Not alone

I felt a bit odd, setting out on my own again yesterday morning, after having had a week of constant companionship.
But as I got ready to set off, a gregarious cat pranced up to me, purring, and investigated my rucksack.


And by lunchtime I remembered that I still had someone with me.


And after lunch I got lovely texts from friends and family that reminded me that I have company all around me.

Then in the afternoon I saw my first swallows. Spring hasn’t gone AWOL after all. Primroses, celandines, and a sleepy bee. All signs of life.

I stopped to chat with a chap who was walking the SW Coast Path, laden with camping gear. (Unlike wimpy me, deciding to wait until warmer weather). This guy had walked most of the length of the country, in different spells, so he passed on some nuggets of advice.

Later in the day, I chatted to more people, locals, out doing their favourite daily walk. It’s amazing what you can learn about people’s lives in a 5 minute conversation.

Today was my first flat day, which I had looked forward to, but it wasn’t the most exciting of walks. Long sections followed the Tarka Trail, which is a tarmac ex railway line. Frequently running straight as a die for several miles, it seemed a bit monotonous. I was thankful for the thoroughly entertaining audiobook version of Danny Baker’s autobiography.


On one of these long stretches, I caught up with a man who was picking up rubbish as he walked along. What a joy these chance meetings are. How lovely it is to have time to chat to people. This super man lives near the Tarka Trail, and has always been annoyed by the amount of litter people leave when they walk and picnic along this popular cycle/walking path. When he retired 10 years ago, he decided to stop complaining and do something about it. So he cleaned up the litter, and has continued to do so for the past 10 years. He says that the local council want nothing to do with it. Crazy, when this path is such a tourist draw. But such a selfless and kind thing for this man to do. Hats off.

25 thoughts on “Not alone

    • I hope so! It would be lovely to post home some winter clothing. I can’t complain tho – no rain so far. It’s coming I think, but hey ho.
      I’ll let you know when I’m nearing your neck of the woods.

  1. I’m Really starting to grasp the level of your challenge as these blog posts keep rolling in. I’m also still surprised by Steve venturing out for the hike (I can only think of him in Reading flats, nice cars & wine bars).

    I hope you’re still loving the trip.


    • Hi Dave good to see you pop up. I do like fine wine – I brought that to the hostel from the corner shop πŸ™‚ but I gave up my love of cars and flat surfaces for a week and now I’m hooked πŸ™‚

  2. HI Flora,
    Continue to enjoy the joys of company.I can’t believe the nuggets of conversations I have had on the beutiful North Devon Coast these last few days as I have stepped out with the dog. Back home at the desk today and missing that freedom already. Enjoy!

  3. Hi Flora, how lovely to spend the day bumping into people and having time to chat. Funny you talking about the Tarka Trail – I had a chicken tarka last night… What’s a chicken tarka you ask? Well, it’s like a chicken tikka – but just a little ‘otter’. (I know, the old one’s are the best eh? – keep smiling and have fun, Diane πŸ™‚

    • Hi Andy, Anita, and Diane. Thanks for the encouragement, and jokes.
      It was my first wet day today. It PEEED it down. Hailed too. But spirits are high, and Little Flora stayed dry. Which is important – if her beans get wet and swell up, she’d be in mortal danger.

  4. Well I would not enjoy the walking bit, Flora….but meeting such interesting people ….great…and the litter guy….what a star. Let’s hope you meet more like him.

  5. Hi Flora, Tony and I look forward to reading your blog, you really bring it to life, I hope the weather stays good for you. Nice to see little flora making an appearance again! X

  6. Hello Flora! Anthony Allinson mentioned your blog to me so I thought I would read through a bit! I get bonus points for recommending you read “The Lost City of Z” — a great and true tale of adventure and exploration in the Amazon! Not sure if it’s on audiobook… but a wonderful read. Thanks for posting… I’ll look forward to reading more! Saludos from Santiago, Chile.
    Heidi M

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