Friday, March 27, 2009

Speke's Mill to Cornakey Farm 18th March

As we trundled on our way from Speke's Mill, Tim spotted Mr Toad here! I awaitBig A's specific indentification :-)

Mr Toad

The path was clearly marked and took us from cliff-top to clifftop. Tim will correct me but I think this was Nabor Point near South Hole.

This picnic table was just perfect and had amazing views in every direction. After another brief stop it was onwards towards Welcombe Mouth. It is really difficult to capture the steep tracks in a photo, but I'll try and include some that give you a little of the idea.

If you look closely you can just spot that picnic table - it seemed miles away from anywhere and was such a welcome surprise!

You can also see that the gorse was out, smelling of butterscotch and/or coconut depending on you nose, and there were primroses, violets, daffodils, and campion amongst others.

Welcombe Mouth

Welcombe Mouth was lovely and one of the few places you could get a car anywhere near to the coast. It was down quite a bumpy track - long may it stay that way! There were some more surfers and sunbathers soaking up the warm sun, and another lovely waterfall tumbling onto the beach. I liked this place.

Welcombe Mouth

Marsland Valley - the border.

On the way down the next valley is Ronald Duncan's hut. A poet who used this as aplace to write - it has the most glorious views.

Ronald Duncan's hut.

We were now nearing the boundary between Devon and Cornwall and I hereby give you permission to laugh ... loudly! Because by this time it was extremely hot, and I could feel myself burning in the sun! I had no floppy hat and decided to improvise. The only thing suitable was my little travel towel... and this was the result...

It was effective... but I doubt it'll catch on as a fashion accessory!

Looking back to Devon

As we looked back to Devon, we could just spot the Writer's Hut on the top of the hill.

Marsland Cliffs and Devil's Hole

There were more wonderful cliffs and then across the valley we could see Cornakey Farm where we were staying that night. We walked across the fields to receive another warm welcome. We had walked about 12 miles and were both a lot happier about our Packs - it certainly made it a lot easier to carry less - even if only a few pounds.

Hartland Point to Speke's Mill 18th March

Wednesday morning was bright and beautiful, with a lovely light and marked shadows. There was no chance of spotting Lundy today though as the visibilty was very poor!

Upright Cliff

The rock formations along this coast are stunning!
Near Dyer's Lookout
Tim took me on a little detour along a beautiful valley path to meet these trees.
Trees near Blackpool Mill
We both wanted to do this part of the walk again as it was so stunning, in fact Tim had walked it in the opposite direction the afternoon before and had discovered these trees then.
After Hartland Quay we were on new ground again and skirted St Catherine's Tor which stands like a pyramid along the coast.
St Catherine's Tor
Our first proper stop for a bite of that brandy-laced cake was at Speke's Mill where this waterfall bounds in big steps down to the beach, and where several surfers were in enjoying the waves.
Speke's Mill Waterfall
Must do some work now to pay for all this tramping over the countryside - more later!!

Stage two - Bedford to Hartland 17th March

Well, here we go!

Stage two began, for me, on the early train from Bedford. If you have a through ticket to Exeter they let you travel on the early commuter trains so I didn't have to wait till 9.30! Therefore, 7.28 saw me trundling down to London with the suited and booted!I did get some odd looks with my walking boots and rucksac!

My intention was to catch the 9.06 from Paddington which would get me in to Exeter in time for a connection to Barnstable, which in turn would mean I could catch a lunch time bus to Hartland, meet Tim and then walk along the coast to the farm.

However, the train was delayed out of Paddington (the best laid plans...) although in the circumstances noone cared as there had been a fatality on the line earlier in the morning (at Culham) and folk were very sober.


In the end I had a couple of hours meandering around Barnstable, enjoying a pasty and caramel slice, and caught the school bus at 4.30 which arrived at Hartland about 6.

Yvonne and Tim came to collect me, we got to the farm, dropped our bags and ran (almost) out to catch the sunset on Hartland point.

Sunset at Hartland Point

Simply beautiful. We had another excellent night's sleep and we set off about 9 next morning on the path we had walked before to Hartland Quay.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Back home from Stage Two!

Book One is complete...

I've just arrived home, and will settle to write up details of the walk from Hartland to Padstow over the next few days. Suffice it to say, it was brilliant and we are suntanned!

It's good to be in touch again!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stage Two!

Over the last week or so it has been good for the soul to see lighter mornings and evenings - in fact, today it is beautiful - blue sky and bright sun and it's going to be up to 16 degrees :-).

I am so keen to be walking again - Tuesday is the day which, hopefully, will begin with an early train journey to London. It's the exact reverse of the journey I had back; travelling on tube to Paddington, train to Exeter, a little train to Barnstable, and bus to Hartland. Tim is hoping to meet me there about 2.30 and we're going to walk back along that stunning piece of coast to West Titchberry Farm. I haven't had time to do any walking for a week or so, so may find I'm even stiffer this time!

I have managed to reduce the weight in my pack, although it is still a bit heavier than I would ideally like. The cake was such a success last time, that I've made another... (going to give Tim his half to carry this time!!) I would like to take the little flask again but it adds the best part of another pound even when empty!

I have been so relieved this week, to have stopped teaching, because Lincroft has another Ofsted. I've been in to lend a hand with preparation - it's on Weds and Thurs, but it just creates such stress levels - I am so glad to be out of it! Please spare them a thought - especially Phil - also folk like Susan, Katy, Hilary, Paul et al, who you may have met and who have specific areas of responsibility.

It has been good to catch up with Tim - he's been home this weekend, returning to Sheffield today.

Meriel's redecoration work should begin tomorrow.

Here's to the next blog will be from Cornwall!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I enjoyed another walk today, over to Sharnbrook but a different way.
It was lovely to see the river flowing fast by Pinchmill Islands,

and I spotted this house which looks as if it should be lived in by someone very rich and famous!!

The walk was about almost eight miles, and with walking yesterday, my legs noticed it. I was glad of the bath when I got back!

Tim and I have marked the 17th March for the beginning of the next stage and we begin again at West Titchberry Farm near Hartland Point. Roll on the 17th!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Golf Club Fire

I've just walked over to Sharnbrook and I came back through the golf course. There was a weird atmosphere, three men playing the course but otherwise deserted.

The clubhouse shows some damage from the front, especially when you look at the roof line,

but through the window you begin to see much more of the impact, this is looking through into the dining and bar area...

Then around the back you see the full extent of the fire.

Devastating, and upsetting to see close to - and they had just refurbished the men's changing rooms.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Food and fire

I was treated, last Friday, to a special meal. Phil had wanted to cook for me for my birthday but because I was away we put it on hold... so Friday was the day. He created a lovely meal of delicious delicate flavours, a Thai beef stir fry - I had eaten half of it before I thought to take a pic!

It was delicious - he is a superb cook - I could barely boil potatoes at his age!

The other main event was a fire at Pavenham golf club last evening. As Katy was taxiing children back from an after school meeting at Sharnbrook Upper to Lincroft, she saw flames and masses of smoke rising from the direction of the golf club, she rang to let me know. Just across the road from here is a little path that runs up the back of several house towards the church so I went up there, and there was a clear view of the fire.

There were several fire engines - at least 5 - and it looked spectacular (not sure if that's quite the right word!) because it was dark. The pictures come from the local radio website (Heart Radio). No reports of anyone injured which is a huge relief.
I guess it was fortunate that it happened at this time of year - because it was almost dark and there would have been noone around.