July 1995 - Hartland

Today was by far the furthest I have walked so far. At just over 10 miles on what the guide book describes as “strenuous”, this was a relatively tough walk. However, my 8 miles tomorrow to Morwenstow are classed as “severe” with the majority of the walk being climbing up and down cliffs averaging 150 metres tall. However despite the distance today was a brilliant day for several reasons. The first of which was that I was accompanied by one of my parents (and therefore my) oldest friends, a lady named Sue and her daughter Justine. Having their company really helped me to take my mind of the pain of my bag and instead really enjoy the walk; plus Justine carried my guitar for most of the journey which was a huge relief. Because of the longer distance, we set off at 8.30am and didn’t arrive at Hartland Quay until about 4pm. The weather was perfect, we were caught in the rain for about 20 minutes but apart from that it was sunny for the most of the day. I am wondering if I am starting to push my luck now, having 6 dry days on the trot.

However because of the company I had and the fact that the distance was greater, I didn’t actually have a chance to stop at all today to make any creations. There are a few days on my route which will be like this, so physically demanding that all of my creative energy and time will be used up in simply thinking about the process of walking, and the walking itself. However I did manage to take lots of photo’s which you will find below. I also came up with a few ideas in my head whilst walking, one is a style of storytelling which I’ll try out tomorrow, and the other is a game involving benches along the path and gambling!! All will become clear soon I hope! Part of me almost feels bad, like I am missing potentially important sections of my life, however the other part of me, doesn’t want to get so caught up in my past that I actually end up not paying enough attention to my present. So it was nice to just completely immerse myself in the very present landscape today, which was by the way absolutely breath-taking, whilst consciously thinking about my past, just not acting on it physically as such. I’m staying with an old friend and her boyfriend tonight in Hartland, we just got back from the Pub which was a highly unique experience as Hartland football team were there fresh from a 4 – 0 defeat over Ilfracombe! Needless to say the beer was flowing fast and the volume was increasing by the second. My pink watch, and socks and sandals (for travelling light) suddenly felt incredibly out of place. Off for some much needed sleep now, another big day tomorrow, fingers crossed the weather holds out!

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