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Walk, then walk some more, and more and more….

August 14, 2008

Today was set aside as the day to get the 13 mile route checked out ready for typing up into a booklet for the Walk for Wildlife. Mike had gladly accepted the chance to join me on what I promised would be an inspiring walk in the Purbecks – an opportunity not to be missed! It proved to a long day, with more than a couple of hills!

It all started off relatively easily – probably because it was downhill along a track! It soon changed though, as we clambered over the first of many stiles to be encountered that day…

The view of Corfe Castle

Our first task as we got into the field was to decide where on earth the path had gone! Surely it couldn’t be that small hole in the blackthorn? Oh yes it could! As luck would have it, it was only a matter of a few metres before we were through the thick hedge and out into the next field – again struggling to pick out the path. the map showed it crossing diagonally over the field so we struck out in that direction and were rewarded with the sight of another stile waiting for us. This continued for 3 fields – the last of which we found to be more a problem as we couldn’t see the stile. It was being hidden by a herd of very inquisitive young cows, which all crowded around us as we went through!

The walk carried on, gently climbing up through farmland so we were accompanied by a combination of sheep, cattle or maize crops as we climbed. It was all very much worth the effort though as we crested the hill at Swyre Head……..

What an amazing view!!!!

A small part of the view from Swyre Head

A small part of the view from Swyre Head

Having spent a good few minutes simply admiring the views of the coast, portland, Poole harbour and Bournemouth, the Isle of Wight to name but a few sights – we head on. This meant a steep descent to join up with the coast path far below us. From here it was a straight-ish wander along the cliff top to Kimmeridge and a welcome cuppa! We stopped for lunch at the Marine centre and enjoyed our cup of tea -whilst admiring the Portuguese Man o’ War that is currently residing in an aquarium in the centre. It gives you quite a sting apparently, and whilst I was tempted to give it a try I decided that the walk was far more important so off we headed again, out into the wilds of the MOD ranges..

Things got difficult here! The path started to go uphill – very steeply uphill! We were soon feeling the burn in our aching legs, and regretting the amount we had eaten for lunch! Mike, was I think also regretting saying yes when I asked him to come along a few days ago! Again the views worked their magic and before we knew it we were back on top of the cliffs, up above gad cliff to be precise.

Mike, with a skylark flying over his head!

Mike, with a skylark flying over his head!

It was not long before our next destination came into view. Tyneham village lay in the valley below, and further afield we could pick out the path going back up the other side of the valley to the ridge opposite. Even from our vantage point we could see we had a another hard climb ahead of us – what joy!

We set off and within minutes (or so it seemed) we were once more steadily plodding up the hill again having gone through Tynehamat racing pace (3mph!). With plenty of stops to admire the view we eventually reached the top – to be greeted by yet another new view. This time it was across the army ranges and off towards Dorchester. No time to waste though as we had a deadline to meet – we had the Ford Ranger waiting for us at Church Knowle and Nigel would need it a 5pm….

Grange Arch - lovely views, but why build an arch here?

Grange Arch - lovely views, but why build an arch here?

It was all pretty much plain sailing from here, certainly we seemed to fare much better than the poor lad trying to cycle along the ridge trying to catch up with his dad! We cheered him on and it was good see that he did finally catch him as we passed them later (they had stopped to make a phone call, in case you were wondering how we managed to pass a couple of cyclists!).

Eventually, after some 4 hours walking time and a full day out there with 13 miles under our belt, we descended off the ridge to the welcome sight of the Ranger – looking rather forlorn and lonely in the car park.

The entrance to MGFT animal sanctuary -the start (and finish) of the walk

The entrance to MGFT animal sanctuary -the start (and finish) of the walk

Plenty of time to get back Beacon Hill we thought.. Wrong! Warehem and Sandford combined their efforts to put as much traffic on the road as they could and it was a very relieved pair that managed to get back to the Centre with only minutes to spare..

A tiring day, but a very satisfying day – and the view from Swyre Head topped it all!! If you are wavering about booking for the walk, then waver no more!

Steve

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2008 5:07 pm

    Great looking walk. I’m very near to signing the application form… Who’s Mike? you don’t say where he popped up from! DWT? someone you kidnapped? Poor bloke he looks “kna**ered”. Didn’t understand your bit about 5pm… but loved the pictures.

  2. August 15, 2008 5:09 pm

    Just realised what you meant now. Nigel needed the Ford Ranger at 5pm. Gotya! Who’s Nigel? one of your other imaginary friends? 🙂

  3. August 15, 2008 5:31 pm

    Good point, well made! Mike is one of our volunteers – if I haven’t frightend him off! I think he was a little tired, but I’m sure he’ll be there for when I have to check the 22 miler…..

    Nigel is a fellow DWT worker – all my imaginary friends start with the letter ‘G’ – Gaz, Gareth, Garth, Glyn, Glenda… there are loads of ’em!

  4. August 15, 2008 8:13 pm

    Do all your “friends” have little magic watches that tell them when the bats are going to come out? 😉

  5. Chris Senior permalink
    August 16, 2008 9:25 pm

    And to think that you preferred to do that rather than go into Brooklands and work on the Volunteering Update!;)

  6. August 17, 2008 4:27 pm

    Hi Jane,

    I’m sure you’re just jealous that I am able to tell the barometrioc pressure at any given time – and the altitude of course!

    Steve

  7. August 17, 2008 4:29 pm

    Hi Chris,

    It was a tough call! I have to say though, I’m not looking forward to the 22 miler quite so much now!

    Cheers
    Steve

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