Well it won’t be a true reflection of my journey if I don’t record my experience of being ‘grounded’.
Having realised that my days were numbered I had already concluded that the right thing to do was head back down to Cornwall (where I ‘live’ when not travelling around the UK and more importantly where I am registered under a GP) and planned to make the long journey home on Wednesday.
However Mr Johnson put us into lockdown at 8.30 on Monday evening and so after watching this extraordinary announcement, a moment of shocked reflection on the enormity of the worldwide situation and a little bit of packing, I tried to get an early night (though I can’t say that I slept well with all that was buzzing around my head!).
We got up early (for us) on Tuesday and started to prepare for the long journey ahead. By 9.30, I was enjoying my first and last cuppa of the day with Poppydog walked and fed and the van pretty much ready to hitch and go, as I idly watched the Site Wardens wandering from unit to unit advising us that the site would be closing with immediate effect and we needed to be on our way as soon as possible!
How surreal and eerily silent this all feels!
As any of you that follow my blog, will be aware, I rarely travel more than 50 or 60 miles, as we potter slowly around the UK coast, so the thought of the 420 miles ahead of us was rather daunting! I have to say that in my rather fanciful imagination I was expecting road blocks and all to confront me on my way! And at least a row of tanks to greet me on the Cornish border!
As it turned out of course, no such drama, a lovely calm sunny day and incredibly quiet roads – so much so that at one roundabout I actually forgot I was towing, my apologies to the car driver that I ever so slightly cut up! It took us 8.5 hours including just the one half hour stop around Bristol.
Poppydog was brilliant with not a murmur all the way. We snuck into our little holiday home site where we have a small chalet just as the sun dropped below the horizon and were tucked up in bed asleep within the hour!
A lovely bright sunshiny day, but wow a seriously cold blast of wind running along the beach. Today we headed to Holme-next-the-sea a small village just around the coast from Hunstanton, to pick up from where we left off yesterday. There is a car park, chargeable, but we were lucky enough to squeeze into a bit of roadside parking for free! I don’t know why I have become so obsessed about parking for free but I have! Beyond the dunes this fabulous beach lay waiting….
The sand is soft but with quite a lot of stones in it and quite a few people out, no doubt, like me, enjoying the opportunity to get out whilst we still can! As we head off in a North easterly direction the wind is ferocious, making walking into it, as we are, quite a challenge and just to add to the mix, blasting a fine layer of sand with it!
Fortunately the tide is far enough out for us to walk on the wet sand away from the low flying soft sand and save Poppydog from a sand blasting!
Here the beach resembles a moonscape and dodging the pools distracts me from the biting wind. After a couple of miles or so we reach Gore Point, where the beach inclines towards the east and Holme Dunes Nature Reserve begins.
After a quick foray inland where it is much more sheltered from the wind, we decide to about turn, admit defeat to the wind and save the next bit of beach to another day…
What a fabulous parting shot as we rejoin the beach at Holme Dunes and get blown by the wind all the way back!
A bit wet overnight and for our morning walk but brightening up by lunchtime with a mostly sunny afternoon. Today we are off to explore Old Hunstanton, parking up on the roadside above the cliffs in Hunstanton. Taking a quick look at the ruins of St Edmund’s Chapel on St Edmund’s Point with a glimpse of the Lighthouse through the archway (all that remains)….St Edmund, King of East Anglia from 855 was beheaded by the Vikings in 869 for not renouncing his faith, his head was tossed into the forest and later recovered by his men at the feet of a wolf who was keeping it safe! And so we have a wolf….We then took a closer look at the Lighthouse, closed in 1922 and now an holiday home…Before walking down towards this fabulous beach….
A short way along the beach, beyond the dunes and a collection of pretty beach huts, sits the flint stone village of Old Hunstanton…
Continuing along the beach a fairly deep (wellies ok but walking boots not so) divides the beach and we are forced to stay on the inland side (the tide is coming in and I certainly don’t want to get caught out!
Our turning point is Holme-next-the-sea where marshlands stretch in front of us before a stretch of low tide beach and the sea.
On our return we are trying to stay ahead of the rather black looking cloud that seems to be coming our way…
We don’t quite make it but it is fortunately short and sharp and though we get wet, the following sun and ever present breeze soon sorts us out again.
We even linger a while to watch the kite surfers – crikey they must be cold!!
A delightful 5 mile walk and home to find out what Boris has in store for us today.
A grey day but a dry one so all is well again. We are headed back into Heacham today but I am not paying silly money to park the car again (£2 for 1 hour!), so we parked in the centre of the village by the duck pond and walked the mile or so down to the beach. To our left is South Beach….
And to our right is North Beach and the start of the promenade that will take us into Hunstanton.
The tide is high so we choose to walk along the promenade rather than along the soft sand and stony beach and actually quite enjoy looking at all the beach huts that line the promenade….
These beach huts sell for around £10k (£50k less than those beauties at Wells-next-the-sea!) – I think they are great but prefer mine with wheels!
Not sure yet how much beach there is at lower tides – we’ll see. How fab are these zigzagging groynes?
Soon the beach huts where replaced by bigger holiday properties and caravans as we arrived in Hunstanton. The beach is still a mix of sand and stones but the tide here comes in further.
We continued to walk along the front – the cafes and amusements are starting to come alive for the forthcoming season – you can’t help wandering whether this will be a short term effort? We walk as far as St Edmund’s Point saving Old Hunstanton for another day.
A very pleasant 7.5 mile walk and not a drop of rain!