Quarter of the way there!

First of all, I’m really sorry about the lack of updates so far.I’ve been having some issues with my WordPress app, which I use for posting to the blog, which I needed time, a good WiFi connection and a degree of motivation to sort out. Because I’ve been walking slowly with my bad ankle, it’s been taking most of the day to get the miles done, and by the time I’ve finished I’ve just not felt like getting to grips with technology. But now I’m taking a day or two off in Padstow, so it’s time to sort it out!

I can’t believe that I am already a quarter of the way through my hike! 166 miles done out of 630 total from Minehead to Poole. The long distance hiker in me says “what, already?” in a disappointed tone of voice (so short!) while the wimp in me says “uurgh, 474 miles to go with this sore right foot!” The jabbing pain I got at first is less frequent now, as long as I place my foot carefully it’s just a constant ache in my heel, now complemented by a blistered little toe. Small niggles really.

But the scenery has been amazing. I hadn’t done any of the section around Exmoor before (Minehead to Barnstaple) so that was all new and exciting. The section since Barnstaple I did three years ago with Neil when we walked from John O’Groats to Land’s End, so this was our “grand finale”. We were doing huge daily mileages then, so it has been lovely to take it slower this time around, and also to see it at a different time of year. I’ve also enjoyed meeting a couple of hikers setting off from Land’s End to John O’Groats – I hope they enjoy it as much as Neil and I did!

I’ve been camping all the way so far, a mixture of campsites and wild camping. So I’ve had some very cold, windy nights on clifftops, some very dew-soaked mornings in valleys, and just the occasional night where I’ve slept well and woken to a dry tent. Another hiker who I’ve met on the path, Rhino, complained that wild camping was less romantic than he expected – don’t know about that, but at least the ground is generally softer than on campsites!

Anyway, enough words, here are some photos.

Bleak drizzly weather near Porlock Weir
Wild goats enjoying the early morning sun on the path near Valley of Rocks
I inadvertently chased these lambs about 50 metres along the cliff path, away from their mums. Much baa’ing ensued before the ewes went and found them.
Fog drifting onto the cliffs near Lynmouth
bluebells above the River Heddon
cove near Combe Martin
Cliffs near Morte Point
Woolacombe Sand – nice for paddling, but hard work if you’re walking!
Stormy weather near Clovelly
Lundy from Hartland Point
View from the pub at Hartland Quay
Just a non-descript section of the coast path so far – blue sky, blue sea, sunshine, a narrow corridor through the gorse, and the warm coconutty smell of gorse in bloom. Beautiful.
Near Rusey Cliff
Port Isaac, a very pretty fishing village – but when I went through, the one and only pub was closed for filming, bah!
A “wild” camp near Port Isaac – didn’t have to go far off the path for this one!
Sea thrift, and more steps …
Pentireglaze Haven in ominous weather

6 Responses

  1. John -Grey Wolf
    | Reply

    Tanya, what a great hike. I’ve got to put it on my list.

  2. Shelly
    | Reply

    Nice images. Hope you are have a blast moving slowly.

  3. Rita Savage.
    | Reply

    Seeing the name Porlock reminded me of my trip there in 1962, on the back of a moped – it stalled on Porlock hill. Not the easiest spot to try to work out what was wrong, or to push the machine uphill, or control it if going down. Lovely part of the world!

  4. Thomas Molyneux
    | Reply

    Great pics. Looks fantastic. Hope the foot issues disappear soon. Roll on the next 450miles!!

  5. Roz Savage
    | Reply

    Howard and I have just been catching up on the blog and photos. The pic of the steps and thrift is absolutely stunning! Definitely photo competition material.

    Glad the ankle is holding out. Selfishly, hoping that you’re going slowly enough that I might be able to come and join you for a day or so when I get back to the UK.

    Much love, Roz xxx

  6. Andy Hall
    | Reply

    Enjoying pictures so far

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