ISLE OF WIGHT, ( Never in the plan but would be a shame if i missed it) October 2014

Ok dates have gone right out the window so bear with me, gonna put all the Isle of Wight in the one post and just put things as i can remember, i may put things that are real, i may make things up, i may put nothing at all,
Day 1.
think i put the journey in my facebook page but a quick recap.
Got to Southampton about afternoonish it was dark anyway, didn’t have the foggiest idea where the hell i was or how to get to the ferry, asked about four groups of people at the bus station, they just looked at me like i was mad , googlemapped it and started heading in what i thought was the right direction, it ‘s all a bit weird in the dark, finally found a fella who knew where he was going and followed him to the ferry terminal. After the carry on of getting a ticket out of the machine i finally got meself seated in the lower class section, (this was the only section), then the frickin videos come on about the loss of your life, which i knew was going to happen anyway, probably in the deepest bit of this bit of water.
So arrived in Cowes pretty dry as it happens and went looking for the campsite that i looked up on tinternet yesterday, wasn’t there of course so asked a couple of.

blokes outside of a pub, turned out i was on the wrong side of Cowes , no bugger told me there was two bits, so i went where they had directed me over the chainlink ferry and found the campsite, it was shut so rang a bell, knocked on a door but no answer, free night camping then, not that it meant much as everything was shut down, showers, toilets etc. Not a bad night though, probs could remember not pitch under a pine tree in future though, pine cones are a pain in the arse.

DAY 2

Really felt like crap this morning, hardly any sleep cos i pitched up on a load of pinecones believe it or not, but hey onward and upward so set off for wherever was next, no plans as usual just take it as it comes.
First stop was a supermarket, Waitrose or Summerfield can’t remember which an don’t really care, they had grub and fags that’s all that mattered . From here the way was blocked along the coast so i had to head inland. This was because of those royal knobs who take up a lot of OUR land and then charge us to enter it and place it under the direction of the National Trust, never understood this crap, so anyway i set off inland to get round the Osbourne Estate, no luck bumping into either of them but yer can’t have everything, turned out to be a canny walk though. I crossed over the bridge at Wooton and headed back towards the coast, well nearly anyway, the path still went inland slightly at Fishbourne but i caught the odd glimpse of the sea, i passed a huge abbey called Quarr Abbey then past Ryde golf course, the sun was shining and it was quite hot, couldn’t believe this was October, i found a bench and sat down to have a snack when a bit of a weird happening occured, it felt like an earthquake, sounded like one as well, but no one else was giving a shit, they were just taking another pot at the holes, never did find out what it was. Headed down to Ryde seafront and was still a bit peckish so popped into a cafe for a sausage sarnie and a cuppa. Then went to find a shop for some blister plasters as i could feel one forming on me big toe, needed more water as well as food for tonight so stocked up them also, i headed back to the sea and was just in time to catch a hovercraft coming in to land, do they land or dock ? whatever they make a racket doing it anyway. So onward, had a lovely walk along the seafront to Bembridge bay where i spotted a beachside cafe, a licensed one he he, so plonked myself down at a table for an hour and had a couple of pints, i got talking to an old guy who ran the fish and chip hut next door about my walk when out of the blue he asked where my Ukulele was, didn’t bring it i told him, turns out he’d been looking on my blog while i was sat there, he disappeared inside and came back out clutching a guitar, there you go try and make a bit of money he said while i do you some fish and chips, only thing is i’ve got a mind like a sieve when it comes to playing guitar so could only remember two songs, Helpless by Neil young and Dylan’s Knocking on Heavens Door so twanged an mumbled my way through them and made 14 quid ha ha, i think they were paying me to stop lol, had me fish and chips and the guy say’s i want to show you something, he got out his phone and brought up some photo’s of ukulele’s that he makes from driftwood, absolutely beautiful instruments, i asked him how much they were and he told me he usually gives them away to friends. I was going to ask him to be my friend but thought he might see through that one he he. Set off over the stone walkway that crosses the harbour and down the road on the other side, there was houseboats lined up all along the harbourside, some you could rent out as holiday accomodation, they looked fantastic but probably fantastically expensive as well.
I rounded the headland and the path went through a housing estate for a while, must have been a reason for this i suppose but i always feel weird and out of place when walking through housing estates with a 60 ltr rucksack attached to me back. I’d had about enough walking for today so had a look on me map for suitable camping spots up ahead, i found two, well i thought there was two, well there was really just that they were both the same place whitecliffe holiday park separated by a road, one half for statics the other for tourers and tents, of course the touring bit was half a mile inland, i wouldn’t normally have bothered but i needed a shower and it had started raining and i needed somewhere i could go for a pint knowing my tent would be safe which was really the main reason he he, so paid me £9 and pitched up, had a shower and off to the pub, had Guinness on special offer at £2.50 per pint so had a few of those and a bowl of chips and spent an hour trying to find my tent, think i walked past it twice, finally found it though, got in and broke the zip on the outer tent, bollocks it was raining as well, still it had Velcro on it as well so wasn’t to bad .
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Cowes in the morning

