Monday, 16 January 2012

To Sandy Bay - off-season

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First walk for nearly a month: we didn't get a chance over Christmas and the New Year due to all the responsibilities attendant on my mother-in-law's final illness and funeral.

We never tire of the walk from Exmouth to Sandy Bay and back - it's a pretty easy six miles, and with the tide right you can do one leg of the walk along the flat sands, and the other along the clifftop through the High Land of Orcombe (National Trust owned permanent pasture).

The last few days have seen clear high-pressure weather here, but today the piercing wind had dropped. It was just a fresh and dazzling day, giving, to my eye anyway, intensely contrasty and saturated colours to the landscape, with a lovely amber cast as the sun dropped. Everything is off-reason and under renovation. On Exmouth seafront, the swan boats, trampolines, crazy golf and most of the beach cafes are closed. The Geoneedle site at Orcombe Point, marking the western end of the Jurassic coast, is fenced off for ongoing work:
The initial phase of the work is expected to take four weeks. It will involve a new retaining wall with integrated seating, an orientation point with stone pavers and re-surfacing, which will include interpretive stones.

The next phase, from February, will include interpretation boards for the zig-zag path and Foxholes car park.

- Facelift for Orcombe Point, Exmouth Journal, January 16th 2012.
And the Devon Cliffs Holiday Park at Sandy Bay is virtually deserted - you can peek into the caravans and see the furniture and cushions piled up, like Tutankhamen's tomb, for the winter - except for excavations to the cafe car park. I don't know how long this will be going on, but today the work focused on the area at the top of the beach access ramp, so unfortunately there was no access to the shore at Sandy Bay.

I've no literary/historical observations for this location today; this was simply a delightful and long-overdue break to feed the squirrels on Bath Road, walk, chill out, take photos, and end up with a cup of Earl Grey watching the sunset from Posh at the Seaside (the Exmouth Pavilion Cafe on the Esplanade).

But you can find a few previous topics: see Rolle on autumn; The wreck of the Tehwija; To Exmouth again; Straight Point; and Riddle of the sand.

- Ray

Exmouth Beach looking east

Exmouth Beach looking west

Orcombe Point from Queen''s Drive promenade

The Geoneedle site: start of the Jurassic Coast

Exmouth from Orcombe Point

Straight Point from cliff path

Devon Cliffs Holiday Park

Sandy Bay, Jan 16th: no beach access

An apparition seen at Sandy Bay

The beach at Orcombe Point, from Orcombe steps

Exmouth: swan boats off-season

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