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

Thursday, 6 December 2012

South West Coast Path. Day 2: Warren Point To Kingston

I stepped off the bus in Noss Mayo at 9.45 the next morning. The weather was grey and misty once more, though it didn't rain until nightfall. The journey from Plymouth had taken 55 minutes, but the bus had gone 'all round the houses' to get there. I admired the pretty settlements of Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers clustering on either side of the Yealm estuary. Then a fairly level, grassy path led me to Gara Point and Stoke Point and through another holiday park. I passed a prominent rocky tor on my left called St Anchorite's Rock.

Approaching the next estuary, Erme Mouth, the going became more strenuous. I knew that the ferry over the river Erme had suspended service for the autumn, so I'd arranged for a taxi to meet me by Mothecombe slipway at 2.30. I arrived with 10 minutes to spare. 20 minutes later and there was still no taxi. I wondered if it was waiting for me in the hamlet of Mothecombe one quarter of a mile up the hill. Sure enough, there it was. The driver was Eastern European and quite lost. Normally his routes confined him to the city limits of Plymouth. Now he was out in the wilds for the first time.

We set off along narrow, winding, steep-banked lanes in the direction of Kingston on the other side of the Erme, where I'd reserved a room for the night at the Dolphin Inn. The driver could not get his sat nav to recognise this isolated village, so I fished out my OS map and guided him. Eventually we arrived, though the fare was more than originally quoted because we'd taken a few wrong turnings. The Dolphin was friendly and inviting, full of posh, golf-playing, London types, but run by two brothers from the North of England. I ordered a steak for dinner — I felt like I deserved it as I had not eaten since breakfast — and it was very good.     

View from the coastal path between the estuaries of the Yealm and the Erme. 

Note the acorn marker, symbol of England's National Trails.

Impressive rock and cliff scenery.

The sandy Erme estuary, much wider than the Yealm.

The Dolphin at Kingston: 'Fine Traditional Ales, Quality Bar Food, Olde Worlde Charm.'

15 comments:

Carolyn H said...

I love the photos! Thanks for taking me along on your walk!

George said...

Great scenery! With family coming to stay for five weeks over the holidays, I am already feeling the call of the wild. Your photos and commentary inspire me to do more serious walking this winter, rather than waiting for the spring to arrive.

Rachel Fox said...

Solitary Walker in a taxi! Am disappointed you didn't make your own canoe out of your rucksack or something...
x

Grace said...

Thanks for sharing your walk with us. So beautiful.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for visiting, Caroline.

There's a good point here, George. We tend to be fair-weather walkers in the main — but there can be such an intense delight and challenge in walking in the late autumn/winter months.

:-) There are limits, Rachel! I wouldn't know how to make a canoe from anything, let alone a rucksack. My practical skills are not a match for my poetic skills (though may might may think they're both equally mediocre).

The Solitary Walker said...

I meant 'some may think', Rachel — my prose got a bit waterlogged there.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for reading, Grace.

Ruth said...

Fabulous how green it stays there even in November (unlike here). The terrain is beautiful and challenging to walk, I'd say. I bet the taxi driver had a pint or two when he got home. Wish I could pull up a chair at the Dolphin right about now. Funny how a meal can become a stand-out memory after a day like that. Inns are so delightfully welcoming on a cold misty day. Gorgeous photos!

The Solitary Walker said...

True, Ruth - a lot of greenery still around. Yes, it is beautiful, and challenging too (weather aside, the cliff climbs are arduous and relentless). The last words the taxi driver said to me were: 'Ah, I have learnt something new today!' Wish all of us blogfriends were there in the warmth and safety of The Dolphin right now, supping a pint and chatting, the storm raging outside...

dritanje said...

Great that you are back solitary walker! So good to read of your walking experiences - and non-walking ones too - I like the fact that your taxi driver learned something too(apart from the limitations of sat nav!)

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, dritanje! It's good to learn something new every day.

Susan Scheid said...

Such wild and wonderful scenery, and of course The Dolphin Inn's Olde Worlde Charm seems to describe it just right!

am said...

It brightens this dark December day to see such a beautiful landscape. Haven't done much walking in the past few weeks but usually continue to walk during our dark and rainy November and December. It stays green here, too. Lots of walkers out walking daily. Today I saw a pair of wood ducks swimming in the rain.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for visiting, Susan. Good to see you again.

am — yes, keep on walking, all through the year, whatever the weather. That's my philosophy!

Goat said...

Nice pictures, the coastline is just as I imagined it when I was planning on incorporating part of this walk into a LEJOG walk.

But nothing will kill old world charm for me like a sign proclaiming its presence!