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Road walking around the Osbourne estate.

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Mushies by the side of the road

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Wooton harbour

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Ryde

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The walkway across Bembridge harbour.

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Houseboats on Bembridge Harbour

Day 3

Rain this morning, not the really heavy type, more the drizzly shitty type that just wants to soak you, didn’t want to get up but forced meself, there was a sheltered seating area near the reception so emptied my tent of all it’s gear and dumped it there then uprooted me tent and carried that over to the same spot, I’d just got ready to go when a bloke popped over for a chat, an hour long chat, by the time he’d finished I was thinking of pitching up again.
I headed over the road and through the statics back to the cliff tops. The rain was getting a bit heavier now and the path was muddy and puddly, I had to straddle the path in a few places on the way up which was interesting, once on top of the cliffs I followed a path over the downs and past an abandoned holiday village, although the path was more of a disused road it was flooded so I had to walk on the verge which was very muddy and very slippy, I was doing all right till I took my eyes off the verge to look up and went into a breakdance and ended up flat on me arse, just my luck that there was someone walking a dog behind me to witness it all, I’m OK I said to no one in particular and dragged myself off the floor like nothing had happened, it had though I’d pulled me shoulder and it was absolutely killing me, the dog walker passed me with a cheery exclamation of how slippy it was, I just smiled through clenched teeth and sort of grunted. By now the rain had turned torrential but as i headed down into Yaverland i could see a cafe on the prom that was open so went in there and had a couple of cuppas while i waited for the rain to ease up, finally after an hour it eased off slightly so i appologised for the puddle i’d left and headed along the prom to Sandown. The rain started up again just as i reached a pub so thought i’d better have a pint and wait for it to ease up again, just as i sat down the sun came out so quickly downed my drink and headed off before it started again, just as i reached Shanklin the clouds opened with a vengence and i found myself trapped in a seafront shelter, after half an hour there was no let up so made a run for it to the Waterfront pub for a bite to eat, i thought they might not have let me in as i was absolutely drenched and leaving puddles all over but the barman was great and sat me down next a radiator to dry off, once i’d finished me grub and pint the rain had eased off slightly so set off again, i couldn’t get much wetter anyway. I headed up the signposted path onto higher ground, this coastal path is very well signposted by the way, and headed on through the rain to Ventnor. I used to work at a hotel not far from Ventnor many moons ago so i knew there was quite a few camping spots along the cliffs, i chose one for it’s approximity to a shelter just in case i got rained out, only thing was it was right next to a footpath and i was getting a few strange looks, sod it i thought if i get moved i get moved, i didn’t though and the rain had stopped and i caught a beautifull sunset. So not a bad ending to a really crap day.
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Heading up onto the downs

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Sandown

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Sandown pier

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Shanklin

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Heading through the Luccombe estate
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Lots of landslips on the island

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Wishing seat on Luccombe estate, i wished it would stop raining. It didn’t

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Ventnor

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Seems like a nice spot, no chance of forgetting where i am anyway

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Sunset, maybe that wishing seat did work after all

