Walking 1004.9 miles from John O'Groats to Lands end in aid of Accommodation Concern! (starts august 3rd 2014)

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Absent!

Been to long away from the trail and it's starting to show.

Got a little poetic....

The trail.

To trek to hike to wander trail,
To see to feel to splendor hail,
A path you walk within your mind,
As distance and troubles both unwind,
The greatest salve for gentle souls,
The solitary path thru wooden boles.

To trek to hike to wander trail,
To touch to breath that misty veil,
A spectral land on mountain high,
Your realities trouble you can pass by,
The grandest challenge climbing sheer,
The fear of heights? you gladly sneer!

To trek to hike to wander trails,
To see the spray whip distant sails,
A border land tween life and death,
A coast ed by the briney depth,
A place no man truly belongs,
But of the sea oh so many songs.

To trek to hike to wander trails,
My soul companion with wagging tail,
His ready smile lifts heart when low,
His looks at me say go dad go!
But end of day with small tent up,
He steals my bed that soggy pup!

To trek to hike to wander trail,
Eventually this path must fail,
And as we wander homeward bound,
Amidst the bustle and the sounds,
Great memories of places been,
And wonders many yet unseen.

Thanks to my muse....you know who you are!

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Day 62 Job done jogle is complete!!!!

There and back again................. More to follow!!!

Day 61 heads in the clouds

The morning started darkly under a thick blanket of sea mist, we stumbled along the cliffs to Portreath with two steep cuts in the cliffs making this a tough start to the day. A quick stop at a bakery, then with visibility still nil we headed along the road towards Hayle, after eight kilometres of the road we cut across to follow the coastal path along the beach, largely still in mist this quite an ethereal affair! Until it started to lift as we approached Hayle for lunch, yet another pasty!.
Under the rail viaduct and along the roads to St Erth for a quick rest by the bridge, Alfie had short cooling swim here, he'd been struggling with the now hot day.
Following pretty footpaths and tree shrouded lanes we reach an overgrown path that with some confusion led us under the railway and then to Crowlas , through and up the hill to Ludgvan we have a great view of St Michael's mount and before it the valley I camped in on my way north in 2010!.
A little further up hill and we're at Ash farm campsite and preparing for the final day tomorrow! All things going well!!!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Day 60 tide and time!

Away from the campsite and into Newquay town, walking along the front by a stretch of parkland I come across a plaque stating 'The Barrow fields'  and that 17 neolithic burials were found here! Quite a park!.
Into the centre of town and a cafe was found for breakfast. Then on out of town to the crossing at a small bridge on the river Gannel a tidal bridge it turns out, and were a little early (PIC) forty minutes later and we're across and plodding uphill to Crantock a very pretty village in the glorious sunshine of the day!
Out towards pentire before cutting across Cubert common with many a wild flower around as we cross, through the dunes to Holywell , then around Penhale point and ligger point with spectacular views, until we reach the long and wide Perran Beach about three miles of flat firm sand into Perranporth for dinner.
Then hitting the road to make up for our wait at the river, we pass perranporth airfield on our right then descend into Trevellas coombe and the sill visible remains of its tin mining, so much tin must have been bought to the surface here judging from the remains left lying!
A steep uphill into St Agnes for a drink then across the fields and through green lanes to descend to Porthtowan before heading uphill again to find a good pitch for the night.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Day 59, From Doom bar to Doom bar!!

The previous nights wind and rain has passed by the time we wake, and there's early promise of good weather as we walk around the headland from Polzeath, the early morning sun is bringing out the white of the breaking surf beautifully around Treberthick point , to our right in the water is the much named Doom Bar peril of many a ship!.
Through the dunes to Rock and we wait for the ferry...... Until the harbour sign is read and realisation dawns that a flag must be raised to call the ferry!
A smooth crossing into Padstow for a good full Cornish breakfast, then provisions for the day bought, in the harbour is the pictured naval gun boat.
Quickly passing uphill and away from the coast we enter the softer environs of farm country, though as we walked up one hill we are surprised by finding a Druids home where he's created his own stone formation taking up all his garden!, plastering his home are the countless names of the famous inscribed on slate plaques who presumably have visited..... Princess Diana even.................!?!
Passing through a pretty wooded valley before climbing the hill to the village of Penrose in time to have lunch,while we bask in the sun swifts sweep around our heads probably urging us away from their nests.
On into the unimpressive village of Trenance, which can only be described as a carbuncle on the stunning cliff shrouded beach that brings the place it's income.
Up and over to Watergate beach and it's modern swath of building on yet another lovely natural attraction. Then onto the coastal path to Newquay watching many nesting birds on the cliff face or nesting in the shrubs holding the cliff tops in place.
A pitch is found at Porth beach touring park where our tents are allowed on one pitch! Allowing a bit of money to be spent on a pub meal and a pint of Doom Bar ale!! Excellent result 😃

