I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Friday, 14 December 2012

South West Coast Path. Day 15: Chideock To Abbotsbury

The day dawned bright and cold with a slight frost. After an excellent breakfast at Rose Cottage in Chideock, I strode down to the shoreline. Here I'm on Seatown beach looking back at yesterday's route over Golden Cap.   

The tiny settlement of Seatown was almost deserted.

Although the wind had dropped, there was still a biting, northerly breeze on the cliff tops. I tackled several steep ups and downs...

... before descending to Eype's Mouth, where I noticed the obligatory caravan park. In fact it was hard to miss.

The next place was the undistinguished West Bay, which used to be Bridport's harbour (Bridport is a Dorset market town situated just inland on the river Brit). I suddenly realised I'd been in Dorset since Lyme Regis without knowing it.

I'd already passed three caravan parks, and now came to the daily golf course. The only thing missing was a military firing range. The green path zigzagged up a final cliff edge... 

... then levelled out on the approach to Chesil Bank. There are my backpack and walking poles resting against the National Trust sign.

Chesil Bank is a shingle beach 18 miles long, 700 ft wide and 50 ft high. It divides a conservation area of reed beds and brackish lagoons on the one side from the sea on the other. On the skyline you can see the Isle of Portland — not actually a true island as it's joined to the mainland by a stony spit carrying a road. Some of you may recall that this is the setting for Ian McEwan's novel, On Chesil Beach.

Evidence of the recent storms and flooding. The path alongside the shingle bank was very muddy, and sometimes completely submerged, so I was forced to walk on the pebbles instead, which was extremely hard work. 

The walkways through the nature reserve... 

... had disappeared under a foot or more of rainwater...

5 comments:

George said...

Great photos, especially the one of the settlement of Seatown. I appears that you might have ended your day with wet feet.

Vagabonde said...

Just read your two posts. I’d love to try the “Chideock Egg” – a Scoth egg with chorizo! We like chorizo in my house. I make a good chorizo casserole – from a recipe I found in San Francisco in the 60s. Talking about the 60s – I did see Ravi Shankar live a couple of time in California. Another great leaving us during December. So after reading your posts I went back to your pictures, enlarged them, and watched them carefully while listening to a record of Ravi Shankar recorded in London in 1964. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCJkjhNmsoI) It may not go too well with the Dorset landscape – but soft, peaceful music goes with soft, peaceful landscapes I believe.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

This blog speaks to my inner-dreamer! I think what you're doing is wonderful! May I follow your blog?

The Solitary Walker said...

More like aching ankles from the pebbles, George!

Yum, Vagabonde, that chorizo casserole sounds good. Do you put chickpeas or other beans in it, and, if so, what sort? I mourn the death of Ravi Shankar, and I'd think his music goes well with any peaceful landscape, as you say.

Hi Optimistic Existentialist — of course you may follow my blog! Thanks for your visit and for your enthusiasm.

Ruth said...

The contours of the land are utterly beautiful. Your photos are splendid.