DARTMOUTH TO STOKE FLEMMING TO PAIGNTON 19th july 2014

Started packing up at first light, tent was a bit wet and full of squashed snails under the ground sheet, wondered what the crunching sound was every time i moved, must have sent about twenty to snail heaven. Set off pretty early and headed up a woodland path to Dartmouth castle on the river mouth then a steep climb up a winding path through more woodland, nice but knackering at this time of the morning, the path went through a field full of cattle, really frisky cattle, as soon as i went near the gate they were giving me the evils, hate the bloody things, i went round a corner where they couldn’t see me and had a smoke, by the time i’d finished they had given up and headed to the middle of the field so i legged it through the gate and across the field, i think i should have turned off somewhere but i didn’t fancy upsetting the buggers so ended up on a lane that led all the way to Stoke Flemming. This is where i was ending this leg of the walk so popped into the post office for a pastie and headed for the bus stop to get the bus back to Paignton, unfortunately the buses were practically non existent so decided to walk back to Dartmouth, thankfully the moo cows had buggered off somewhere so had a safe walk through their field and back into Dartmouth, the ferry was just pulling in so headed straight over to Kingswear and caught the bus back to Goodrington, pitched up in youngs park again when it got dark for a few hours and caught the 5.30am Megabus to Bristol, cheap as hell these Megabuses only thing was i had to wait 10 hrs for the connection to Middlesbrough so found a park and had a kip on the grass for a couple of hours then just loitered around the city centre till my bus came. Been a cracking few days walking, can’t wait to get back on the South West Coast path again, not sure when that will be as i have a lot of work commitments and so forth, hopefully not to long. Or maybe it will be !

GOODRINGTON TO DARTMOUTH 18th JULY 2014

Bit drzzly this morning so had to pack my tent while it was still wet, the toilets were open at the far end of Goodrington beach so popped in there for a wash then set off up the path over a hill called sugar loaf to Waterside caravan park, me and my wife stayed in a small touring caravan here for a few month while working the summer seajson in Paignton back in the 80’s. I carried on over the cliffs to Broadsands in the drizzle, it was still early and the place was deserted apart from a council worker picking litter, at the other end of the beach the path went up and then round a small headland to Elberry cove, this place used to be packed in the summer months with water skiers and jet skis but there was just a couple of dog walkers today, probably due to weather, then again they’d be getting wet anyway, at the other end of the beach is what i always thought was a pill box from the war but after reading a blog by a lady called Ruth Livingstone who is also doing this walk i’ve learned that it used to be a bath house belonging to a Lord Churston, wonder if he had to walk far for a bath, you can find Ruth’s blog here
http://coastalwalker.co.uk/
The path went up some steps and followed the woods on the seaward side passing Churston cove and into Brixham, i sat down for a quick ciggy near the replica of the Golden Hind when i spotted this disheveled looking fella walking towards me, he was absolutely pissed out of his head and it was only about 10.00 am, of course he sat down next me and started telling me his life story, funnily enough i was quite interested, he told me was and alcoholic and that he had a flat up on the far side of Brixham and if i was stuck for somewhere to stay he had a couch i could use, i refused as i wanted to get to Dartmouth, no problem he said, i’m off to the off license for a couple of cans, before he left he shook my hand and wished me good luck on my walk, he walked away and left me staring at the five pound note he’d left in my hand.
