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

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

A Sombre Place And A Stiff Climb

After that first night's wildcamp, I spent my second night in a Lynmouth B&B. I showered, then had a couple of beers and a fish supper at the Ship Inn. Lynmouth's a sombre little place in the rain. For yes, on waking the next morning, the weather had turned, and sporadic showers - sometimes heavy - were forecasted for the whole day. Thus the pattern was set for my complete trip: one or two days fine, one or two days rain, as successive fronts of high and low pressure hit England from the Atlantic throughout the month of August. Here's a view of Lynmouth's tiny harbour ...


Lynmouth - which huddles at the foot of cliffs at the confluence of two river gorges - was wrecked by a devastating flood in August 1952, killing 34 people. I felt, especially in the morning rain, that a morbid atmosphere still lingered on, so I put Lynmouth gladly behind me and tackled the back-breaking, zig-zag path up to Lynton. It was unexpectedly steep, and I kept stopping to catch my breath. Had I really become this unfit since my walk across Spain? At the top, I followed the Victorian-planned North Walk towards the Valley of Rocks, and on the way encountered some very docile feral goats ...


Here's part of the spectacular Valley of Rocks ...




And here's the coast path cutting through heather and hugging the cliff to Combe Martin, where I spent my third night, in the welcoming and reasonably priced Royal Marine Inn ...

9 comments:

George said...

Sounds and looks like another great day, Robert. The photo of the Valley of the Rocks is stunning, and the heather-laden coast path beckons me as I write. I look forward to more posts on your trip. If I cannot take the walk now, I can at least enjoy it vicariously.

gleaner said...

If your blog was a journal or magazine I'd be a reader! The photos and accompanying stories always make me feel like I'm there (or want to be there).

There is something very special about walking cliff paths along coastlines - the meeting of the powerful forces of earth and sea. The docile mountain goat adds wonder and is gorgeous!

Timecheck said...

You and Susan are gradually bringing me around to hiking in your neighborhood. My view of England, Scotland, Ireland has always been rain, rain, rain. In the rain & windswept Patagonia, Englishmen were the sturdy hikers who persevered, being used to such circumstances.

However, your images are green, but beautiful, and so far, do not depict the misery of a long wet day.

Tramp said...

Good to see you on the move again. I'm with you every step of the way.
We cycled along this coast in 1979 during the storm that caused so many problems during the Fastnet yacht race. It can certainly be a wild place.
...Tramp

Luiza said...

Beautiful coastline, it must have been magical to walk this way once you caught your breath. I love the heather it reminded me of being around Rabanal on the CF or the Yorkshite Moors. I love to 'travel' with you. Thanks SW.

fireweed meadow said...

Thank god that goat was docile with horns like that!

The Solitary Walker said...

George, I think you may have to do that walk one day...

... and Bella, to say that my writing & pics make you feel like you're actually there is such an amazing thing anyone could ever say, and I'm truly humbled...

Ralph, err, it does rain, I'm afraid - see my latest post! But don't let that put you off. It's a magnificent walk. Hope both you and Susan are well - and congratulations on the completion of your recent hike! I have often thought of our Camino 'meeting' a few years ago...

And Tramp... and Luiza.. thanks, as always, for reading...

Fireweed - that goat was an absolute charmer!

Bonnie said...

What glorious photos!! Love the last one with the heather hugging the mountain all the way down to the sea. Aren't you blessed to live on an isle laden with so much beauty and history!

Robert, I am doing an interview series of fellow bloggers and am hoping you will consent to do one. I am simply using a compilation and adaptation of questionnaires from Pivot and Proust, with a few of my own sprinkled in for good measure. I do not see an e-mail address here on your blog, so am asking you in this comment. Could you e-mail me letting me know if you would consider this? You can see an example in my current post - and a new one goes up tomorrow.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Bonnie. I would be delighted to take part in the interview series! Email to you already sent.