Sunday, 12 June 2016

Walk with me - The Jurassic Coast!

I've been to Dorset as a child, on GCSE Geography school trips and for drunken teenage weekends in my friend's aunt's holiday cottage - but my eyes and brain must have changed since then because I never realised before how beautiful Dorset is. Perhaps it's also the time of year, the pink and yellow flowers, the  golden sunshine with the blue sea, ancient cliffs and rolling green hills dotted with lambs.

Day One

We set up camp at Steeple Leaze Farm, which is on the edge of army owned land so there were lots of warning signs around (nearby, not on the farm itself) and we had to stay between yellow markers at all times! It was a short walk to the ghost village of Tyneham. When the World War 1 began, the army asked everyone to leave the village because they needed the space for training exercises or something and everyone left thinking they could come home after the war. But they were never allowed back :( Now the village is crumbled and overgrown and frozen in time.

The school in particular seems as though the children only just left and will be back for more learning tomorrow.

From the village, we then walked over the (very beautiful)  hills to Kimmeridge Bay.

And took some time to relax, air our hot feet, watch dogs play, skim stones and eat ice cream :) Stu found a fossil!

And I had my own personal adventure, walking away alone to find a public toilet. I found one and it had soap AND toilet paper AND the scenery on the way was stunning.

Back at the Steeple Leaze farm, we had an epic barbeque and bonded round the campfire. 2 of us are veggie and we had amazing sweetcorn and stuffed giant mushroom and faux burgers/sausages. SO good. I actually didn't envy the meat eaters at all. Yay.

Day Two

Epic walk day - we walked from Steeple Leaze farm to Swanage - about 21 km round the Jurassic coastal path :D And it was gloriously hot and sunny which was a super pleasant surprise as the forecast had been warm but grey.

Pig socks!

We stopped at a pub called the Square and Compass for lunch on the way (where we saw this dinosaur guy) and had epic pies. Although I was so hungry I expect anything would have tasted epic.

And I was hungry again when we got to Swanage. Not terribly tired, surprisingly. I felt I could walk more! Very much feeling the benefits of my daily walks and all the gym classes - yay! But was definitely hungry for my chips, mushy peas and pickled egg by the sea. I didn't really get any good photos in Swanage - but here is some kind of fake Thomas the tank engine! We relaxed in a pub garden, then in a park, then got a taxi back to the farm for more fire bonding and gazing at the stars. I miss the stars, living in London. Too much light pollution for stars really in London. Growing up in Wiltshire, I could stare up at the sky and feel like I was falling through stars.

Day Three

Today was grey and felt a little subdued after the excitement of the epic walk. epic views and epic sunshine of the day before. We packed away our tents and drove to Corfe Castle for a Full English breakfast. I thought my breakfast was a bit shit, but that might be an unfair assessment as I had an intense headache and then my period started right after breakfast. Which was actually, really great timing. I dread the thought of having to deal with my period while camping. So far, I've not yet had to deal with this. Anyway, after breakfast we drove to a place from which we could stroll to see the Old Harry Rocks. Crumbling white stacks of rock. All quite dramatic. Me and my uterus slept most of the drive home.

The weekend left me buzzing with happiness because beautiful, because sunshine, because I felt friendships growing closer, because I felt fit and healthy, because stars, because seeing afresh.

Have you ever realised something/where/one is so much more beautiful than you'd realised? What makes a holiday amazing for you?

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