Laying in bed last night, listening to gale force winds tearing through the trees and flinging rain by the bucket-load against the windows, this whole project seemed like one of my less stunning ideas. And when my alarm went off at 5am my enthusiasm dimmed still further. But despite the low start to the day, once I’d set off for the station I rediscovered some excitement. Probably just as well given the scale of the task ahead!
The journey to the start was smooth and uneventful – but it’s definitely not one of the highlights. The final bus journey from Taunton to Minehead was especially tedious, as if First had instructed the driver to show passengers the maximum number of villages on the way, whether or not anyone wanted to go there. But eventually, just as I was about to give up hope, there was the sea! I was happy just to get up from the knee-crushing bus seat, and even happier to find the monument that marks the start of The Path.
And wait…could it be…no, it was just…wait!…yes!…I think it’s actually…SUN!!
Faint with excitement I sat on one of the many sea-front benches and ate my lunch, both to recover from the shock and in preparation for the first ascent of the walk – 290m up (the rather muddy after last night’s rain) Selworthy Beacon.
After what would have been an easy stroll across beautiful gorse moors, had I not been fighting to stay on my feet in the wind, I dropped back down to Porlock: my home for the night.
I found Sparkhayes campsite and picked out a good spot for my tent, only then discovering I’d landed in the middle of a West Midlands motorcycle club. Fortunately, the Moonshiners turned out to be some of the friendliest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing a campsite with. I hope I’m equally lucky tomorrow night.
So 9 miles down, 621 to go – after that crack of dawn start I’d better get some sleep…