Another truly magnificent day of walking.
Today’s walk, a bit longer than yesterday’s, brought us to Hayle.
We’re staying at a very cute little B&B called the Mad Hatter. It is decorated very brightly in a Alice in Wonderland motif. No stuffed monkeys glad to say.
I’m writing this in a lovely sheltered Tea-Garden that is catching the sun’s warmth. An excellent place to relax after a fairly easy day. We stated with a bit of upping and downing but then the path held level around cliffs and bays until we came to the biggest beach I’ve ever seen. We climbed down to the golden sands. Removed our boots to cross a swift stream running across. Then enjoyed a few kilometres of bare foot walking. All this before lunch.
We ate on a grassy knoll above the sand then continued down the beach for a few more kilometres. On the way we stopped to watch a school group of ten and eleven year olds have a surf lesson. I paid close attention should I ever take leave of my senses and decide to try it out!
Just before we climbed down onto the beach we walked past a rocky cove below some cliffs. Our path being at the top of the cliffs, we had a view down to the bottom. There were signs posted asking people to please whisper and to not let their children shout or dogs bark. We noticed numerous people gazing intently down into the cove. Creeping quietly closer we looked down. Sea. Rocks. A couple of seals. We couldn’t figure out what the church quiet was about and thought we’d laugh out loud it all seemed so odd. We walked on towards a car park. At the exit of the car park was a more detailed sign.
All this hush was so we didn’t disturb the seals basking 30 metres below. I guess English seals are sensitive souls. Can you imagine people tip toeing around our West Coast seals. It seemed a bit ludicrous.
Pat and I have been discussing a slight ambivalence we feel towards this path. It is the longest path in Britain. Shouldn’t we be “getting” our usual sense of excitement and inspiration? It is very scenic. It brings us past Iron Age forts, 19th century mines, sites of terrible ship wrecks, through quaint villages and the scenery is stunning.
I think our quandary is because the path itself has no cultural, historic or spiritual significance. The last section was opened in 1978, the purpose being to create a lovely linked long coastal trail. We aren’t going anywhere for any reason other than to walk along. Nothing wrong with that. We are however used to having a more defined (significant?) purpose.
As I was walking today I puzzled over what to do to make this, a more meaningful significant experience. The thought came to me that I have three dear friends who are in various stages of struggles with cancers. Hideous meaningless arbitrary illness.
So friends – Brenda, Philip and Fed – this is no longer a meaningless walk along a pretty rugged coast. This walk is for you. Every time I feel a bit tired I will think of your more urgent fatigue. Every time I feel an ache I will think of your more significant pain. Every time I feel the joy of the moment – I will wish that joy on you.
Cheers from sunny Hayle