I AWOKE last Sunday to the sound of rain and headed out into the almost-darkness of early twilight. I figured that where I had left the coast path at the southern edge of St Clears (Sanclêr) was about a mile away and so it should be just before sunrise when I actually resumed walking that path.
And it probably was. But the sun was nowhere in sight.
I AWOKE on the Tuesday morning to the sound of pattering rain. The skies over Cardiff were heavy and grey. Undaunted, I prepared for a third day of walking in wet weather and soon bounded out of the door of my hotel, having eschewed their meagre breakfast offering.
Dy’ Sul, my a wrug kerdhes dhiworth Aberplymm dhe Logh (ha dhiworth Dewnans dhe Gernow ynwedh).
Or, in English…
On Sunday, I walked from Plymouth to Looe (and also from Devon to Cornwall). Although technically I didn’t actually walk from Devon to Cornwall as that bit was handled by the Cremyll Ferry as it crossed the Hamoaze, the estuarine part of the River Tamar.
I WASN’T planning to walk last weekend. Instead, I thought I’d rest my tired knees, which were starting to complain, in an achy sort of way, about the billion or so steps I’ve recently forced them up and down. No, I decided, this weekend I will stay home.
THE actual Bank Holiday Monday began with me lying awake in the small hours wondering if the drunken youths in Weymouth would ever, just for one minute, stop shouting at each other. The cheap and cheerful hotel was rather more central than the previous week’s B&B and in consequence was subject to external noise. All. Bloody. Night.
SATURDAY’S walk marked the first occasion on these coastal perambulations on which I have not completed a section purely as a day trip. A friend, whom we shall here call ‘Alice’, has asked me several times when I’ll have to stop day-tripping and start staying over, and the answer is apparently now.
I HAVE to admit that, as I lay awake at night listening to the wind drive intermittent sleet against my bedroom window, I wondered if the Met Office’s forecast of ‘sunny intervals’ was perhaps a tad optimistic and that maybe I shouldn’t get up early to catch a train back to Hastings.
It was admittedly still bitterly cold when I did catch that train, and indeed had not stopped being so by the time I got to Hastings at around 9 am.
ORIGINALLY, yesterday was not going to involve any walking as I already had plans. But then I got to thinking that my plans mostly involved the evening and, if I got up really early, I could also go for a walk. Which is how I came to be catching a train at the ungodly hour of not quite six in the morning. Even with this early start, the complications of a Saturday service and multiple connections meant that I only arrived at Whitstable at about 8 am. I immediately made my way back to the harbour, which is where I left off last time.
YESTERDAY, I had a plan to get up bright and early and perambulate part of the Saxon Shore Way from Gravesend to Strood in Kent.
Not out of the blue, you understand, but as part of a wider project. I have long wanted to walk the South West Coast Path, which is some distance from me (I live in London). But then, I wondered, could I walk to the SWCP?
From there it was a short mental step (and a promise of many physical ones) to wonder why I should stop there? A vague intention to walk the coast of Great Britainemerged. Well, more-or-less; I’m no purist about these things.