THE storms that heralded the beginning of 2014 were followed by more storms and then more. The wettest January since records began was followed by a February that seemed to consider that a challenge. All manner of interesting coastal features were washed right away and I, not confusing ‘’suicidal’ and ‘intrepid’, remained in London and followed this on the news.
MY TUESDAY morning began with waking bright and early and devouring an excellent full English breakfast. I then checked out of my hotel and went in search of a shop that could sell me water for my walk. It wasn’t a difficult search on account of the hotel receptionist having already told me where to look. As I ventured outside, I found myself once again stepping around the Blackbird Without Fear.
ON MONDAY morning, as most of my friends were commuting to work, I was arriving in Ilfracombe by bus, having already ridden the overnight coach from London to Exeter and then the first train of the morning to Barnstaple.
ALTHOUGH I very much wanted to do another walk yesterday, my finances are dwindling and so I was in some doubt as to whether I should. Imagine my surprise then, when I found that by buying advance tickets (which restrict you to travelling on a specific train) I could travel First Class more cheaply than Standard Class.
WEDNESDAY’S walk began with an almost traditional start insofar as, having set off to catch the last night bus at just before four am, I got to the bus stop just in time to watch its rear lights disappear down the road. While this did throw my timings into disarray, it also felt reassuringly familiar. Also, In the end, it made just an hour’s difference.
FOLLOWING last Saturday’s fun and games, in which I came interestingly close to not so much shuffling off this mortal coil as slipping from it, I decided that I would continue my excursion around the Kentish coast. After all, the weather forecast was ‘sunny intervals with rain later’ and I still had more lovely cliffs to walk, with their slippery-when-wet clay topsoil.
As it happened, the rain didn’t even try to make a showing until after I’d come down from the cliffs and for this I was glad because one or two of them were quite scary enough as it was (I don’t like heights all that much and at a couple of points there was about a foot and half between the edge of the path and a very long way down.