Day 4

Trip Start Aug 03, 2012
Trip End Aug 17, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, August 6, 2012

Well, today we tried to do as much as we could in the space of one day. We set off, with cricket sets and other essential beach gear, on the 4 mile round trip from our cottage at Goodshelter to Rickham Sands, the beach near the old Gara Rock Hotel where, years ago, we used to stay. A while back the old buildings were knocked down and work on a new restaurant and (extraordinarily expensive) apartments began. Since the recession, the work has slowed, and the area is still a building site, albeit a building site in a spectacular location with a stunning view. A building sight, I suppose...

It's a good walk to Gara Rock, up country lanes and over fields riddled with horse flies and nettles. Unfortunately, when we arrived it was high tide and the beach was, while not nonexistent, certainly not noticeably not nonexistent. So A and B sat on the rocks for a while and R, E and S got very, very wet trying to get round the edge of the rocks to the other bits of the beach. Slowly the tide withdrew and we could explore further, avoiding the red sea urchins, scrambling over the clifflike rocks and somehow inexplicably still getting soaked.

The sun sparkled on the sea, the clouds sparkled in the sun as they floated over the beach, and we sat on the beach looking at the clouds wondering when we'd get to see the sparkling sun. Sea kayaks kayaked on the sea, sea gulls wheeled in the clouds and the tide continued to go out. And then, when there was enough beach for it to be technically called a beach, we had to start walking back. 



In the evening we went to The Cricketers at Beesands, a stunning four star place that not only allowed the dog to dine beneath our table, but also produced wonderful, fish orientated food. The fish was all caught off the bay by the staff, and was - in a word - wonderful. In two words - wonderfully wonderful. In five words - a wonderfully wonder of wonderfulness. And, in a spluttering cacophony of noise - it was a wonder, wonderfully full of wonderous wonderosity. 

Only three of those were actually words.

We left later than we intended to, so decided to come home via East Portlemouth, as we thought that the ford there - though likely still flooded as we were dangerously near high tide - would probably be shallower than the ford we usually passed through. Unfortunately, even there it was awash. Far too deep. And when a Jeep, approaching with us, decided that his axle wasn't high enough, we concluded that our heavily laden Ford Galaxy probably shouldn't even try. So we quickly drove round to the Waterhead ford, and took our chances with that. A paddled out to test the depth, and we all disembarked. B picked up speed and drove the car through, with a high bow-wave and in a cloud of steam. The car protested but pulled through. 

And thus ended our most eventful day so far. Hazily, damply and full of fishy food. 
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