Day 9 Hartland Quay to Bude 15.5 miles
I have a body! I also have a backpack on it these days. So doesn’t my little friend pictured here who I met along the road a few days back when I was “suffering” the tarmac path from Braunton. I think he liked the metaled path though cause it was most likely more conducive travel to him than it was to me. But I worked my way through that and I worked my way through similar challenges today walking from Hartland Quay to Bude.
Considered the “toughest” stretch along the whole Southwest Coastal Path, and validated by just about everyone we have met here who has some association with the walk. In fact, it almost came to haunt our dreams the way people reacted when we told them where we were headed and about to do. Most folks don’t walk the whole trail in one go, and I suspect many don’t walk it at all, but those who were acquainted with it all concurred that it was a formidable undertaking. It didn’t matter that I had walked this stretch of coastline twice before, and survived; the devils and demons were working their way into our imaginations and building a case. Similar perhaps to the “folly” that exists here along the coast where in past
times the locals kept watch for fearful pirates who threatened one’s comfortable existence. The scenarios entering into our mind’s eye were real, and real awareness and attention was being called for!
It’s amazing how our imaginations work, and not just some of the time. Most of the comments coming from people were offered with facial expressions portending torture, pain, extreme privation, and mixed with a fair portion of pity, understanding, and religious blessings toward us for our upcoming ordeal. But truth
be told, it was nothing like the imaginings pouring forth in our dismembered minds. The walk was fantastic, and our bodies sailed through the miles with little of what had been imagined. A sure case of our heads being where our bodies were, and our emotions being totally open to the beauty and joy experienced through walking. Our
imaginings and sufferings were completely unreal, with absolutely no grounding in the moment. Yet its interesting to notice how often we live in reactionary space and time to such perceived imaginings, and more so how we cling to such sufferings and absurd fears and threats. For some its even sadder when you see how incapable they are of giving up their suffering as its the only reality they know! Perhaps why a good walk serves so well?
So it was a grand day for experiencing one’s body. We were certainly tired by day’s end, but the fact that I was aware of, and could feel much of it, from my feet all the way up my legs, back, and shoulders, is perhaps the body’s way of saying thanks for providing it with what it needs and loves. Most of the time we don’t give much thought to these bodies we inhabit, viewing them as convenient means for carrying around our heads, but that’s when we get into trouble with all those weird imaginings. When the head isn’t connected to the body, the emotions just stew in a bowl of like and dislike and start singing the blues. But get them all connected and those blues just transform themselves into something far sweeter, and more inspiring in the moment.
All in all, with all & everything working in harmony, it was a grand day for the Coastal Path!