I found a cafe a bit further round the harbour and had a quick pot of tea before carrying on past the breakwater and across breakwater beach, as i was climbing the steps at the far end of the beach i thought i heard someone shouting and turned round to see a young girl running up the steps towards me, here stop i’ve got some money for you she said breathlessly, she’d just ran across the beach and halfway up the steps to catch me up bless her, i thanked her and gave the thumbs up to the rest of her family who were sat on the beach before apologising for making her run after me. I headed on past Shoalstone point and up onto Berry head nature reserve, there are two forts here built to gaurd against the french invasion during the Napoleonic wars, there is also a cold war observance bunker. As i left the Nature reserve there was a detour inland at St Marys Bay because of landslides only a little one though,
The walk ahead was fairly straight forward, i rounded Sharkham point then down to Man sands a cracking little cove with just a couple of houses, then a steep climb back up onto the cliffs, this is where i met Olga the leggy blonde Swedish girl, then i came round, bugger of a climb that one.
Anyway onward and another up and down, this one had a bench three quarters of the way up though so i sat down for a couple of minutes for a chug of water when i heard what i thought must be cows stampeding through the gorse bushes, i turned round ready to leg it back down the hill and was met with five faces belonging to five Dartmoor ponies peering at me from the undergrowth, they just calmly trotted past me and down the hill thank god, i’m scared stiff of anything bigger than sheep and even they have had a go at me more than once. Once i’d rounded Scabbacombe head it was pretty straight forward, i met more ponies though galloping down the path, i managed to get out the way and stood behind a bench waiting for them to pass but the wee buggers decided to stay and munch grass, one em the black one in the pic took a liking to my rucksack and started sniffing round it so i very bravely told him off and grabbed it from under his nose.
I headed down into Kingswear and caught the ferry over to Dartmouth,i started asking round for a campsite but drew a blank so had a quick pint in a hotel and went for a bag of chips, it was dark now so i found this park with shelters and planned on decking out in one of these for the night but there was a few to many single men knocking about for my liking so moved right down the harbour where it was quiet and found another shelter so just put my mat on the bench and decked out, it started thunder and lightening a bit later on  no rain though so i just lay there watching the light show, then out of nowhere this Asian guy turns up and just stands there staring at me, he was about mid 20’s and dressed up to the nines, i thought he must own of the yachts in the harbour, so i said alright mate, nothing just stood there staring then walked about 10 yds past me and got on his phone, i couldn’t understand what he was saying as he was talking Arabic or something, so he hangs up walks back past me the way he came and sits down on a bench about 20 yds away, i kept my eye on him but he was just busy texting away on his phone, then i heard whispers on the other side of the shelter i was laid in, then all of a sudden another two Asian lads walk round from behind the shelter and do exactly the same thng, stand and stare, i give it the alright lads bit and this time got an alright back, would have been great but they were still stood there staring at me and now they were looking agitated, sod this i thought this is not gonna end nice, i slipped my knife out of it’s sheath and left it loose in my pocket, got up, grabbed me pack and mat and walked off as calmly as i could, i was absolutely crapping myself, after a hundred yards i turned round, now the first lad had joined them and they started walking after me so i turned up some steps and absolutely legged it, i thought the best thing to do was head back to the hotel and hope it was open, thank god it was so i went straight in and asked to use the toilets, when i came out and into the foyer i could see all three waiting just outside over the road, i don’t know if they had seen me going in the hotel but i wasn’t going out till they had gone, after about ten minutes they started  walking away so i had a look and they were about two hundred yards up the road so i legged it the other way, i eventually found somewhere safe to pitch my tent it actually looked like someone’s garden but what the heck, just got pitched up and it started thunder and lightening again this time with a torrential downpour, ah well not like i was going to sleep much anyway. I could have been wrong about these guys of course as someone pointed out, only thing is i’m 99.9% certain i wasn’t

