woolacombe to Saunton/Westward Ho! 17th Feb

Some might be horrified at this, (especially Alastair!) but we decided to walk as far as Saunton, then use the buses to get to Westard Ho! Neither of us were keen to walk the length of Braunton Burrows (especially without you, Alastair) and decided we could miss the Tarka Trail estuary part, and we'd pick up again from Westward Ho! So purists among you look away now!

We began by walking across the beach on the firm sand, which was a lovely way to start the day.

Tim's sense of humour was still alive...

some of the path was severely eroded

and he loved this little coastguard lookout station.

We walked around Croyde bay and ate our roll (delicious onion baguette from the Londis shop) and cake. I'd baked a cake (see an earlier entry) specially for our walk, (lacing it liberally with brandy as is only right) and cut and wrapped it in clingfilm for our lunches. It was yummy and usually very welcome!

We met a muddy section of the path as we came round the headland into Saunton, with wonderful views over Braunton Burrows, and caught the bus into Barnstable, and then on to Westward Ho!.

Woolacombe 16th Feb

How about this view for breakfast? Staying at Sunnyside House with Clive and Jan was just what we needed to rest and recuperate.
Clive and Jan with Tim on our final morning.
The views are glorious, and having a good rest made us feel so much better, and ready for the next stage.
My room was lovely, and the view from the window was stunning, I sat on the windowseat and enjoyed it as part of my resting!
This is the view of Morte Point from Woolacombe beach - a two and a quarter mile stretch of golden sand!
We were feeling quite refreshed after our rest day, and ready to tackle Baggy Point!