Day Seven. Blakeney to Wells-next-the-sea or further….

Date : Monday April 25th 2016

Walkers : Phillips,Whitts, Mrs Taylor (if match fit)

Guest walkers : Mr Taylor & Bronte, T Mermagen & Mango (not the fruit), Ma & Pa Phillips for tiny last bit.

Distance : 8.4 miles

Eggs BeneIMG_7713dict, Eggs Royale and Vegetarian Cooked Breakfast. Delicious but defeated us. Thereby the conversation over breakfast went along the lines of why we had less of an appetite despite all the exercise oh and whether Mrs T should walk today. Mrs T is a game girl and with instructions to Mr Taylor to bring a walking stick and meet us at Morston we ventured forth.

All very pleased to be joined by T – especially with those dodgy hips. So what with them, Mrs T’s triband, a strange tendon thing going on for Whitts and a twinging achilles heel for me we could easily have been mistaken for some kind of self-help group. Mr Taylor and Bronte arrived keen as mustard just after we set out from Blakeney and the walking stick was a great bonus and something that we felt we could share.IMG_7606

Morston was soon upon us where Mr Taylor was momentarily distracted by the thought of pea and mint soup before he headed off in the support vehicle to wait for us at Stiffkey where any of the injured could avail themselves of the Volvo. It was going to be a full car at this rate. By now I had loosened my laces and was, as Whitts said, hobbling. Still, no time to waste as the forecast was for rain and strong winds heading in after lunch. Mr Taylor galvanised us into speeding up by hiding in the long grass and ambushing us as we staggered into view. What larks.IMG_7624

The clouds were looming as we trudged the last mile into Wells and as our proposed rendezvous with my mum and dad was the car park on the beach we realised that we may have slightly miscalculated. Our happy reunion with Mr Taylor (who had been trying out the sausage rolls at the beach cafe) and my folks was consequently marred by driving rain and strong gusts of wind. By the time we reached our destination we were all walking at a jaunty angle. Walking being a very loose term.

IMG_7598As Whitts said: “God didn’t we have such a good time ? And aren’t we blessed with lovely friends ?” Couldn’t have put it better myself.

 

 

 

 

Day Six. Cromer to Blakeney

Date : Sunday April 24th 2016

Walkers : Whitts and Phillips (one faller who will be travelling by bus)

Up and at ’em this morning but very slowly. A gentle swim followed but flipping lovely breakfast but clearly our plans were going to have to change. Dr Whitts had diagnosed a tri-band injury in Mrs Taylor’s left leg for which the treatment is REST. After negotiating with the hotel (which didn’t take long as they’re so lovely, I may have mentioned this before) it was decided that Mrs T would stay on at the hotel until lunchtime and then catch the coasthopper bus to Blakeney where hopefully she could check in slightly early at The White Horse and await the arrival of the hard core. There was a vague attempt to organise a rendezvous en route – possibly Mrs Taylor could meet us at the pub in East Runton where she said could wait for us “outside, with a pint of crisps” but we declined as it sounded too complicated and frankly a bit odd.

IMG_7551Just the two of us then. Ignoring the snow (yes) and picking up tubs of salad and smoothies (yes) for lunch we struck out through Cromer and set our sights on Sheringham via the caravan parks of East and West Runton. As is our way, we put the world to rights en route and picked up the pace until we hit Beeston Bump. Over taken at this point by a group of MAMILs on bikes we girded our loins and made the ascent. Totally worth it. Made sure that we took lots of photos for Mrs Taylor for a spot of nostalgia and then received a text from her saying that we could walk round it rather than over it if we couldn’t face it. Right.IMG_7528

Sheringham was so lovely as were the murals along the coastal walk route. Dived out of the rain near the boating lake and then set our sights on Weybourne, traversing the Sheringham Golf Course where we became temporarily six years old watching the steam train puffing back and forth. More skylarks accompanied us here as did a drone which suddenly appeared just over our heads, military intelligence or my mum checking to see if I had enough layers on ?

