Today I would need to use my bicycle to cycle about 3 miles from East Titchberry – where I parked my car to Hartland – where I would catch an early morning bus to Bude. The cycling is quite easy although there are a couple of steep sections where I must get off and push. I lock my bike up to a railing in a small local car park.
The bus I am catching to all intents and purposes is a school bus, although it does take fare-paying passengers. The bus fills up with children, all attending the main high school in Bude. By the time we reach Bude and the School, the bus is full of school children. Other than the driver I am the only adult on the bus – I feel rather odd.
I call into a local convenience store and bought a Cornish pasty and some water. Although the forecast was for bright sunshine, the early morning weather was quite overcast – which was nice. I set off across the coast path, which was very easy-going. My first objective and you could not miss them is the large white radio dishes for GCHQ, which can be seen for miles around. The path seems to lose itself and me as I try to keep a respectful distance from the perimeter fence of the high security establishment.
I had counted about 12 “ups and down” on todays walk and with the sun now beginning to break through I knew it was going to be a tough day.
The sea cliff become quite steep and dramatic as I come upon Hawkers Hut, the little hideaway of the Victorian Poet the Reverend Robert Hawker, who used the hut for quite meditation and smoking opium. I met a Belgian couple at the Hut and we have a small chat.
As I descend a steep valley after Marsland Cliff, I cross the County boundary from Cornwall to Devon. It was sad to see Kernow go, I had enjoyed walking its coastal path immensely. I manage to avert the next two steep sections by walking along the beach, the tide is well out.
The sun is very hot now and as I approach Hartland Quay and drop into the Hartland Quay Hotel. I order a pint of bitter and drink it almost immediately, my second pint is a pint of Shandy. I meet a fellow walker, Brian from Yorkshire, who is also walking the path with his dog. We talk about walking and before I know it, an hour has gone. I bid Brian farewell and set off to complete the last 3 or 4 miles.
I set off towards Hartland Point and am amazed at the cliff and rock formations on display. I round Hartland point and begin walking due east. I am rewarded with great views of the Isle of Lundy, which shimmers in the afternoon heat out in the Bristol Channel. I eventually come to my turn off for East Titchberry. I complete the walk in 8.5hrs.
Distance today = 20 miles
Total distance = 834.5 miles