Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Day 3 - September 18th 2013 - Chiswell to West Bay

After Lea dropped me back where I'd stopped yesterday at Chiswell my first task was to cross back over the causeway from Portland to the mainland. Two miles of walking on tarmac next to the busy main his was a fairly tedious task, though at least I had the eastern end of Chesil Beach, my companion for most of the day, to admire. Another plus was the weather, while there was a fairly stiff breeze in my face at least it was dry, and dry it would stay all day apart from one short sharp shower mid-morning.

When I joined the mainland I had to double back a little way after accidentally wandering into a caravan park that while directly next to the path didn't offer any access. Then I set off through mile after mile of gently rolling English countryside, the amazing Chesil Beach, a natural shingle bar 18 miles long, always on my left.

There were a couple of military firing ranges to detour around and a few moderate hills towards the end, but it was mainly easy going all the way to the picturesque town of Abbotsbury where I met Lea for lunch.

In the afternoon I dropped back down onto the path which was flat for many miles. In a few spots you find yourself walking on the Chesil shingle, tiresome going but pleasant none-the-less. It was a perfectly clear day and I could see the entirety of Lyme Bay from Portland Bill to Start Point including many headlands that await me before I reach Exmouth.

From Burton Bradstock, where Chesil Beach ends, to West Bay there are a few sharp climbs, but you are rewarded by a cliff-top walk above the spectacular sandstone cliffs, a wonderful sight. By now the downhills bother my legs more than the uphills, the short steep descent into West Bay was probably the most uncomfortable walking of the day. I finished feeling this had been a very good day; pleasant weather, beautiful countryside to admire, a distinct lack of hills and 23 miles covered.

Distance Walked Today 23.07 miles (37.13 km)

Cumulative Distance Walked 79.98 miles (128.72 km)

 Chesil Beach and the Swannery below, as I climb towards Abbotsbury in fine weather
 One of the short sections of the path on the Chesil Beach shingle
Looking back towards Portland where I set off this morning
from Burton Bradstock 
 The spectacular sandstone cliffs at Burton Bradstock
 West Bay, my destination for the day comes into view

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