A Politically Incorrect Interlude

Halloween weekend proved to be a busy one for us.  On Saturday I trekked to Theydon Bois for the twice-yearly British Shell Collectors’ Shell Show.  I wanted to catch up with one or two luminaries in our fraternity (step up Mr S. Peter Dance) and sweet-talk a fellow collector into retracting a request to remove some of his data from a digital database.  Mission accomplished and I returned in the evening with two prizes about which more, anon.

Nick’s friend Nigel came to WK for the weekend.  Whilst I was transacting in Essex, they walked a particularly punishing length of the Dorset Coast Path between Lulworth Cove and Kimmeridge.  I walked this stretch in late July 2009 with my friend Rollo, see this blog Jurassic Hike. Over a carvery in The Greyhound we hatched our walking plan for the morrow.

On Sunday despite misty moisty weather we sallied forth on a second stint of coastal walking.  This time we parked one car at Ringstead and then drove to Melcombe Avenue where we left the second car and set off.  We walked the beach wall out of Weymouth then struck up the road at Overcombe, pretty soon finding the trusty acorns which point the way.  I cannot pretend that we had stunning views of blue and green vistas.  At times the mist reduced visibility markedly. Special care was needed along parts of the path where erosion is particularly active along the leading edge of the clifftop.

By means of fingerposts and cute little dumpy milestones looming low ahead of us along our route we found our way easily enough.  Towards the end of our stint we met a straggle of some fifty walkers, participants in a Police-sponsored 17-mile walk.  Windy it may have been, but not sufficiently severe to disrupt a sailing race in Weymouth Bay.

Our way took us over open swards, along treacherously muddy narrow tracks flanked by twiggy shrubs and at one point through a verdant glade of Iris foetidissima and Hart’s tongue fern, with bracket fungus on a fallen tree.

Nick and Nigel ranted and bantered along the way.  Neither is particularly mincing with their words and we allowed ourselves the airing of inappropriate opinions which dissipated unheard by other human ears, into the coastal mists.

We may not have had spectacular views (as the slideshow attests) but the sound of the sea as it rushed to meet the shingle shores and limestone cliffs was a constant and welcome companion.

We picked up the car at Ringstead and drove back to Osmington Mills where we lunched in the Smugglers Inn.

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