Today was wonderful. I enjoyed every moment.
I set myself a goal of walking from Wells to Cromer, along the Norfolk Coast Path for about 25 miles, give or take. It would be a good chance to see if I was up to the distance, and to see if my kit was fit for purpose. Here I am at the start, with my determined face on:
So I started at Wells, and my critical kit was: walking boots, craghopper trousers, trunk style underpants, goretex jacket, medium thickness socks, rucksack with waterproof trousers, binoculars, water, 2 cereal bars, penknife, money.
I also thought I would keep a bird list, which turned into a no-binoculars bird list because I didn’t want to put those big boys round my neck. I headed off eastward with the wind on my back, through the first phase of the journey, in saltmarsh habitat (Wells to Blakeney). Easy walking, and I fairly bounced along, with parties of brents to my left, and flocks of lapwings to my right. At the Warham turntable, a spotted redshank flew over calling loudly.
I reached Blakeney in 2.5 hours, and had a welcome stop at the deli, where the lady was nice and polite. Veg and cheese pie! When I got to Cley, I stopped in the deli there, but they weren’t nearly so nice. Guess I wasn’t wearing the right clothes, the snobs! The weather started to turn a bit squally around Cley, but actually it was quite nice to have a drop of rain. That is part of my point. It may have been training, but actually this was just going for a fantastic long walk! NWT Cley visitor centre looked bust as I swished past.
After a terrific short-eared owl at Kelling, and a couple of wheatears, I decided to swap my footwear at Weybourne for sport sandals. However, I found them to be completely inadequate for walking, although they are very comfortable for everyday wear. I soon switched back after half a mile or so, but not before they had given me a small blister, the swine. I marched thru Sheringham like a man possessed, and took the beach route rather than the clifftop route to Runton, clocking a nice adult Med gull in the process.
The approach to Cromer was great – cheering crowds, people shaking my hand, children asking for my autograph. Well, in my imagination, anyhow. The beach walking was quite tough, and I wouldn’t want to do too much of it. Anyway, I got there. I have never walked 25 miles in a day before, and I feel enriched and energised by today’s odyssey. Recommended! Surprised and knackered face!