Malawi Aid Expedition Blog

Joy and Roger write about their plans and progress on the Malawi expedition

A long walk in the woods! June 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joy @ 11:53 am

Charmouth to Seaton and back to the capmsite – 13 miles

Catch the bus from Seaton to Charmouth.  We knew that the first part of the walk today might be diverted but we were hoping not – however, it still is so between Charmouth and Lyme Regis is mainly road walking.

After a ‘nice cup of tea, dear’ on the front at Lyme Regis we begin a walk which takes us through a nature reserve, a wooded area of 7 miles with very few views- however, the flora and fauna are really interesting and the birdsong is tremendous.  It’s a little slippy in parts but we’re quite pleased when we reach the end in 1 hour 50 minutes, having been warned that it could take 3-4 hours to get through.

Came across some Stinking Iris flowers today – seems quite an inept name for such a lovely flower but, when you crush the leaves,  they smell a little bit like roast beef!  I’ve often noticed them in autumn when they produce clusters of orange berries but haven’t really noticed them before in flower.  Loads of different butterflies around now also.

This evening we had a meal with some friends from our London days. David and Madeleine.  It was great to catch up with them again after quite a few years but, as it was our younger years we spent together, it felt strange to be talking about retirement plans – ‘Who knows where the time goes?’


Beers in Beer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joy @ 11:28 am

Friday 30th May – Sidmouth to Seaton and back to campsite – 11.9 miles

Spectacular views today but a very strenuous walk – we keep meeting the same group of 4 walkers who generously donate a couple of pounds each time we see them – thanks!

There’s an interesting part of the walk near the end when you’re in woods and the cliffs are overhanging you – it didn’t seem to be walked too frequently as it was very overgrown and nettle ridden but it was really different.

A welcome pint at The Anchor Inn in Beer before climbing the last hill over to Seaton then back to the campsite and a lovely plate of chilli con carne rustled up by the caravan gourmet chef!


Thursday 29th May – More rain!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joy @ 11:06 am

Sidmouth to Exmouth – 12 miles

A lovely day dawns so we decide to do the section from Sidmouth to Exmouth. Parking in a side street in Sidmouth we cycle up to where the coast path leaves the road – lather up with sun cream then set off, reaching Budleigh Salterton in good time. As we arrive it begins to lightly drizzle but we decide not to put on waterproofs as the forecast has not predicted heavy rain – bad mistake – by the time we reach Exmouth we’re soaked to the skin and have a 45 minute wait for a bus back- not even a cup of tea in sight! Must put on waterproofs earlier next time. Smell of honeysuckle very strong as the drizzle begins. Four smells I’d love to bottle: gorse; sweet pea; wild rose; and honeysuckle – I haven’t yet found anything like the real smell in a bottle

Witness a surreal car crash on the way back to the caravan – fortunately nobody hurt so offer my services as a witness.

A lovely evening after the ravages of the afternoon but takes us about an hour to warm up! No shower on this site either but the caravan shower is coming into its own.


Wednesday 28th May – Rain, rain, rain – how mercilessly it fell!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joy @ 11:05 am

Plans severely thwarted by torrential rain all day – move campsites without the walk – now seriously behind planned schedule! OK campsite with lovely woodland around but not the views of the last one and, horror of horrors, other people around! Got so used to being alone it seems like an imposition!


Tuesday 27th May – Abbotsbury to Ferrybridge – 10.9 miles

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joy @ 11:04 am

Drive to Abbotsbury to catch bus to Ferrybridge but learn that the bus hasn’t yet left Bridport so decide to walk first and catch a bus back. Set off past the Abbotsbury Swannery and the path makes its way through fields – seems more like an inland walk at this stage but still very pretty. Come across a roe deer grazing near the edge of a field as well as a range of wading birds.

Caked in mud by the time we arrive at Ferrybridge and miss the bus back by 3 minutes! Two hour wait for next bus so hobble into Weymouth sea front (my new boots have started to bruise my ankles for some reason!) and complete 13.5 miles by the end of the day. Tea and a scone in the slowest tea shop ever and sit watching the great British public stuffing their faces with doughnuts, chips, candy floss etc. whilst watching the rest of the great British public doing the same – we’re very strange creatures!

Yet again Rog cooks up a lovely Thai Prawn Curry which we devour with relish before an early night as we plan to rise at 5:30 a.m. to walk from Abbotsbury to West Bay before moving campsite.


Monday 26th May – Doing nothing –It’s raining hard and blowing a gale!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joy @ 11:03 am

Decide to forego walking today as it’s tipping it down and blowing a gale – wind drops by midday but still raining. First time we’ve stopped for a long time and we both sleep most of the day, on and off. Decide just to walk to the local for a meal and meet the father of an ex-colleague from Camborne School – what a small world!


Sunday 25th May – Back to Dorset – Isle of Portland

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joy @ 11:02 am

Cycle 4 miles –walk 9 miles

Late getting away this weekend as it was final day for Y11 on Friday followed by the inevitable prom. Therefore left late on Saturday morning so not able to walk until Sunday.

Drove to Ferrybridge in mist and light rain then cycled across causeway to Isle of Portland. As we did so the mist began to clear and the sun appeared. Walked around clockwise. Some interesting quarries for the famous Portland Stone – lovely old museum near Church Ope Cove in house which is the setting for Hardy’s The Well-Beloved. Even more intriguing were the remains of a 13th century church right on the edge of the cliff. Apart from this, the prison, the quarries and the endless ugly houses of Fortuneswell make this part of the walk not the most enjoyable so far but it’s another 13 miles off the total.