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Goodrington

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Broadsands

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Elberry cove

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Fishcombe cove or could be Churston cove

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Brixham

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Golden Hind replica

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Cold war bunker on Berry head

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Berry head

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Military ruins

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St mary’s bay

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Diversion

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Man Sands

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Views towards Sharkham point

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Meee

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Dartmoor ponies on the path to Kingswear

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Gun emplacement at the mouth of the river Dart

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Dartmouth

DAY OFF PAIGNTON 17th JULY 2014

Must have rained quite a bit last night as my tent was wet when i woke up, i looked outside and there almost but not quite right outside my tent glistening and steaming in the morning sunshine was a  present left by last nights canine visitor, bloody marvellous, i couldn’t eat any porridge with that steaming away so packed up and headed into Paignton in search of Breakfast, i knew there was a Weatherspoons and luckily it opened at 7.00am so had a breakfast and a couple of cups of tea as well as giving my phone a boost. Now i had to think what i was going to do all day, i had no where to leave my pack so couldn’t really go far and anyway it had all my donation details on the back so wanted to keep it with me, only one thing for it then, do absolutely sod all, i didn’t have much money left anyway for all the touristy things like the zoo and fishing trips so had no choice in the matter really. First i thought i may as well sit on the green and dry my tent out, i actually fell asleep for an hour and was woken by a couple of ladies putting some change in my tin, my tent had dried while i snoozed so packed it up and had a walk over to Goodrington sands, i love this place, the first time i came was on holiday with my mam and dad then me and my wife spent a summer season living in a caravan here in the 80’s while working in various cafes and pubs, later we would return on holidays with my son. After a couple of hours i walked back over the cliffs to Paignton and lazed on the green for a while then got some grub (Cornish pastie and chips of course) then felt that thirst coming on, you know the one, the one only a pint of ale will quench, popped over the road to the Spinning wheel which was my old haunt from years ago, it hadn’t changed a bit really well apart from the prices that is, good job it was happy hour but still £3 a pint so as soon as happy hour was over i left and headed to my mams favourite place Henrys bar, i sat outside with my pack as it was quite full inside and got talking to the landlady about my walk, she asked if this was my first time in Paignton,  i told her i used to work here and come here on holiday and that this was my mams favourite bar in Paignton, she said she had ran the place for thirty years and would probably recognize my mam if i had a picture so i flagged one up on my phone and her reply was oh yes she used to come in with a gentleman quite a few year ago and sometimes a young couple i think there might be a photo on our wall, well i was pretty gobsmacked as the young couple would have been me and my wife, that is if she had the right people, i looked on the wall with photographs going back years but there was that many, i couldn’t spot my mam on any of them, we had a good natter though and i got a few pints on the house as well as a few more bought for me off some of the customers, i also got chatting to a couple of lads from Stoke who were down there on potters week (when the potteries shut down) they had me in stitches with some of the antics they got up to, it all nearly turned pear shaped though when an old gentleman came out of the bar and demanded i move my rucksack off a chair, even though there was plenty of empty seats he decided he wanted this one, i moved it anyway and as seen as he was sat at the same table as me and the two lads from stoke i tried to strike up a conversation with him, not interested i don’t want to know any of you he said, one of the lads asked why he sat here when there was loads of other seats and he just came out with a torrent of abuse, i could see this lad getting really pissed off with him and in the end he told the old fella to either move or shut up, so the old fella gets up goes into the bar then returns five minutes later and sits right opposite near a young couple, i asked him if he was ok as by now i was beginning to realize that this fella had some kind of mental problem but he just told me to fuck off and that he had reported me to the landlady, so i went inside and explained what had happened and the landlady said that she would come out and talk to all three of us shortly, as i was going back outside the young lady who had been sat next to the old fella with her boyfriend was running towards the toilet balking like she was going to throw up, turns out the old fella had been coughing up huge amounts of phlem, spitting it into his hand and flicking it all over the place, a huge dollop had found it’s way into the poor lasses hair, that’s when the landlady  kicked him out, she then came over and explained to us that he had been coming in for years and until last year had been a total gentleman and one of the nicest customers she had met, one night he didn’t turn up for his usual late tipple and she became a little worried so went to his flat but got no answer, next night was the same so she reported him missing, the police finally found him living rough 3 days later in Plymouth, he was eventually put into sheltered accommodation but keeps on disappearing every week or so, anyway this night she put him in a taxi and sent him back there, poor guy obviously has some kind of mental health problem, maybe Alzheimer’s or something so i did end up feeling sorry for him, glad i missed the phlem flicking though Uurgh !
Being a bit drunk myself i thought i better go and pitch up somewhere so said goodbye to everyone and headed over to Youngs park at Goodrington where i’d spied a good spot earlier in the day, don’t know if any of you have tried pitching a tent in the dark when your more than slightly merry but it’s not the easiest thing to do especially when you can’t find your torch, i finally got it looking something like up and crawled in and thats the last thing i remember.

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Preston beach

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Drying my tent on Paignton green

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Paignton harbour

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Paignton pier

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Goodrington beach

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Paignton harbour again

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Steve and Neil the two potters from Stoke outside Henry’s bar