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Day 58 oddly a good day!!

Up and packed from outside Boscastle YHA and a quick breakfast while looking at the flood levels of 2004, hard to imagine that being 11 years ago!! Although with the amount of rain we've had it's easy to see it happening!
with the forecast for extreme winds and heavy rain, the coastal path has been abandoned in favour of the coastal roads that run close to the sea, which makes for easier walking while still having excellent views!.
As you can imagine from that last paragraph the weather is not as forecast! There is some rain but it's mostly clear with an very cold wind, which means we are keeping waterproofs on today to keep warm! Even when it's sunny!.
Our first stop is in Tintagle for a cuppa with a quick look at the ruins of the castle (!?) Not to impressive!!. Before we head up and up and up hill along more b roads with lively views to our right.
The roads take us to Port Isaac for a late dinner and through its tiny twisting roads past the home of the TV character Doc Martin before heading uphill on footpaths with an of view of an art Rhinoceros on the hill... As pictured!.
The paths here are proving as easy as the roads with a nice easy walk to the quiet Port Quin before following the coastal path up and past a folly called a castle on Doydan point, more of an ornate tower rally! Nice though.
The cliff path is fantastic around to Polzeath where the weather changes just as we arrive, heavy rain and hail, only Alfie is caught in the hail though as we are stocking up on provisions! Poor little chap,!!!
Then a short walk around the surfing bay here before setting up camp with stunning views of the surf in the sunny periods between the rain!

Day 57 windy!

After a stormy night the morning started in much the same manner, packing away in the rain! This made unpitching quicker and splashing off down the road we soon entered Bude, an early cup of tea and bacon butty was breakfast at the much appreciated Grumpy's cafe.
Then up out of the previously unappreciated shelter of Bude, the winds coming off the sea and battering the coastal path were fierce!! After an hour of competing for progress along the path we conceded defeat and opted for the safer option of walking the minor B roads that hug this coast.
Still battered we enter Widemouth bay and seek shelter for a while as surfers prepared to do just the opposite and ride the waves of this fridged may day! Best of luck with that!.
The roads continued in a constant battle of up and down following the chaotic strata of the local geology, this is the norm for this area, but at least the sky cleared of cloud even as the penetrating cold wind continued to batter us whenever we left the shelter of the high Cornwall hedges that line the tiny roads here.
By lunchtime we reach the gorgeous bay of Crackington haven, although the wind still batters this area, happily a cafe allows dogs here so with Alfie in tow we dig into our first Cornish pasties, excellent!
From here the roads constantly push steeply up to the sky, only levelling out after a few hours of walking. Turning off the road into a byway we encounter a film crew preparing for an episode of Doc Martin although I didn't spot any familiar  actors.
Finally the roads start to make a general descent towards Boscastle where I end up camped outside the youth hostel... Which are still dog unfriendly but happy enough for us to pitch in there yard. Not a bad end to the day.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Day 56 passing the end!

Our wild camp in a cow field worked perfectly! We were packed and away just as cows started to mill around the gates of our field, perfect timing !
Over the style and across the A39 to follow the old road tabandoningo Bucks Cross before heading west towards and into Woolfardisworthy , mixed feelings getting here after abandoning the trek here last October! But a quick breakfast from the shop I visited last year soon had me back on route and finally past this nice little village!
Taking a route along roads south west , meant we constantly dodged tractors as they cut and harvested the local meadows, many a mile was trod this way till a break was taken in this beech wood in the picture a lovely spot! Then it was on and into Kilkhampton for a great Sunday roast at the New Inn, out of town and another road lead us back to the coast with great cliff views, and spotting what may have been a Peregrin falcon! Strong cold winds off the sea meant we pushed in land just north of Bude to a campsite and it's take away meal facility was happily used!
Mostly under wind we settle in for the night..