Weybourne for lunch where, inevitably, some blister care had to be undertaken. Shingle (our least favourite thing) was back on the agenda so the next mile or so past the Muckleburgh Collection was a tactical meander avoiding as much of the darned stuff as possible.IMG_7565

Salthouse and we headed inland. Marvellous. Stopped at the Dun Cow for a half of cider. Even better. On the home straight now. Toddled through Cley where we saw a wedding at the windmill (how very nice) and took the executive decision to cut out the last stretch of shingle/marsh and follow the road into Blakeney where we had our very own welcoming committee. Aside from the fact that we had missed dear old Mrs T we agreed that this had been our best day’s walking yet.

We had managed to book ourselves our very own tiny house to sleep in, or so it appeared. Even better that we had our own front door that opened straight onto the street although it was generally felt that next time we should try to remember to lock it and indeed close it when retiring for bed. A strange kind of delirium had set in due possibly to fatigue (us two) or lack of social interaction (Mrs T) so that after supper and in bed by 10 there were still japes to be had which would have been amusing had it not been for the fact that photographs were taken and Mrs T’s lack of familiarity with just who receives her photos when she sends them using Whatsapp.

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Day Five (an eventful one) Sea Palling to Cromer

Date : Saturday April 23rd 2016

Walkers : Phillips, Whitts & Mrs Taylor.

Guest Walkers : Sez Hamilton (plus Bailey and Indie) Dan the Wandering Mod

This was to be our longest walk yet. A total of 17 miles to Cromer or 15.4 miles to Overstrand if you bailed early (more of that later). Brief gathering in Sea Palling car park for the obligatory runners and riders photo followed by nip into public loo where I established once and for all, should any of you be in any doubt, that it is impossible to turn round in a cubicle if you are wearing a backpack.IMG_7428

Following days of warm spring sunshine this week the forecast for today was “cold northerly winds with light rain and occasional wintry showers”. Oh goodie. Both myself and Mrs Taylor had taken the preventative measure of wearing plasters before setting out in order to avoid a repeat of last time’s blistergate. Whitts wasn’t wearing sandals this time and both Sez and Dan had very professional looking footwear so all promised well. Bailey and Indie opted for no shoes at all.

It was a breezy and chilly walk along the top of the dunes past Eccles to Happisburgh where we were drawn like magnets by the sight of the stripey loveliness of the lighthouse. Even without binoculars we spied a darkly threatening cloud heading our way across the horizon but by a quirky twist of fate we made it to a strange open-fronted military shelter on the cliff top before the hail and wind arrived. Although the graffiti lent it an urban jungle feel we surmised that it was summat to do with the war, whatever it was we were very glad it was there.

Lunch was taken on the wooden groynes near Mundesley where much fun was to be had at the expense of Whitts’ home made energy balls (although next day I would be gagging for one myself) and Bailey clarified a point on which we had all been pondering i.e. do lurchers like quinoa salad. The answer was a resounding yes.IMG_7473

Mundesley was where we jettisoned our first guest walker of the day : Sez. Her husband Tom and son Joe were waiting for us in clear admiration/disbelief. Tom commented on the professional hiking look of the group, until he saw me. Very sad to see Sez go.

Headed more inland for the next section where this next leg was noteable for its caravan parks, huge coastal erosion (where we nearly lost Mrs T and Dan over the edge when their concentration temporarily lapsed during a discussion about Tamla Motown and shared headphones) but more worryingly an increasingly pronounced limp from Mrs Taylor.IMG_7490

By the time we reached Overstrand it was very clear that Mrs Taylor would have to call it a day. Whitts took charge of operations and managed to secure a pick up from The Grove Hotel (we love them) and I felt it my duty to accompany the invalid thereby sacrificing the last mile and a half. Whitts and Dan left on us a bench, informing the man on the other end of the phone that “You can’t miss them, they’re sitting on a bench looking very sorry for themselves, wearing bobble hats”.IMG_7498

The hotel chef turned up in his sporty number and whisked us off. It was only a matter of half an hour or so before we were joined by the remainder of the party for some tip top Black Shuck Gin in the lounge. We said our goodbyes to Dan who headed off to the train station as he had better things to do frankly.

Supper was delicious as was the red wine but I think we all agreed that we had hit an all time low when Mrs Taylor had to borrow a croquet mallet to lean on to make it back to the family room. I had to lean on Whitts but for other reasons.IMG_7658