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SWCP Day 20 – 500 Miles and the Countdown Begins

An odd day today as I walked pretty much directly from my own house and did a piece of the coast path which I have done many, many times with dogs old and new.

Despite being 75% of the way around, I still think the walk from Kingswear to Brixham is one of the finest you’ll find on the coast path. Mostly firm, rocky path, scenery without parallel, breathtaking views west to Start Point and east around the great sweep of Lyme Bay to Portland Bill (on a good day). There are certainly some climbs which let you know you’ve been for a walk but not too many and at 11 miles or so it’s a good day out.

John, Kit and Howard

John, Kit and Howard spoiling the stunning scenery.

But not for me of course. I started the day walking with friends and made great time on dry, familiar ground. At Brixham they sensibly left to continue with normal life whilst I carried on for another 13 miles to reach Babbacombe and the 500 mile mark, just beyond the bounds of Torbay. Though very urban the section around the Bay is full of great sights, not just of the scenery but also boats, buildings, bird life and people going about life by the sea.

Blocks and Tackle

Blocks and Tackle on board the restored Brixham Trawler ‘Pilgrim’ in Brixham Harbour

Penguins

Penguins at Living Coasts, Torquay. Not your usual Torbay Wildlife.

At Paignton I met Holly for a change of footwear.  Since much of the last section would be on roads I thought I’d see how much my fitness had improved by trying a little jogging. I covered several miles at a trot before it got hilly again and completed the last 8 miles or so in about 2 hours, making for a very early finish at 3:30.

Thatcher Rock

Thatcher Rock with Berry Head in the distance

I was beginning to sense a little yin-yang in the weather.  Could it be that having withstood the test of wind and water for the first 16 days of the walk I can now enjoy the remainder in dry, comfortable conditions. Apart from a short squall of about three hours yesterday morning I have now had four dry days in a row.  The path is becoming less muddy each day and the walking definitely more enjoyable. I’m starting to feel guilty and worrying that I’ll lose the sympathy vote and donation on the Justgiving sight will fall off; not that I want it to start raining again, mind you.

Another night at home and we’re off again for the last 5 days.  Now I can really start counting down the days.  Must go now as Colin and Heather at the Ship Inn in Kingswear are making rabbit stew especially for me …. and they make a very good rabbit stew.

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