Just had a week away in Northumberland taking pictures, kayaking and generally chilling out with friends and family. Came back to some client requests so had a relatively busy week photographing houses, people, quarries and a brick factory.
On Friday a sinister light appeared on my car dashboard so I dropped the car off at the garage and took the opportunity to cycle back. This was great fun and after a week off the bike it was nice to flex those leg muscles a bit.
Saturday came and a planned training walk on the Dorset Coast began. We parked at the National Trust Car Park above Ringstead. Donned the rucksacks and hiking boots and set off along the path towards Lulworth where a refreshing and cold pint of cider would be waiting at the gorgeous surroundings of the Lulworth Cove Inn.
The weather was warm, no scratch that, it was hot, humid, airless with a blue sky and a shimmering sea to complement the view. The rucksacks contained a fleece and raincoat. Unfortunately no sun hat nor sunscreen. Or insect repellant which would have been very useful.
Any exposed skin was gently browning under the natural sun grill and with each step legs disturbed the millions of insects that had just been woken up by the warm weather. Breathe through the nose so not to swallow any and hope that the insects on your arms would offer sufficient cover so not to burn too much.
Considering the amazing weather there were very few people about until we arrived at Durdle Dor where there were thousands all queuing up for ice cream or lugging buckets, spades and other beach day out stuff like sherpas down to the pebbly shore.
For us there was one more hill blocking that pint of cider so with a last push we strolled on towards the stone incline which had even more people trudging up it stopping to enjoy the view but more likely to gain some much needed oxygen before reaching the summit of their day out Everest.
After a couple of pints of cider we headed towards the cove and flopped on the pebbly beach to enjoy the view and cool off in the freshwater stream that gurgles and flows into the sea.
Time to head back and do those up and down hills in reverse now sloshing with cider and feeling more than a little tired. We too stopped on the uphill path to ‘take in the view’ whilst panting like overheating Yorkshire terriers. If anything it was getting hotter.
We took the higher path which had a larger ascent but avoided most of the roller coaster hills nearer the sea and after a couple of hours reached the car and another opportunity to remove footwear and cool off with the air conditioning on full.
Earlier in the week I popped in to the National Dive Centre to look at the zip wire and thought how great it would have been to have one of these on the downward sections of the coast path.
Back at home now liberally slathered in cream and typing this post. All in all a great walk and a perfect end to a great week.
This 5 mile section of the SW Coast Path is well worth doing whatever the weather. My advice would be to take sunscreen, a hat and maybe only have one pint in Lulworth. If you park in Ringstead Beach Car Park it will cost you over a fiver but the National Trust car park is free.