I didnt sleep that well, I woke once or twice in the night, I looked out once to see stars and then was woken at around 6 by a dozy Bumble Bee bashing the side of the tent!
I had my breakfast that consisted of a cereal bar and water, enough to get going with.
I inspected my feet, sounds disgusting but very necessary. The litte toe on my right foot had a blister under and around the nail. The last thing I needed was for that to pop! I wraped it carefully and decided I would walk to Swanage and no further, I would go home from there. I would of have had only one more day so I wasnt unhappy.
Picking my way across the dunes back to the beach, carefully avoiding the chap from last night, or at least where he’d been lurking.
Once on the beach I saw a group walking from the ferry (I presumed) and a chap swiming in the sea. I considered a swim but I was a bit chilly and it would have meant carrying a wet costume so, I set off for Studland, the tide was out, the sun was shining through the clouds, it was glorious! Not for long!
The swimmer ahead of me waded out of the water and I was astonished, he didn’t have a stitch on! Not knowing where to look! I squeaked a “Good Morning” and marched on past!
It was at this point I had a distant memory resurface, was or is this a nudist beach? Sure enough as I approached Studland I saw the sign. Well Well Well! I wouldn’t have needed my costume after all!
Climbing up past the closed cafe, I stopped to take my fleece off (nothing else I might add) I met the group walking (clothed) along the beach. They were out for the day and we chatted for a bit.
As I climbed up over Studland bay the cliffs that were Sandstone in Bournemouth suddenly turn to chalk. The change is quite abrupt, the UK’s geologly is amazing!
I ambled up to Old Harry Rocks, the name is attributed to a number of individuals including the devil himself but in reality its a stack mirroring the Needles on the Isle of Wight not so far away. I imagine its the same seam.
I skirted around the magnificent Ballard Down which I could see had been ablaze of wild flowers now gone to seed. Then down the steep track into Swanage eating blackberry’s as I went!
The descent was hard on my toe and I was getting slower and slower.
Swanage looked a lovely town as you look down on it and as I plodded on I could see a Morris Dancers galore! One of which came and spoke to me, he asked if I was walking the coast path, he recognised the kind of kit I was carrying. He told me that he and his wife have done stretches of the path and wished me well as a fellow distance walker.
I wandered past Belly Dancers and Irish dancers all wirling and tapping, it was wonderful. I would like to stop and look round before I start the next leg of this journey.
I stopped for a snack and then headed to the rail station. Unfortunately they where only running the Heritage train at the weekend so I had to get a bus to Wareham for my journey home. I suddenly felt very tired!
So that was my trial run and Ive learned a lot! I know that I should take my lighter sleeping bag if the night temperature is not below 10 degrees. I don’t need the inflatable mattress, it’s too narrow, I was Ok on my bed roll. I need to sort out my comm’s battery packs etc. I can make the pack less bulky by having a bladder style of water carrier. I can wear the same clothes for at least two or three days without smelling too bad (I asked my son to sniff me when I got home, he was honest in his appraisal as always).
I think the main thing though is that for every three or four days camping sleeping in a bed would be good!
Not sure when the next part of my coastal route will be but hopefully soon!