When we get chatting to folk along the way and they hear that we are doing the SW Coast Path using a campervan they usually respond in one of two ways – the idealists/romantics say “Ooooh, how lovely, that must make it so much easier!” whereas the realists say “But how do you do that, the logistics must be well nigh impossible?”
There is no such thing as a typical day – every one is different, but here are two examples, one from each end of the spectrum:
Yesterday we woke up early ( no alarm) and at 7am we walked out of the campsite directly onto the Coast Path, turned left and followed the acorn markers. There were several ups and downs, steepish but manageable, some small coves , a little seaside cafe for coffee and a scone then some easy level walking taking us to our destination – the Pretty village of Abbotsbury – with just enough time to buy freshly baked bread before hopping on a bus which returned us to within a mile of the campsite. 15mls, seven hours and back in time for an afternoon cuppa – easy peasey!
Not so Monday 5 June:
5.20am alarm, up, selves and van sorted by 6am to drive to Looe, feed a parking meter with our last pound coins in time to catch 7am bus to Polperro (the driver was not happy to be handed his fourth £20 note of the day!)
Walking by 7.30, pretty wet by 8.30 , stopped in Looe for bacon rolls and to dry off – then the day got better, a bit of sunshine, great views, good progress – until the storm struck, and I use the term meteorlogically! Without warning we had to grab hold of a fence to stay upright and minutes later the heavens opened. Fortunately, thanks to our early start, we were within half a mile of our destination and took refuge in a cafe. We needed two buses to get us back to our van in Looe and the waitress informed us there was no bus shelter so we would have to stand 50mins by the roadside in a raging storm, waiting for our connection, which might not turn up anyway. There was no chance of getting a taxi to come so far out in those conditions, but fortunately she came up with a solution and we got a bus to another cafe who then organised a taxi for us, and after a circuitous route to avoid a fallen tree, he took us right to the van door. Thirteen hours after our morning alarm and we still had to find a campsite – what fun!
These are the two extremes, most days fall somewhere in the middle, but all need careful planning, which keeps us busy in the gaps between walking, eating and sleeping, not to mention shopping, and cooking ( very simple) and a bit of laundry now and then.
And you know what? We’re loving it and don’t know what we’ll do when it’s over!
Here’s a couple of pics for any budding Chris Packhams!
Graham and Barbara