Travel

My Special Day

I had to leave today. I didn’t want to. Never do, wherever I am.

It was another damp day, but a bit brighter than the day before. I wanted to go back down to Tintagel beach one last time (for this trip anyway). I always find it hard to turn my back on the sea. After breakfast with a view I walked back down the hill. It was lovely and quiet, before it opened. There was a pathway up to the right I hadn’t done before, it took a while to find it, at first the path I saw would have been a bad idea but then I found the well trodden path. It was still a bit hairy but I stuck with it. I was glad I did. I always am. The view was worth it, overlooking another cave I will have to go in next time I go down there, Tintagel beach and Merlins Cave. It really is my favourite place. Don’t know what the draw is but it’s there. It’s definitely my ‘go to’ place, I seem to be able to make sense of things down there – it’s when I come back it all goes to rats!!🙄😆

I have also decided that next time I’m there I will walk some of the coastal path, I’ve been told the walk from Tintagel to Boscastle is epic – I can imagine. I would have to be very careful, I think I’d get easily distracted and lose the path!!

I stayed there as long as I could. It was really hard to leave but I had taken lots of photos and videos so I have something to look back on – and I do, regularly.

After checking out of the hotel it was just me and Vinnie on the open road again. I had a destination in mind, in Somerset but I didn’t want to just get there, I didn’t want to go on the M5, there was so much to see in between. I had decided to take the A39, the Atlantic Highway, which more or less followed the coastline so I turned my sat nav off and followed the signposts – how novel! I’d been given a road map book for my birthday, I’d lost the signal on a previous adventure and it made me realise I had no way of knowing where I was and just had to use my sense of direction. It was fun using it, the map, although I have to say trying to follow the tiny white roads is interesting!

Without your sat nav you have to take more notice of what’s around you, you’re not blindly following a computer, I felt like I hadn’t looked at a sign for years!

The scenery gradually changed the further north I went, going into Devon. I had to stop myself a few times from just turning off onto the little roads and seeing if I could find a beach, as tempting as it was I had somewhere to be before it got dark.

But then I came across a sign that said Clovelly. On impulse I turned down the road. I hadn’t been there since I was a younger girl and it had changed a bit. I allowed myself a little time to explore, it was lunchtime and I thought I could get myself something here.

It had changed, by now being more commercialised, you could only drive so far, to a car park which had a visitor centre where you had to pay to go through to the village. For those of you who haven’t experienced Clovelly, it is a village with cobblestone streets that lead down to a harbour. It’s not a walk for the feint hearted, it’s fairly steep and on a day like today, wet, it was slippy in places. The houses aren’t owned individually, only one person owns them but families live there.

It was quite quiet today, not many people out because of the weather so it was actually quite restful and peaceful. I made it down to the bottom, at one point being overtaken by an elderly gentleman carrying a bag of coal on his shoulder🙄 and there was me gingerly stepping carefully.

The harbour at the bottom was small with a high wall curving around part of it where there were some fishermen with their rods. There was a stone beach to the right that ended in a cliff with a high waterfall tumbling onto it.

I stopped to people watch, there was a group of people putting a large rowing boat into the water via a slipway, they had obviously done it a few times and were very accomplished, they got their oars sorted and off they went. There was a hotel at the bottom but I’d didn’t go in, I didn’t fancy stopping here for lunch for some reason. I started the climb back up. It was still raining but there was barely any wind, it was quite sheltered. I stopped to chat to a seagull, as you do, very informative he was then I spied a tiny National Trust garden that had a beautiful old tree in it, standing majestically with a fantastic view. I went in through the latch gate and yes, I gave him a hug and said thank you to him🤪😍

I bought myself some crisps, a flapjack and a drink, that would have to do for my lunch I wanted to get going again I still had quite a drive ahead of me.

The road wasn’t too bad, I managed to navigate through a town and came out the the other side and we came across Exmoor. Different scenery again, I managed to stop to get a pic of the rolling hills. I used to draw them when I was a little girl, very simply and coloured them different greens, I always think of that when I see them.

