Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Day 7 - Puncknowle to Seatown. Tuesday 9th. Sept.

I used the wet walking shirt as a pillow and it was dry this morning.

There was no breakfast available. I do have some biscuits and things but didn't bother. I trudged back over the hill and down to the café on the shingle from where I walked inland last night but it was still closed at 9:15.

More Chesil shingle for a mile or so was hard going. Your feet crunch deep in, and the pebbles are uniform, the size of sparrows eggs, and there is no traction as you push off with each foot.

Relief came at Burton Bradstock (bacon butty and pot of tea), a little idyllic bay and sandy beach, with a huge, highly organised café and parking arrangements more suited to the Olympics. Despite the end of school holidays it is still so busy - all the retirees have come out of their home hibernation and are making good in this unseasonal heat wave. The walk is now developing a pattern of near deserted, exhilarating cliff top walking contrasted with commercialised bays with intense populations of motor conveyed day trippers.

A steep climb out of a Burton then cliff tops and a descent took me to West Bay, a full scale town with a proper harbour, and again incredibly busy. From here quite serious ups and down brought me to Seatown.

At the pub I was trying to ask about accommodation when I was interrupted by a Dutch girl clutching a laptop and quizzing me about what I was doing - the pub was fully booked and the girl then told me about a lady with a room just up the road. We exited the pub for directions and the girl spotted an elderly lady and shouted. It turned out the girl was part of a Dutch TV crew making a documentary for Dutch TV about England and they had some interaction with this lady, and as a group with colleagues of my guardian angel we wandered a couple of hundred windy yards up a track to a hidden wood built bungalow with a blue painted wooden annexe attached which was my room. It was like fairyland. Some time later a guy appeared who I suspect was the son of the elderly lady and told me I was the first person to be using this newly established facility.

I am now in the Anchor having had a smoked haddock and salmon gratin dish and some local ale - all good stuff. I will try and find more details to publicise my little retreat. There are pretty good self catering facilities, a huge double bed and a shower, but the wc and washroom, fully appointed with washing machine and ironing facilities is in another wooden hut thirty yards back down the lane, but the whole set up is quirky, attractive, different and certainly appealing to me.





The harbour at West Bay


The steep ascent back onto cliffs from West Bay


More cliffs ahead


Looking back east - that is only part of Chesil Beach!

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5 comments:

High Horse said...

Oh Lord! Is Sir Hugh about to have a documentary made about him and his glorious quests and adventures? Will he become a household name? Offered a spot on, 'I'm a Celebrity' and 'Desert Island Discs'? I had better get the red carpet ready for his return just in case!

Sir Hugh said...

HHS -The thought went through my mind but they were just packing up.

High Horse said...

Shame! They missed a trick there!!!

Mark said...

You always seem to land on your feet Conrad, unexpected finds like your 'hut' can make a trip, I think.

Sir Hugh said...

Mark - in all the trips I have done I have never failed to find some shelter for the night, and generally I don't book ahead. The worst scenario is having to put up an already wet tent in pouring rain. You have to be prepared to do that to complete some of these long distance challenges, so now I prefer to invent my own routes - at the moment there is no pressure to complete the whole of the SWCP, I am just using part of it as a tool and can please myself.