I hadn’t done a walk for a couple of weeks, for various reasons. For one, after the last walk, I had a stiff and painful left leg inherited from an old lower back problem, and I wanted to give it a bit of a rest. However, I have recently discovered that stretching it removes virtually all the pain, so…game on!
I decided to walk Blakeney Point, partly because it’s my favourite place in the World, partly because its a good bitesize challenge for the long walker, and partly because I wanted to see the storm damage from the recent surge. I started at Cley Norfolk Wildlife Trust car park, and sauntered curiously along the mud-strewn coast road up to the closed car park at Cley beach. Not only is it closed, it ain’t there!
So, off I bimbled, up the stony stony spit on the way to the point. The storm surge had ironed out a lot of the lumps and bumps in the point, and also packed the shingle tightly together, so in places it was genuinely nice to walk over. Regulars to Blakeney Point will not be used to this, it usually feels like you are wading through unset concrete while moving slowly and inexorably backwards. The whole Point seemed relatively unscathed by the storm, for which it has my sincere respect.
I made sprightly progress, zooming up the Point in bright sunshine, with my newly inherited Scarpa boots thanks to Sir Jonny of the Pacific. I soon started coming across white furry stinking blobs.
These increased in number, along with larger piles of heaving blubber I took to be bull and cow seals. In fact the Point itself was littered with them. Suckling, pooing, whoooing, shuffling, gurning. I needed to make my escape, so off I went, down the hardened beach like a bearded bat out of hell. I was impeded by piles of plant debris, including bits of pine tree, presumably from Holkham.
It seemed no time at all before I was back closer to civilisation, so feeling daisy fresh I thought I would walk round Cley to see more of the storm surge effects. A small mud cliff along Cley beach, lumps of reedbed lifted bodily on to the East Bank. Shingle ridges that were no longer ridges. Reedbed squashed flat by debris. All bad, but two weeks after the storm, there was a feeling of renewal and resilience I think, a feeling that for all the fury of the sea, my fave place had survived and was reborn once again. My walk was ace, and thanks to my training, there’s a lot more spring in those legs…