Fresh Air, Hills, and Crashing Waves

After a trip out to the pub with my parents earlier for lunch, I noticed the sky was slowly clearing, and asked the kids who would like to have a walk down to the sea. Two raised their hands immediately – the third was engrossed in the unfolding rugby match between England and Italy and wasn’t about to go anywhere.

Five minutes later we had pulled on boots and coats, and headed off down the lane from my parents house towards the bay below. The route winds along a valley before dropping down past a hotel, getting steeper with each turn until the last turn when a rock strewn bay opens up before you. I’ve lost count of the childhood holidays I spent here, and now we have handed on the baton to our children – they know this landscape well.

While I wandered around taking photos of seashells, the girls climbed around the nearby rockpools in search of anything pretty or unusual to throw in their buckets. We slowly made our way out along the rocky outcrops exposed by the outgoing tide until we found ourselves standing on sandbank.

While running back and forth in search of suitable stones to throw “skimmers”, an unexpected wave caused us all to retreat – and then another. The tide had turned. The prospect of becoming stranded was somewhat fortuitous – providing a perfect excuse to make our way home. I didn’t mention to the children that I was absolutely frozen, and wanted to get back.

The climb back from the sea always seems to take longer – the route is perhaps one and a half miles, but with the incline, the cold, and the biting wind, it always seems to stretch on forever. Luckily a spectacular sunset, and lamb that had escaped it’s field distracted the children wonderfully. Before we knew it we crested the hilltop leading to my parents house, shed our shoes and coats in the doorway, and crowded around the roaring fire.

If the weather is kind to us tomorrow, we will re-trace our steps down into the bay, but then climb out over the headland to the next river valley, and the tiny fishing village it hides. I’m selling it based on the idea of sitting on the harbour wall eating chips when we get there – miraculously it seems to have worked.

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