Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Bank Holiday stroll....

One thing you won't know about me is that I LOVE map reading. If ever I have an opportunity not to drive but to map read I jump at the chance... I've had many an exciting journey down very narrow, hedge lined, grass - in - the - middle - of - the - road, Devon lanes, through mud and streams, over hill and down dale... and I'm in my element... and... the sense of achievement when we (eventually) reach our destination is FAB!
The same is true of walking too... give me a map and I'm off... not always so good at orienteering, but, it's always an adventure. We may end up in bogs, climbing the steepest hills or totally lost, but it will be remembered for a long time to come with fond recollections... the moaning at the time is not remembered however!!!
So, when the rain eventually stopped this bank holiday weekend, that was it... map out, lots of umm - ing and ah - ing and we settled on a walk between Thurlestone and Bantham... just round the corner from the very famous Burgh Island... would love a cream tea there one day, but that's another story, and I will have to start saving!!
So here is the map... just a very small part of it! This particular map... I'm going to have a moan now so look away if you don't want to hear it.... is soooooooooooo HUGE it's ridiculous!! I mean, not only is it about as big as me... well I'm not actually THAT wide, but it is as tall as me, is also double sided!! I ask you... 'How user friendly is that?' When I'm using it in the car it could so easily cause an accident because you have to open it right out to see round the edge and onto the next page... it spreads right over onto the drivers side and then some!!! So if you are ever travelling the Devon lanes and see a car swerving all over the road and the front filled to over flowing with a map.. it's me!! Don't panic, just pull over and smile sweetly as we sail past.. me red in the face from frustration and the driver fighting to see!
... Moan over, you can look now!! Although I have lived in devon for years and years, I don't remember spending a lot of time on the coast of the South Hams except for Slapton and Blackpool Sands, so it was a lovely change to go somewhere different. We were going to park at Bantham, but at £5 per car, we decided against it and set back off for Thurlestone, where we managed to find a spot to park in the village.
A short walk through the village..

.. we came upon this lovely church and this beautifully decorated gate...

.. and we're off.. heading out towards the coast path...

First glimpses of the sea..... it always makes my heart sing to see and hear the sea... a great way to restore your soul....
Down a narrow track..

.. a walk across the golf course.. what a place to play... who needs Florida with views like this???

A conveniently placed bench, with the most amazing views, is a great place for a not so small person to have a rest.

Views across to Thurlestone to the left..
.. and across towards Burgh Island to the right..

A little further along the coast path and Burgh Island comes completely into view. You can't see it very clearly on this photo, but there is a narrow sand bar connecting the island to the mainland, and at this time it was crammed full of people. Once the tide is fully in, the island is completely cut off and the only way of reaching it is by boat or a specially modified tractor.

Looking further to the right you can see Bantham beach just beginning to appear and the Avon estuary.
Through the gate.. this is known as a 'kissing gate' so of course kisses had to be dispatched....
... and down the hill to the beach...

Signposts are also very handy when the map reading skills are not up to scratch..

Turning inland, you then start to get stunning views of the estuary. There is a walk that goes all the way along the estuary from Bantham , to Aveton Gifford, cross over the river there and walk back down the other side, catching the little ferry... as long as the tide is right... back across from Bigbury to Bantham... I have got that walk on my list of things to do.. soon!

I just love this little boat house...
Boats all lined up waiting to be launched for a little trip down the river...

This little boat makes me think of the Famous Five adventures.. lashings of ginger beer and a picnic....
Just a few pictures of the boats in the estuary.. I got carried away, but just love the images. I think that it's the thought of messing about on the river... some of my favourite holidays have been on a canal boat.. so relaxing and you really do get away from it all....



No this is not on the front of a boat but on the corner of the boat house on the tiny quay at Bantham..
I think these flags look so happy flying in the wind..

Looking up the road into the village of Bantham..
Once through the village we had to climb this very very step hill.. thought I was going to pas out.. note to self.. must get fitter!!!! This is a view back across the fields, the village of Bantham in the distance, and beyond that the beach and Bigbury.

Looking back towards Burgh Island

.... and here we are back in Thurlestone...
Doesn't this look inviting?
It wasn't just the gorgeous views that thrilled me, but the gorgeous colours in the flora and fauna along the way... here's just a selection.....
The colours, shapes and textures get my creative juices flowing... I can see new necklaces in these stunning colours, some sewing projects, and maybe even some painting... watch this space!

3 comments:

KC'sCourt! said...

You have just taken me down memory lane again and I have enjoyed every moment. Alex and I or mum and I did some walks like that with our boys, two walking and one in a buggy. We even went over to Burgh Island before it was restored!

Anonymous said...

You forgot to say that the map always has to be upside-down!! Love you M x

Blooming Felt said...

What a lovely post !! We have holidayed in the South Hams a number of times and always always go to Bigbury and Bantham beaches. I just love the sea tractor that goes across to Burgh Island and back again. You are very lucky living in such a beautiful part of the country and I'm extremely jealous !! How I'd love to move to Devon x