The village of Morston on the North Norfolk coast.

Day 33 – from Cromer

Today (Tuesday) I walked form Cromer to just outside the village of Salthouse. I was then picked up by car by Jill Tibbetts my kind and generous hostess for the night and taken to her house in Morston.

Jill has a lovely house and showed me great hospitality, treating me to a delicious evening meal and a great breakfast. Jill even did my washing for me and even fixed the broken zipper on my sleeping bag so I can use it until a replacement arrives on the weekend.

I really can’t thank Jill enough for her hospitality.

Today after writing this report, I will take the bus back to Salthouse and resume my walk from where I left off.

Day 33 was a tough day. It was not meant to be because I had set myself a relatively short target so I could treat the day as a rest day. Walking these distances day after day can be very tiring, especially as I am no spring chicken.

Unfortunately extremely high winds made it tougher going than it should have been and I struggled with an incredibly strong head wind all day, with my large backpack acting like a ruddy sail. I don’t think I have ever been out in winds as strong as these. The hurricane of ’89, or whenever it was, doesn’t count because I was indoors then and slept through it.

In the end I covered about 10 miles in the time it usually takes me to do 20. A lot of it was along wide beaches along which the wind hurtled like a demented express train but the cliff top paths would have been even worse, with the added liability of a gust tipping me off the edge. I don’t have a great head for heights at the best of times so the cliff top path was definitely out.

In the end the incoming tide forced me off the smooth sand and onto the shingle. Walking through loose shingle against a strong head wind was even more in desirable than the cliffs so I found my way off the beach and up onto the cliff path and continued nervously, often waking in the neighbouring fields when the path went too close to the cliff edge. Call me chicken, but at least I’m still in one piece.

I also had my first experience of walking through a dust storm. At one point the path took me a short way inland. The wind was so strong it was taking the topsoil off some of the fields and creating the dust storm, a scenario reminiscent of the American Dust Bowl of the 1930s although in Norfolk and not quite as bad. And it only lasted half an hour – just long enough for me to have a tale to tell about “the time I was caught in a dust storm” which sounds sort of cool in a Lawrence of Arabia kind of way.

To make matters worse the wind completely messed up my hair.

Anyway, I made it. And I trust God enough to expect he will have done something about the draught next time I hit the road.

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