Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The balm of broad horizons on the South Coast Way



Plymouth University’s computer system crashed on Friday afternoon, the sun was shining, so what’s a guy to do? Our first walk of the South Coast Way took us from the Martello Tower around the east side of Plymouth Harbour. One intriguing aspect of journeying is to view your own home from a different perspective. Now we could look across the water to Plymouth Hoe, with Seaton’s lighthouse and our home.
Just a glimpse of the sea is hugely balancing for me. Walking beside it is the world’s best therapy. A poet in Derby the other day advised me to go to Bantham, a small coastal spot (pictured here as a rockscape and a boathouse), for a place of isolated charm. The recommendation worked, a beautiful inlet and sandy beach, plus a few becalmed surfers.
The trio of walks was completed the next day with a drive from Devon into Cornwall and a stroll of a cliff edge path beyond Polperro (pictured). Bruce Chatwin claimed he gave up work at Sotheby’s and set off for Africa because a doctor prescribed him wide horizons. London used to disturb me – I would run to the Thames and look down it toward the North Sea as the most open aspect I could find but the view never mended me enough. The coast gives me that aspect. It lifts me from the page for a while and sets me back on Earth.

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