DAWLISH TO PAIGNTON 16th JULY 2014

Had a great nights sleep last night, woke up to loads of earwigs crawling about, thank god they didn’t get into the inner tent bloody hate those things, packed everything away, brushed me teeth then set off towards Teignmouth, the tide was in so had to take the road detour instead of walking along the beach, it was a lot cooler today it even started raining for a while which was a bit of a novelty, once i reached Teignmouth i popped into a cafe for a cuppa and a sarnie, there was some toilets just behind the cafe with a shower so spent half an hour in there getting clean and using my shower gel to wash some clothes, i tell you a shower has never felt so good i could of stayed under there for ages. I went to look for the ferry over the river but it didn’t start running till 10.00am so walked up to the road bridge and over to Shaldon. This is where the fun really started, i’d been warned that this was going to be a bit of a nightmare of a walk and the warning was spot on, it was one steep hill after another all the way to Meadfoot, there was a few flatish bits through some woods but these were only short sections and it was soon back to the rollercoaster. I stopped for a pint of lime and water at a pub in  Maidencombe and bumped into a couple i’d met on the path earlier so had a bit of a chat and was bought a pint of ale, i also got chatting to a lovely woman who ran a cheese factory who put the word out about my walk on her facebook and twitter pages so thank you all for the help and donations not to mention the beer.The path turned inland at St Marychurch and followed a road to Babbacombe, i thought about heading down to the beach then thought again, i’d been down there about twenty five yeard ago and remembered how steep the road was so decided to give it a miss and head over the downs to Redgate beach and Anstey’s cove, there was no way down here beacause of landslides so carried on along the cliffs till the path joined a road to Hopes nose, i sat down on some steps near Hopes nose for a quick smoke and noticed a couple walking towards me, the lad asked if i was camping and we got chatting,  it turned out that he and his wife had been camping on Hopes nose for a few weeks while they were waiting for the council to find them temporary accommodation, today was the day they were moving into a b&b so they were just going to gather there things together, he also told me that they had been receiving a lot of nightime visitors and they had had to set up traps to warn them when someone came near to there tent, it really made me angry hearing their story, no one in this day and age should have to live like that, he did say that if he had a Roma accent he would have been housed straight away, i’m not racist by any means but maybe he had a point, any way i hope they are sorted out now.
So onwards and upwards, well not a lot of upwards as it happens the path was fairly even compared to the last few miles, i rounded The headland near Thatchers Rock and dropped down to Meadfoot beach then a small climb up some steps then onto a cliff side path that eventually came out onto the road to Torquay harbour, first stop was the chippy then for a pint in a pub overlooking the marina, i sat down next to a couple and we got chatting, i learnt there names were Mike and Deb, Deb had recovered from Skin cancer and showed me the scar on her leg where they had excavated an orange sized piece of her thigh, we exchanged a few stories of relatives we had lost to cancer, i won’t go into detail but man had she and her family had a rough time of it, i really felt for them, they asked where i was heading tomorrow so i told them i was planning on pitching up tonight near Paignton and having the day off there tomorrow, they themselves were going to spend the day in Brixham and suggested i head there and we could meet up for a drink, as much as i would have loved to Paignton holds a lot of memories for me, from childhood holidays with my mam and dad and two brothers to spending a couple of summers working there with my wife in our younger days so i had to decline, we finally had a hug and said our goodbyes and i headed off for Paignton, i found a good place to pitch up just before Preston beach, there was a lot of  no camping signs about but it was dark by now so i pitched up anyway, the only bother i got was from a dog that sounded like a cow sniffing round my tent and it’s owner shining a torch at me, they soon went though and i was sleeping like a baby in no time.

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Leaving Dawlish

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The road into Teignmouth

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Teignmouth pier

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Teignmouth from the road bridge

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Teignmouth from Shaldon

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First hill of many

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Looking towards Thatchers rock

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Woodland path

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Maidencombe

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Redgate beach and Anstey’s cove

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Hopes Nose

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Thatchers rock

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Meadfoot

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Torquay marina

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Ferris wheel at Torquay

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Mike and Dee

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Heading along Torquay seafront

