Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sidmouth to Budleigh Salterton

A couple of good long walks up over the hills and cliffs to Budleigh Salterton in what turned out to be better weather in September than we had most of the summer.

It takes about three and a half hours to walk the roughly seven miles to Budleigh though at this time of the year you are walking into the sun all afternoon, so it is a fairly squinty walk.

Over the first series of hills, those being Peak Hill and Higher Peak, and then down into Ladrum Bay with its interesting stacks and lovely clear water, we encounter a couple of very young looking children apparently skinning up behind the hedge at the caravan park. They look round rather guiltily and scuttle back to the death slide to smoke their spliff.

Ignoring the ice-cream shop in the hope of getting one at Budleigh we move on and past the abundant sloes growing in the hedges along the cliff edge. The hedges have all been recently flailed, destroying many of the lower fruits and making the rest hard to gather, though this still appears a popular spot for families out picking.

We meet a man who has been walking round the entire coast of Britain along the coastal path. He left Brighton heading eastwards and we meet him when he is on the last couple of hundred miles or so. It had taken him about three months which is pretty good going by my reckoning.

Along past the world war two spotter station situated at the lonely location of Brandy Point which would be a nice place to sit out a war, I should think. In earlier times this was used to look out for smugglers, of which there has always been plenty along this coast what with its isolated bays and beaches.

On past freshly ploughed fields and crops of corn growing up to the cliff edges the walker gets right to the beach at Budleigh only to find a river in the way, so a detour inland and up the river is needed to find a bridge to cross. This is not really a problem as the river is so pretty that it is good to see a bit more of it and it does have a lot of interesting birdlife, such as Heron, an Egret and some that might have been Canada Geese.

Finally we arrive in Budleigh Salterton, home of the young Walter Raleigh who isn't around at the moment, and with slightly achy feet we manage to find some fantastic and much needed ice-creams and sorbets. Yum yum!


Penny said...

Only love,
Can make it rain,
The way the beach is kissed by the sea.
Only love,
Can make it rain,
Like the sweat of lovers laying in the fields.

Love, Reign o'er me.
Love, Reign o'er me, Rain on me, rain on me.

On the dry and dusty road,
The nights we spend apart alone.
I need to get back home to cool, cool rain.
I can't sleep and I lay and I think,
The night is hot and black as ink.
Oh God, I need a drink of cool, cool rain.

so john, are you a mod or a rocker?

john said...

Cheers Penny

Thanks, what a lovely appropriate song, whoever it was.

Maybe I'm a neither, or an either/or. Am I an odd or am I a mocker? Still, I do hope that Love Reigns O'er Me, that is true.

Did anyone catch our Gordon Brown congratulating Hamid Karzai on his 'victory' today? Certainly a triumph for western style democracy and probably the sort of election Gordon would like. Oh wait! Gordon has already marched his men to the top of the hill, only to march them all rapidly back down again.

nobody said...

Surely that's Pete Townshend. And 'mockers' - exactly. Well exactly as per John Lennon that is.

Lovely walk John, thanks for that. Such spectacular country.

Penny said...

Yeah, Harmid Karzai's 'win' is really something to get excited about.

Sort of like the win in Mexico of el Presidente there.

But, it really is western style democracy at it's best isn't it?

All capitalism and cronyism.
And dam the fodder, I mean electorate

queenofthenile said...

So the stacks are the limestone(?) protrusions in the water? They look similar to the forms that lie off the coast of Victoria in Australia: the Twelve Apostles.

And sloes are fruit? I've wondered about them ever since I read Dylan Thomas' description of the sea as "sloe-black, slow black. . ." So what does a sloe taste like?

Lovely photos and lovely relaxing narrative draws me along the journey. I keep coming back to your blog so that I can go for a ramble in England again.

john said...

Cheers nobody

Ah Pete Townsend, I'd wondered who it was, and John Lennon eh? he liked a bit of wordplay too. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

Hi Penny

Yes fodder sounds right, our lives have never looked very valuable to the PTB.


The twelve apostles I'll have to look them up, another thing I don't know about Australia and I like a bit of geology which is one of the reasons this part of the coast is interesting. The red rock is Triassic sandstone and mudstone, very crumbley stuff which can be carved into with a stick. Then we have a layer of Upper Greensand also chalk. It gets a bit complicated around here.

The sloes are black alright and are used mostly to make sloe gin to drink at Christmas.

nina said...

This is just exquisite John. All of it, words, geography, the others met on the way, the sea ... the mural. I'm wondering if there is some little map tool available that would give us an idea of where there places are?
Oh, I have my atlas right here somewhere, but I'm not happy with it lately, its full of lies making one place look more productive and superior to another.
Being a huge Bronte sisters fan, I'm always trying to figure out from your works how far or close are these places to N. Yorkshire.
I always enjoy the visits here. Thank you.
And thanks for the song, Penny, I remember it well. It is perfectly appropriate for John's page just about anytime.

john said...

Cheers Nina and thanks, you are very welcome. For checking out the loctations such tools as google maps are very good as they have a satellite function for seeing the locations which I sometimes use for planning walks.

I used to have google earth on my old computer but I spent so much time floating down the Nile and suchlike that I decided not to install it again though it is endlessly fascinating. You are right there about the atlas though.

I am right down in the south west of the country which is a long way from Yorkshire although the moors we have at Dartmoor are similar landscapewise to the Yorkshire moors. Nowhere is very far away from anywhere in the UK though I do not travel around alot of the country very often.

As a horoscope once informed me; I like to travel a lot, just not very far geographically, which did seem quite accurate and there are hidden landscape treasures all over the UK and my own small area has more than enough to keep me interested.

Cheers for now.