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Day 1 of the Longest Walk

A little about kit, and the First Day Minehead to Porlock.
I mentioned yesterday that I would report back on the breakfast, well Jill at the Sea view didn’t let us down with a great selection, and it tasted lovely, we are looking forward to being back here on Friday night (more on way that will be on Friday).

A word about kit before I talk about the day. The rucksack I used was a 25 Ltr bag with plenty of pockets, it also included a cover (for those wet days) I purchased this from Daleswear whilst we were in the Lakes at the end of July. A bargain at £15, I’ll post a picture at some point, I’m really pleased with the bag’s comfort after using it over day one. Our boots are old faithfuls that we’ve had for some time, although I had bought some new insoles as the existing insoles needed replacing, I had also water proofed both pairs before we left. We took fruit, Fudge, biscuits, water and some hot chocolate to enjoy on route. I had my iPhone the Sony A200 with just a 50mm AF lens, and of course a pair of small 8X25 binoculars essential. No walking poles at this stage, would we regret that?

Les the driver arrived to pick us up on time at 9:15am exactly as per the schedule. Les gave us some pointers as he drove us to Minehead about the walk and nice tea rooms with cake on our route for today and tomorrow, however we would be on our own for Thursday and Friday. Mind you finding Tea and Cake rooms wasn’t going to be an issue.
We arrived at Minehead roughly at 9:30am with a very overcast and grey sky although it certainly wasn’t cold and for us t-shirts were the order of the day.
Les offered to take out picture in front of the Hands & Map statue we duly accepted his offer. You can see the statue on the South West Coast pictures page.

We started at around 9:45am heading west out of Minehead best foot forward, for the first mile or so you follow the promenade and it’s nice and flat, this however soon ends and we climbed up a good hill towards Greenaleigh farm, I took a shot looking back just before the farm which doesn’t do justice to the hill, but this was small potatoes compared to a mile or so later. There are various options on the path, don’t expect that you’ll follow one well trodden path, there along the route occasional alternatives you can take, some a tad easier than others. Well just before the farm we had an option to go on toward Burgundy Chapel or an easier option heading more gradually uphill. Of course being the outdoor and adventurous pair that we are, we decided to head toward Burgundy Chapel, well the remains, and take the more difficult and much steeper option, I can tell you now, this as most certainly a tester, and by the time we reached the top I was looking like I’d been in a bath, thanks heavens for the cooling breeze that greeted us at the top, it was as we were climbing (yes climbing) the hill that we suddenly realised the maybe walking sticks could be a good investment especially as the ground was covered in shale, we raised up the hill around 210 feet (correction 210 mtrs!) in a very short distance

Once at the top we then took another alternative route carrying on through National Trust land walking along the cliff edge with great views up and down the coast, and as by this time the clouds were clearing we could easily see across the Bristol Channel to Wales.
We walked around North Hill heading toward the Eastern and soon after Western Brockholes, several Combe’s had to be taken along the route one particularly nice one was Grexy Combe, however Henner’s Combe close to the Western Brockholes was where we took our apple, biscuit and hot chocolate break, the heather here was a wonderful vibrant colour, and the scent from both the heather and gorse was fresh and sweet.

After our stop, which probably lasted longer than we anticipated due to the beauty around us, we continued on toward Hurlstone Point and from here down into Bossington where we stopped for an afternoon pot of tea and toasted tea cakes at Kitnors Tea Room. From here we walked back into Porlock and just as we reached the B&B, back to Sea View of course, the rain started, and after dropping our kit off and freshening up (showers required) the heavens opened, great timing on our part we thought. After a short while the rain stopped and we wandered around Porlock.

A great day and start to the holiday and we both thoroughly enjoyed the walk, even the steep bits, worth the climb for the views along the top.

A few stats.
3 hours 20 mins walking.
9 ½ miles Distance, including longer route taken, I may adjust those figures when I can accurately measure the distance.
Total time out including stops photo opportunity, enjoying tea and cake, 6 hours.
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