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Day 55 back down the trail!

Away from the wild camp outside of Barnstaple, and making good progress along the coastal path in the sun with a cooling breeze. passing some coastal marsh I spy a huge jelly fish about 1.5 foot across!!! Very unusual!!
Into Instow for breakfast, we watch a naval frigate in for repairs across the water before moving on and passing the royal marine pontoon mentioned last year.
Across the bridge into Bideford for a cup of tea before heading uphill and out of town past the Big Sheep activity centre. Along into a village we find a dog friendly pub where we can get dinner...
Up again we he,ad along to Green hill farm before hitting the rollercoaster of the cliff walk, which proved just as difficult as last year! This time down to lack of fitness rather than exhaustion! Not that I wasn't exhausted by the time I reached the route I chose last time to escape the trail! Today we carried on to Buckshill through blissful spring flowers with fresh green leaves dappling the light around us! Stunning even in my tired state, getting into Bucks mills we head up hill to what is now an ex campsite, pushing us on to find A nice meadow by the road to pitch for the night.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Back on the trail seven months later!

Finally back on the trail!
I've taken the train down to Barnstaple and restarted one day up the path from my finishing point of last year,
The journey was fine with Alfie as ever stealing the show!
We're now after a chip supper at Barnstaple camped at the same spot I stopped at the river Taw last year...... Walking will start properly tomorrow.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Day 54 Wednesday 1st October

My expensive bed for the night hasn't  helped , I've tossed and turned all night and been running a temperature!!! i'm utterly exhausted.

I've paid for a breakfast so i'll eat it and hope

The cheery staff at the pub rally around and encourage me to keep going.....many thanks for that!!

The weather doesn't help, its raining ......i'm cold......i'm not happy......at Waterton i head in a more southerly direction to Cranford my pace is pitifull.

I stop at the next village a place called Woolfardisworthy, i sit and make a decision.

I'm stopping the walk.

I've over a hundred miles to walk and and the thought of continuing for another one mile is too much, if i carry on i'm likely to collapse.....

this walk has to be enjoyed!!

I ask at a village shop for directions to a bus stop for Bideford/Barnstaple its it right where i am!!!

by 6pm i'm home and glad of the horribly tough decision I'd made !

this walk is not over by any means!!


Day 53 tuesday 30th september

Up early to avoid any disgruntled farmers or cows come to that! and i'm back on the paved cycle track that the south west coastal path follows, lovely easy going although i'm a little foot sore here!. around Penhill point with a misty view over the river to Chivenor the royal Marines base! then crossing a bridge at Fremington i pass an old fortification  presumably an early sea defence?.
The paved trail takes me through miles of marshy land to my right and farmland to my left until Instow is reached with its Navy buildings, heading south from Instow another naval building with what looked like a fast response boat moored up to its pontoon was in stark contrast to the array of teddy bears tie wrapped to the fence keeping people away from the docks buildings!.
On and under the towering bridge that carries the A39 around Bideford, i come to an area marked accurately on my map as 'East of the water'. crossing to the west and Bideford proper  i'm in time for Lunch so a pleasant cafe supplies me with a good full English breakfast!
West out of town i pass the curiously named 'Ultimate Adventure Centre The Big Sheep!!' they have strange ways this far west!!!!
Passing through Abbotsham and out to Green cliff farm and i'm finally following the coastal cliff path, and my god this is hard going!!!!! constant ups and downs are taking what little energy i have! this is not good. three kilometers of this and i'm feeling shaky.....i make the decision to head away from the coast and up to Horns Cross where i sit for while on a bench at a closed pub.
In my exhausted state i'm still to stuborn to stop so i head west along the A39 to Hoops public house, where my exhaustion gets the better of me, i relent and this smelly wanderer takes an expensive room for the night with the hope a good meal or two will set me up again for the next day.

Bideford and the river Torridge