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Goodnight

SIDMOUTH TO DAWLISH 15th JULY 2014

Got woke up by the sound of a dog sniffing round my tent and a woman telling it to get away from me thismorning, made me wonder if she was worried about disturbing me or worried i might eat her dog, looked at my phone and it was 6.00am so thought i’d better make a move. Once packed away i made my way to the west end of the beach then up some steps onto the road to pick up the coast path, the path followed the road inland slightly before turning back onto the coast but me being me i missed the turn off and ended up walking about a mile too far, i found a path near a car park further on that lead back to where i should be though so not to bad,  after about ten minutes of being back on the coast path i went the wrong way again and headed off down a farm track  instead of turning off for High Peak, don’t know if i need new glasses or what, got them from Specsavers as well, this time i backtracked and found the turn off and followed the path to Budleigh Salterton with hundreds of different types of Butterflies for company, just as i reached Budleigh the path turned inland again to follow the river Otter  then over a bridge and down the other side into Budleigh, i hadn’t  had a wash this morning as the toilets were still shut in Sidmouth so when i spotted an outdoor shower near the beach i thought i might as well use it and wash some clothes at the same time, got out my shower gell and stood under it fully clothed and  got a nice little lather going, once i was rinsed off i  plodded off down the sea front leaving a trail of water behind me to find something to eat, i spotted a beach side cafe so plonked myself down at a table to neck a sausage sarnie, i got talking to an elderly couple who asked why i was dripping wet, they were a little bemused when i told them why but the lady was really interested in my walk and was full of questions, the man on the other hand was only interested in who was paying for me to do this and i could see he wasn’t to happy at the thought of someone travelling around the coast for free, however when i explained that i fund this walk myself without any help from Macmillan he softened a bit, unfortunately he softened a bit too much and suggested i go round the other tables with my tin, when i explained that i never ask outright for donations he was having none.of it and stood up and shouted out to the other customers what i was doing, i have never been so embarrassed, people were just looking at this fella and then at me, they probably thought we were related or something, after he’d said his bit he and his wife left leaving me to apologise to everyone and explain that i’d never met this guy before, i know he probably meant well but i prefer not to try and pressure people into donating, not only does it look bad and desperate but people are quite able to make up there own minds about donating to charities without someone shaking a tin at them. So now i was fully clean and a little fuller i headed up the path out of Budleigh, it was still a scorcher of a day and my clothes were drying out pretty quick so at least i wasn’t leaving a trail of water behind me now, at the top of the path i seen an old fella decked out on his motorised chair buggy type thing with his legs slung over the handle bars and his hat pulled over his eyes, he looked up as i passed, nice day for it i said, fack orf he said, i facked  orf  over the cliffs towards Exmouth passing through a holiday park with an M.O.D rifle range right next to it, it was a bit strange to be honest, people were sat outside their caravans having bbq’s and there was all this gunfire going on right on the headland, i’m not talking a mile or so away it was literally adjoining the caravan park, very wierd. I soon reached Exmouth and by now my clothes were soaked through again this time with sweat, the beach was pretty packed and i decided to kick off my shoes and walk along the beach, this turned into a paddle in the sea but i just couldn’t resist and dumped my pack on the beach and went for a swim fully clothed, well it saves on launderettes, i also done a bit of advertising by writing my Facebook page in the sand, you never know it just might get a donation. I needed my phone charging up pretty desperately by now so popped into a pub for a lime and water and made it last as long as possible while my phone charged then headed for the Starcross ferry over the River Exe, luckily i just caught it as they were about to untie. Once on the other side of the River Exe i followed the road down into Dawlish Warren, it was still quite busy with holiday makers, i thought about pitching up here as there was plenty of grass but decided to head into Dawlish itself, unfortunately the tide was in or i may have been able to walk along the beach but instead had to go over a railway bridge then follow a path then road to Dawlish train station, i got a bag of chips and sat on the sea wall for a while before heading off towards Teignmouth to look for somewhere to kip, as i headed over the cliffs at Holcombe i came to a small park, there were a few dog walkers about but i managed to find a quiet spot and pitched up, after a quick brew i was ready for bed, been a cracking day, not mega mileage done but it was fun.

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Approaching Budleigh Salterton

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The River Otter

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Path beside the River Otter

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Geoneedle at Exmouth

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Boots off

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Exmouth

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Bit of free advertising

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Path to Dawlish

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Dawlish

SEATON TO SIDMOUTH 14th JULY 2014

Lovely morning again, getting really spoilt with the weather so far, not exactly great walking weather as the sweat just pours from you but rather that than rain anyday.
Set out from Seaton and made my way onto the cliffs over to Beer, the beach cafe was just opening so had a cuppa and a bite to eat, a pretty uneventfull day really so not much to write about, there was lot’s of hills though, too many in fact lol, when i got to Sidmouth i went straight to the Chippy then for a cuppa, had a walk around till it got late enough to pitch up on a play area that i spotted when i came onto the seafront, and that was about it really, sorry it’s short but it’s just one of them days where nothing happens.

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Beer

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Sidmouth