Day Two

Date : April 18th 2015

IMG_2405Time : 10 a.m. (near as darn it after stocking up with provisions from the Walberswick Deli; we meant to make the most of this opportunity, there won’t be many more like it on this trip)

Location : Walberswick  (well done Merty for cooking us supper last night and sending us on our way again)

Aim : With 12 1/2 miles already in the bag we were optimistic for a big old day

Walberswick to Southwold was a relaxed and relatively uneventful start to day two, apart from taking our life in our hands as we crossed the fair way on Southwold Golf Course. Saturday morning golfers take no prisoners. Stole a couple of chip forks from Southwold Pier in order to consume our lunch time salads and leisurely watched a beach hut being lifted up in the air by a crane (assume the occupants were still asleep).

IMG_2411Headed off along the Suffolk Coastal Path to be met with triple whammy of coastal erosion, county council footpath closure signs and the whims of a cross local landowner.

IMG_2414 IMG_2413 IMG_2418As a consequence there was an extraordinarily large diversion inland that involved a lift from aforementioned Merty who was keen to point out that he was trying to mow the lawn. The Dunkirk spirit turned into sheer bloodymindedness when faced with further footpath closures – trespassing ensued along with a lot of muttering about ineffectual local authorities and power mad land owners. If I didn’t know better I could have sworn the inner rambler in us was taking hold.

IMG_2421Any road up, eventually we made our way along a really quite bucolic track towards the coast at Covehithe where we found the perfect spot for our deli lunch. Out of the wind and finally back on the beach. On the verge of tucking into our feta cheese quiche when a young English Bull Terrier joined us who was a) very friendly b) quite keen on quiche c) bonkers. Boris was his name. Boris’ slightly exasperated owner arrived on the scene and wished us well.IMG_2426

IMG_2428The large amount of sand that ended up in the quiche was I suspect due in no small part to Boris’ arrival. The sand in our nose, eyes and oddly inside our socks was I suspect just down to the unrelenting head wind that hit us as we headed north up towards Kessingland. Few words were exchanged over the next two hours apart from “I need to stop and empty the sand out of my shoe/sock/mouth”.

IMG_2435The home stretch, in front of Kessingland, turned into a strange lunar landscape of cracked sand and marram grass with few hardy souls braving it. Apart from us and a man carrying an extremely large bottle of water who was chanting some kind of mantra. Who are we to judge though as I suspect we weren’t looking the right side of sane ourselves. Finally arrived in Kirkly, south Lowestoft, at about 4.20 p.m. Big effort but strange twinge in back of left thigh and Whitts’ gouty toe playing up meant that we may have over egged it today. Foot spa worked miracles though and with Merty back on supper duty this evening we were already planning our next walk.

Total distance covered on foot (not including the lift): 15.4 miles

(Post script by the other walker – quote of the day as we approached Lowestoft and I called back to say we could probably get a lift from here “Right, how do we get of this f***ing beach…?!”

To be continued……

Day one

IMG_2364Date : April17th 2015

Time : 10.18 a.m.  (slightly later than planned due to a good five minutes trying to work out if  Whitts’ car could be locked without having to set alarm, gave this up as a bad job)

Location : Benjamin Britten Memorial, beach between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness (really quite a lot nearer Aldeburgh than Whitts had said)

Aim : Walk from Thorpeness to Walberswick, back in time for G & T and footspa (latter kindly loaned by youngest son)

Weather : Sunny but a tad on the blowy side

IMG_2368IMG_2382

Gratifying to see that the front cover of the map featured the very landmark that we had chosen to start The Big Walk but not sure we’ve got the hang of selfies yet.

Roughly 400 metres into our 4,500 mile walk I was considering how best to break it to Whitts that I had made a terrible error. Walking into the wind, eyes streaming, nose running, shingle sucking the life out of me below my feet – there’s no way that I could possibly go on. Not for the first time in my life I had bitten off more than I could chew. I could see that Whitts was talking to me as she was striding ahead gesticulating as she went, however the howling wind and the inordinately loud shingle ensured that I could hear nowt. Kept my mouth shut and battled on. I’m extraordinarily brave. Whitt is extraordinarily fit and healthy.

IMG_2373Spent quite a large amount of time testing various routes on beach. Big shingle, small shingle, dry sand, wet sand. All felt we were walking backwards. Don’t like shingle. This maybe a drawback as we’re walking the coast of Britain.

IMG_2387 Arrived at Dunwich at 2 p.m. for best Fish & Chips ever consumed. Whitts said we were bang on schedule. I didn’t realise there was a schedule. Whitts asked if I could make sure she didn’t “bolt” her haddock and chips down in one. We had just walked nearly seven miles into a head wind and I could see how she was eyeing that plate of food. I felt it was best not to get between them.

IMG_2391Perked up no end after carbohydrates and heading inland onto the Dingle marshes between Minsmere and Dunwich. Very pretty, very sheltered and very nearly home.

IMG_2394Arrived at Walberswick at 4 p.m. (apparently still on schedule). Arrived at pub at 6 p.m. Gin and Tonics necked. Strange red wind burn on face replaced by flush of alcohol and smugness. There’s nothing to this walking lark, you simply put one foot in front of the other.
IMG_2396 IMG_2401

24 hours to go

This is the intention for Day one and is calculated upon the need to start gently, have emergency support if needed, be able to eat chips and drink cider and to end up in a warm bed: Map – Day one

Starting point – Thorpe Road car park

Finish point – Walberswick

Distance – 18.4km/11.4miles

Just received this:

Whiiiiittts,
Back in Norfolk and packing. Swung by supermarket on way home and purchased, 6 bottles of water, 2 bars of chocolate, 2 bottles of red wine and a large pack of plasters. What could possibly go wrong ?
See you bright and early in the morning.
Phillips x

Should we really be allowed out on our own at all…?

The technical issues continue and during our final pre-walk phone call it became apparent that we were talking about totally different dates:
Whiiiittts,
Really still can’t log in to our blog. If I can’t master the basic computer skills to post something on our blog and you have all the final details for our inaugural big walk perfectly organised but for the wrong two days should we be allowed out on our own ? I’m not sure we’ll be able to find the front door to even get out of the house let alone walk the coast of Britain.
Still, onwards and upwards.
Phillips x
In addition, Phillips’s boots are still giving her a blister, but the good news is we’ve scheduled the first day so that we make it to the fish and chip shop in Dunwich for lunch. At least we got something right…

Up and running

To be fair there will be absolutely no running whatsoever on this adventure, but the title refers to technology. We had agreed that we’d post independently but as one of us has had a dead laptop I received this message:

Now back up and running although I suspect not for long. Message that came up on the screen basically said “Your hard drive is totally and utterly shot to pieces. Buy yourself a new laptop.” And I can’t log in.

So on her behalf:
March 10th : “Brand new (rigid) walking boots have arrived. Took Whitts’ advice to start breaking them in as soon as possible. Wearing pyjamas and walking boots when answered door to carpet fitter. Carpet fitter passed no comment.”
March 12th : “First proper walk in new boots. Trod in dog s**t.”
March 13th : “First blister.”
(there were no pictures of the blister provided)