While I was walking the South West Coast Path I stopped and talked to many people about the reasons for my journey one of which was to raise money to support Hazel's Heroes, the non profit society started by Gillian in memory of Hazel, her daughter. Several of those who I met very kindly donated to Hazel's Heroes and I promised I would recognize their donations and show how much you collectively added to support Hazel's cause. So here is the list and the total amount donated along the way. Thank you all for your kindness and generosity.
I'm going back and adding more information and pictures to earlier blog posts starting with May 12. If you scroll down and the posts seem to end look for "Previous" under the last post and a whole new page of earlier dates will open up.
Today was a day of contrasts. The scenery was wonderful but uninspiring. Meeting people was positive and negative. The first part of the path was a walk along Swanage seafront followed by a steep climb up to Ballard Down and Ballard Point.
From the high point on Ballard Point I got my first view of my final destination in the distance: South Haven Point.
View across to Studland, South Haven Point and Poole
Next was a steady downward stretch to the cliffs above Old Harry Rocks and the natural arches just off the shore. The weather could not have been better so the views of these chalk formations were clear and bright.
From here the gradual descent continued into Studland where I stopped at the pub for lunch. Studland is supposed to have the most expensive real estate prices in the whole of England and many wealthy individuals have houses there. When you see my pictures of Poole Harbour you will see why I believe it.
The final leg was 2.6 miles (4.3km) along a sandy beach which had no scenery except the sea and the sand. The sand was firm and easy walking as long as you stated close to the sea where the sand was still moist.
Then there it was. The South West Coast commemorative marker. The end of a long journey.
Whoopee! I made it. Me at the official sign at the end of the SW Coast Path
On this final day I had my first and only negative encounter with someone who asked about my walk. After I had talked with them about my walk I offered them one of my cards which they quite forcefully rejected. I guess I was emotional about my last day because I reacted rudely for which I am sorry. However, later I had a memorable encounter. The north end of the beach out of Studland is a favourite spot for naturists and as I passes a man came out of the sea almost naked. He was wearing a hat. When I was close by him I commented, "You shouldn't be wearing that Hat," which resulted in me having a pleasant conversation with an almost naked man. Needless to say, I looked him straight in the eye while we talked and I didn't take a picture.
The Chain Ferry
Then a brief ride on the chain ferry and a bus ride to my accommodation for the next two nights. I booked to stay in a holiday caravan/trailer parked behind the Queen Mary pub and it was a fitting end to my coastal adventure. The trailer was small but comfortable and it even had a TV for me to watch. A good base for my explorations the next day.
I'm a grandfather who lost an infant granddaughter and who wants to help Gillian, her mother, provide support for other grieving parents through Hazel's Heroes.