Today was hard work but I reached my target, Happisburgh on the coast of Norfolk. I covered some wild and beautiful territory in the course of my 20 mile trudge up the coast in the wind and the rain. Much of that walk was on sand and walking on soft sand for any distance with 15 kilos on your back can be unbelievably tiring.
Mind you, talking to a very nice gentleman called Chris over dinner at my B and B, I found out that SAS soldiers carry 50 kilos so if the SAS want me to come and work for them, they will have a very tough job talking me into it – unless of course at least fifty percent of the weight an SAS soldier is expected to carry comprises cake.
Well, a very tough day had two or three lovely compensations.
The first of these was the seal colony I came upon on the beach near a village called Sea Pallin. They were having a snooze so I actually thought they were rocks at first. But then as I drew close, they started to move. Now if my accumulating experience of the Great Outdoors has taught me one valuable lesson, it is that rocks do not as a general rule tend to move about very much so I figured that they probably weren’t rocks and went closer to investigate. Hence the video clip I posted a few minutes ago [on Facebook].
The next compensation was the B and B in Happisburgh that agreed to donate a night’s stay to spare me the horrors of camping. The Manor Barn and Manor Farmhouse are two beautifully restored historic buildings in the countryside just outside the coastal town, which is famous for its splendid beach and lighthouse. I stayed in the Barn, thatched roof and beams and all, and my photos don’t really do it justice.
The kindness and hospitality of owner Rosie Eldridge is highly appreciated. Not only did Rosie supply a gorgeous room and superb breakfast, she also gave me a delicious supper and wonderful dessert. This walk is far from being a holiday. It can be uncomfortable, lonely, unbelievably exhausting, not to mention wet, cold and dirty, but hospitality like Rosie’s provide moments of pleasure that take the edge off the discomfort, warm my heart and give me the incentive to keep going.
The third compensation was that I met two very nice guests, Bryony and Chris, with whom I had a very pleasant conversation and who also gave me a very generous donation for the Drug Free Kids Campaign.
All things considered, yesterday was a good day. What does a bit of discomfort matter when the adventure yields so many positives?
By the way, the website of the Manor Barn and Manor Farmhouse B and B is at the following link. If you are looking to stay somewhere gorgeous while you enjoy the myriad beauties of the Norfolk coast, then check it out at www.manorbarnnorfolk.co.uk