I have also discovered that there is very rarely a lay-by or a stopping point when there is a stunning view to take in, its very distracting, I love to look around. I’m not often a passenger on journeys like that but when I am I try and take it all in, looking in all directions. I’m quite good at stopping in the oddest of places, I used to abandon Vinnie on the roadside regularly when I was Vulcan chasing often ending up in a remote field sometimes with fellow followers.

I was doing ok, up until I came across a ‘Road Closed’ sign and I had to turn onto a tiny white road. Panic not Ange!! All roads lead home – eventually! 😳 I kept driving until I saw a sign, then stopped to see where I was – I couldn’t find me!! I kept going, the roads were narrow and some of them had huge giant puddles all the way across!! Some of them I had to stop and assess, some of them Vinnie and I absolutely loved whooshing through them!! (I know, he told me 🤪)

We eventually came to a junction with a proper sign that would lead me back to the A39, I was a little disappointed I have to say, I was quite enjoying being lost, but let’s face it, how lost can you get on an island?

I drove on through Lynton and Lynmouth, the roads down were incredibly steep, 25%, one of them with a sign for ice!! Not what you want to encounter on a road like that. Of course, what goes down needs to come back up and Vin managed beautifully.

Exmoor was bleak. I’m not sure if it was mist, fog or clouds but it was bleak, mood changing in fact, couldn’t wait to get away. It’s funny, Tintagel had been like that but my mood didn’t drop like this.

We eventually got back down to sea level at Minehead. This place held family memories over the years. My parents had a caravan just near Blue Anchor Bay, outside of Watchet. It used to be their bolt hole before they retired and we’d been there as a family. Driving past Minehead I turned off to go past Blue Anchor Bay, past the caravan site and through Watchet, it was quite a step back in time and memories came flooding back. It was quite apt really, given my destination, which wasn’t far away now.

My special destination was a cliff top in Kilve. It was where we had scattered my Dad, it had been a favourite place of theirs. It had been a little adventure in itself, having to carry Dads urn in a picnic bag so no one knew what we were doing, Dad would have been highly amused.

I hadn’t been for a few years and the need had arisen, I needed my Dad. I could have really done with a Daddy hug too.

I parked up and grabbed my change mat, then made my way up and over the cliff. The sun was going down but it was still plenty light enough. I remembered exactly where he was and as I got closer the grief just came flooding back. You never lose it. You just learn to hide it and disguise it.

I plonked my mat down and sat and chatted for quite a while, I had a lot to tell him and even more to ask him. I really didn’t want to leave but I knew I had to, he wouldn’t have been happy if I’d stayed too long and it had been dark. I tore myself away. I stopped at the beach briefly with my thoughts.

I got back to Vinnie and set my sat nav for home. I didn’t even put my music on. I was emotionally drained.

Making it onto the M5 I settled into the journey. I put my music on at some point. Can’t remember when. I needed silence. Doesn’t happen often to me, I love to have music playing.

Although it’s a long journey it really doesn’t bother me. I knock off the miles and the time just seems to pass.

I made it home on the Sunday night, about 9.30, I’d left the hotel at 11am so quite an epic journey home but I really enjoyed the adventure. The long weekend had been completely amazing. I’d done it again. I’m really not sure how I do it, something is obviously driving me on. I find it hard to believe it’s me doing all these things on my own. I hope I inspire others to get out there and adventure. Life is too short not to.

Work the next day and already my thoughts had turned to my next trip! I even looked at Tintagel again but that may have to wait. We’ll see. I have bigger plans brewing, I may have to dig deep to accomplish them but if there’s one thing I’m learning about myself it’s that once I get an idea in my head I find it very hard to let it go, I’m quite tenacious. I believe completely in fate and positive thoughts and that you can draw things to you – but you have to truly believe…. do you?

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