Walking the Southwest Coastal Path


IMG_7176Day 8
Clovelly to Hartland Quay 10.5 miles

A lovelly walk over some well tended farm fields with some rather spectacular ocean & cliff scenery around every bend in the trail.
Left the village of Clovelly by its steep stone stairway and passed a bit further on the humble abode of its owner. The Hamlyn Family has been one of three families since the Norman conquest to own the entire National Trust Village. As we spent our afternoon yesterday exploring the village we had opportunity to speak to several people who had lived there their entire life; one securely positioned patron in the Red Lion Hotel pub was not only born there, he was also well on his way to celebrating the better years of contented retirement. There didn’t appear to be much that could upend his rather placid and peaceful state as the goings on in the world seemed far away and foreign to his day to day existence.
Today was a hot day (by British standards) and by midday we were looking for a shady spot to have our lunch. What we found along with it was a diversion in the IMG_7133trail which caused us to reroute our course over to Hartland Point. Most folks don’t like diversions but I love them! They cause us to rethink things and wake us up out of our slumbers, which is why many dislike them I believe. People like their routines I suspect as it gives predictability to the day, and we tend to get comfortable with what we know.
But what if everything we’ve ever been taught is wrong? I think of that one often as I worked in education for over 30 years, and as I look over my shoulder at it all I

believe that well over 50% of adolescent time is wasted in institutional schooling. And wasted time being “taught” anything leads to a whole lot of routines that get us nowhere later. Think about how much time is spent sitting for instance, and ask if there might be any connections to obesity, inactivity, boredom, video games, surfing the net, or staring at your phone all day. Schooling could do with a few more diversions as it puts us to sleep in so many unanticipated ways, to the point where we become what Thoreau characterized as sleepwalkers. Taking a good long walk is one great way of waking up and diverging from our routines, and I always did my part in throwing a few in here and there when I played the role of teacher. I don’t miss the routine in any way though, but I still do like diversions by golly! Especially if I can walk right around them!
We also past the 100 mile point in our walk today. Turning south after Hartland Point brought a whole different sense of landscape to us. Time now to pay greater attention to the walking. The rhythm of walking creates a rhythm of thinking that’s always good, and our days will soon find us crossing into Cornwall, with our sites settled on Lands End.

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