For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Sunday, 26 September 2010

From Hartland Quay To Marsland Mouth


I left an eerily quiet Hartland Quay Hotel and continued south. It's just as well I started early, for the day was a long and tough one. But the steep and numerous climbs had many compensations: not least, the view from the tops. Stunning vista followed stunning vista. Can you see the island of Lundy again on the horizon?


I was now more than a week into my trek, and that day, the eighth day, was one of the most scenically dramatic so far. The terrain had become wilder, the cliffs higher, the rock architecture more jagged and ribbed. Looking inland, there was still much purple heather and yellow gorse to be seen, which provided a pleasing, colourful contrast with the landscape's prevailing greens and blues...


Here I'm descending through the heather and gorse to Welcombe Mouth. You can see a tiny waterfall just below the car park...



And this is the waterfall close-up. Note the interesting rock structure with its horizontal strata and lines of erosion...



I pressed on. The weather was good and I was feeling quite energetic. The next dip led down to Marsland Mouth, where, quite unexpectedly, I came across a renovated writer's hut, a writer I'd vaguely heard of but was soon to learn more about...

12 comments:

Bonnie said...

Incredible views Robert. And the heather covering the cliff top is so very pretty. You always leave me wanting more.

The Solitary Walker said...

That's it, Bonnie! And thanks. To be left wanting just a little bit more, rather than being stuffed with too much, is always preferable, I find. And, often, less is more, anyway, isn't it?

George said...

Great photos today, Robert. Loved the gorse and heather, as well as the coastal shots. As I enlarged the photos on my screen and looked at them, the thought occurred to me that I would not have to set aside six weeks for the entire South West Coast Path. I could just do a couple of weeks here and there. Based upon what I've seen from your photos, I would be quite content to just have a couple of weeks doing the first leg of your trip.

The Solitary Walker said...

Indeed, George. Most people just do the odd week here and there. Or even complete it gradually over weekends. I was very privileged to be able to do a lot of it all at once. A two week chunk would be a great experience.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love that part of the country Robert - lucky you.

Friko said...

Thank you for commenting on my poetry blog.
My solitary (dog) walks cover few miles but are nonetheless very interesting, stimulating and bring me much joy.

Come and walk the Shropshire Hills, they must be practically on your doorstep. There are at least three walks that I know of

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, Friko, Shropshire's an area I do know a little bit, and have camped and done several walks there - the Wrekin, the Stiperstones, the Long Mynd. Those Malcolm Saville books set in that area fired my imagination when I was young.

Timecheck said...

Robert, I apologize if I missed this in your earlier postings, but are you reserving accommodations as you go, and if so, how far in advance?

The Solitary Walker said...

Ralph - I reserved by mobile phone as I went along - perhaps one or two days in advance. Mainly B&Bs, guest houses, inns and cheap hotels. I always managed to find somewhere - even in August, but maybe I was lucky. Sometimes the B&B was off-trail - but in such cases the owners were usually more than willing to pick me up in their car, then drop me back on the path the next morning. (All part of the service, they said!)

Much of the accommodation is walker-friendly, and the South West Coast Path Association do a guide book which lists campsites, B&Bs etc at the back. (Though pretty soon I tore out and threw away the route guide part of this book and only kept the useful accomodation list. Purely as a walking guide, the one by Paddy Dillon and published by Cicerone Press is much clearer - and has maps and pictures! So I subsequently bought this one.)

Tramp said...

Gotcha!
You're keeping up a cracking pace. Time for a sit down when you get to that writer's hut, I think.
...Tramp

The Solitary Walker said...

I'm glad you've caught up at last, Tramp. Now we can both have a well-deserved rest in that hut.

Grace said...

I enlarged the second photo to look at the falls and noticed the round stepping stones crossing the water by the car park. Love those little details.