Time : 10.44 a.m. – yet another delayed departure as we nipped into Lidl where we bought dried mango, mixed nuts and a hammock (mad not to at just £6.99).
Starting point : The Old Hall Hotel, Caster-on-Sea
Sad to go really, grown quite fond of the old place what with the mobile homes parked up out front and omelette cut up into tiny, tiny pieces masquerading as scrambled eggs.
Route : Caister-on-Sea to Sea Palling and don’t spare the horses/blisters
New drone footage of the walk:
Bit more of a nip in the air this morning so Whitts decided to pack ‘longs’ as well as shorts but we were laughing in the face of that decision later, as once again the factor 15 was put to use. Had quite a firm talking to about the state of my feet and appropriate footwear etc. before we set off. Fair enough. Although this came from someone wearing red sandals. However, without the attentions of Dr Whitts and the box of Compeed plasters I suspect Day Four may have been a non-starter for me.
First surprise of the day (after the scrambled eggs) was coming across the extremely grand and rather beautiful memorial in Caister churchyard to the nine crew of the lifeboat ‘Beauchamp’, drowned in November 1901 in a freakishly grim accident. Then off out along the dunes and down onto the sands up towards California (always wanted to go there….)
The aim was to walk the five miles to Winterton-on-Sea then stop for lunch at the Fishermen’s Rest public house. Quite a big ask I thought, but by jove we did it. Pausing only to empty vast amounts of sand from my trainers and to catch breath as we put the world to rights for a solid two hours. Noticed our first lifeguard on duty too, athletic young man at Hemsby #boredsenseless.
Lunch at Winterton was a flipping treat despite being served by surly barman. “We’ve just walked five miles up from Caister” announced Whitts cheerfully at the bar as a conversation opener. “I walk five miles every day in this pub” replied the barman. I wanted to do something bad to him with my car keys so we took our lunches outside. HUGE crab salads, with shrimp buttered new potatoes and pints of cider. That did the trick.
Closer inspection of my feet revealed I was now up to five blisters so Dr. Whitts swung into action. I commented that it was a good job that I had brought a long sleeved top as I think it was Ernest Shackleton who ripped the sleeves off his jacket with which to bind his poor feet. Whitts thought I had very little grounds for drawing a comparison between myself and Shackleton. I let that pass as I knew I was being very brave and she was probably still smarting from the barman’s comment.
The original plan was to meet up with Merty with the support vehicle (and support dogs) at some point on this last stretch between Winterton and Sea Palling, once we’d given him our timings. After 6 texts and 4 phone calls it became apparent that he had set off 3 hours early and rendezvous eventually took place at Horsey Dunes. Before that we walked through some pretty lovely dune scapes and marvelled at the flora and fauna of the marshes behind the dunes (we’d had two pints of cider).
The elusive seals finally put in an appearance on this stretch of the coast and we even came across a very beautiful, big eyed seal pup on the beach waiting for its mum to return. Blimey they’re vulnerable. Even made me stop whining about my blisters for five minutes. Sea Palling finally reached at 5.15 p.m. with another 12.9 miles under our belts. Very chuffed. Merty also very chuffed as his car park ticket was due to run out at 5.20 pm and he really didn’t want to get clamped…..
The map continues to take shape, although when viewed as a proportion of the coastline it’s rather daunting: The Big Walk