Saturday, 28 August 2010
Do click through for the detail on the original size. Almost a joiner but I missed an inch in the middle.
Welcombe Bay to Hartland Quay
Rolling surf pounds against fingers of granite
dragging against a beach full of pebbles.
I climb away, up wooden steps
pounded into scree. Twenty steps up
and I pause to catch my breath
before resuming the next twenty steps
and the next and the next.
At the top I see a sign -- Hartland Quay, four miles.
and despite by shatered knees I soldier on.
The wind at the top takes my breath away
but a little further on I’m sheltered by
an expanse of gorse and heather
where common blues dally with
fritillaries and skippers
and grasshoppers leap from the path.
Mushrooms the size of dinner plates
compete for my attention with ground beetles
and sunning, orange-tip bumblebees.
A herd of fresian bullocks amble to a fence
that overlooks the shale cliffs and the sea far below
and low as I pass, curious but afraid.
I reach the radio masts of Hartland Beacon and,
tempted by the possibility of tea at Speke’s Mill, tread on.
Two miles further, and Speke’s Mill turns out to be
a small bridge over a gorge though the beach
is fed by a waterfall onto sea-strewn pebbles.
Two miles further, Hartland Quay
holds the promise of a cup of tea
though by the time I get the the hotel is full of shouting men
and I defer my choice for a toffee cornet
before the long walk home again
where I wish the phones had signals
so I could beg for a lift.