Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Changing Times on the Coast Path

Day Forty Three - Sidmouth to Seaton 16.7 km (10.4 miles).
Time on route 4:40hrs, walking time 4:20hrs.

Friday 22 September 2017
Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 01.10.17
I fancied a two day'er but as my back/knees are a little fragile I decided not to overdo the distances for the next two legs.  I drove down to Seaton and caught the bus back to Sidmouth to begin.  Ooh, I hadn't spotted this mural before at Sidmouth Triangle.  Bet that's them pedalling up Peak Hill.
20170922 1_Sidmouth 25.58
I set off along the promenade, dodging dawdling holiday makers and ascended the cliffs.
20170922 1_Sidmouth 30.56
As ever, such wonderful views from the top back towards Sidmouth, and a chance to catch one's breath.
20170922 2_Looking back towards Sidmouth
The whole of today's walk was labelled "severe/strenuous" in the guide book and it certainly was hard work initially.  This photo doesn't capture the sheer drop and climb ahead of me.
20170922 3_Salcombe Mouth
After another climb it was a sharp descent to Weston Mouth, and a satisfying crunch across the shingle trying not to focus on the 150 m ascent dead ahead.
20170922 5_Weston Mouth
At the top of Weston Cliff I spotted a nicely painted trig across the field but I couldn't drum up sufficient enthusiasm to warrant detour to hug it.  What is my world coming to?  It's TP6843 in case anyone is interested.  It has been adopted in memory of a Royal Engineer/Ordnance Survey employee hence its beautifully maintained condition.
20170922 6_TP6843
Also up on top of the cliff was a field containing my nemeses.  However, since I'd bypassed a trig without hugging it, I figured I could ring the changes again by marching through the middle of this lot.
20170922 7_Moo 8_1
So I did.  And they gave me a stiff ignoring.
20170922 7_Moo Butt
I eventually dropped down into Branscombe Mouth and came across the anchor of the Napoli that grounded offshore here in 2007.  I recall taking my girls down to the coast to view it.  They were young and trusted my every word then, believing me when I pointed to the two halves of the ship and said "now, there on your left is the 'Nap' and on the right is the 'Oli'".  I wouldn't get away with that nowadays.
20170922 9_Branscombe Mouth 02.21
I stopped for tea at the lovely cafe there then headed off upwards again.  I was rewarded by my first view of Portland Bill (hard to see in the photo, but it's there, honest).
20170922 8_Portland Bill 4.37
Just after this, the path sits under the cliff top and meanders through the entrancing Under Hooken for a kilometre or so.  And then, at Beer Head, Lyme Bay really opened up and I saw my first view of Seaton.
20170922 11_Lyme Bay
I marched down into Beer. What a lovely row of cottages.
20170922 10_Beer 1.06
And doorway: two of my favourite things - stained glass and a compass...
20170922 12_Beer in the evening  5.49.50
I didn't spend long there as I was staying there that night so left Beer and headed onwards.
20170922 10_Beer 4.07
As it was low tide I was able to take the coast path route along the shingle.
20170922 11_Seaton 38.18
The rocks are soft enough that tiny grains of sand (presumably) have made small holes in them.
20170922 11_Seaton 41.07
Seaton promenade has some interesting sculptures.  "Waves shape the shore".
20170922 11_Seaton 51.48
And "Shore shapes the waves".
20170923 1_Seaton 10.33
I drove back to Beer and overnighted in their Youth Hostel. Cheap and cheerful, but not terribly sociable.  I'd sort of hoped that a hostel would have interesting people loafing around all evening with whom I could chat, but the interesting ones obviously headed out and I was left with with the middle-aged lady (comme moi) drinking earl grey tea and knitting (pas comme moi).  Ah well.

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