NB... When next on pc I'll add these words to bpase which is and will remain my primary website for walks and images.
Been back just over a week from two days walking and one night camping with Colin Ibbotson on the South West Coast Path.
I met Colin at Beer and we walked about 24km over 1350m of ascent to Budleigh in a relaxing 8 hours. Some of that was pretty steep! Of course Colin managed it exceptionally well. I managed it very well. I think...
The walk back to my car was 20km over 1400m of ascent in 5 hours! I stopped only once for a quick roll from the previous day, I didn't even remove my pack. I seemed to be on the charge!
I've walked that distance before at Cheddar, weekly, but Cheddar is about 800m of ascent, this takes in excess of 6 hours, with tea stops. Of course any pitching / videos add time. Then of course I chill out the next day! So this was totally new. Dartmoor is less than half this return distance over totally different terrain.
The differing measurements of distance / ascent are due to where we started and where my car was. We also walked around Sidmouth looking for food! I just blazed past on the return leg. I was stopped by a lady asking if I was doing the SWCP!
Rather than skip to the return, let's start at the beginning! I was standing at the top of the slip way when Colin approached, he saw me first and called out. Surprisingly he didn't leg it!
Bess and Colin got on very well from the get go and we headed up the road to join the South West Coast Path. Chatting was very easy and relaxing. The nerves I'd felt the night before and on the drive disintegrated immediately. Though there were still moments of sadness, even in company... These just follow me, losing a wife is bound to have this effect and I expect them.
The path was well signposted and good under foot, and certainly had steep parts!
The views were lovely. It was quite breezy in places. Colin spotted many potential camp spots along this section. Most with good views if a bit exposed! We walked past them all of course.
We stopped in Sidmouth for lunch, I had fish and chips. I also filled up my two 1L Platy bottles, placing in both side pockets of my MLD Prophet and my Gatorade bottles on shoulder straps. From here we headed for the cliffs over Budleigh.
Camp was good. I was "pleased" but "disappointed" that Colin could not improve my cuben TS pitch. See blog post. I pitched it pretty well in the end. Knowing it helped. For me it pitches one way only and Colin found no way better way. The silnylon TS rules. But I was plenty happy enough with the Cuben Trailstar!
A few people walked / jogged past, it was fingers crossed no one would complain! No one did. One man gave us the silent treatment. Another asked how long we planned to stay. We were there about an hour to an hour and half before sunset. Colin did say he'd have carried on by himself. I was surprised how far we had actually walked.
We chatted for a short while at camp but settled into out shelters quite quickly. Colin likes to get off his feet once in camp.
I cooked my boil in bag meal, made a tea, and just admired the view out the open front of the Trailstar.
I slept fitfully, it was both warm and raining and a little windy. I used ear plugs to help. I think I maybe nodded off around 3 am maybe. One thing I am aware of is making sure my mat / sleeping bag doesn't stray off my groundsheet. I think I'm too concious of this.
I woke about 6 am. Just chilled for a short while, and got out about 7 to make my porridge and tea. Colin left shortly after this. I then packed up and was gone by just after 8 am.
The weather was fine on my return walk. On reaching the car I made a cup of tea. Lovely way to end a great couple of days with a friend.
Bring on another walk with Colin one day in the future.