As I started out on my walk and I climbed up the first headland out of Sidmouth I realised I would not be able to reach Seaton with time to find a place to stay if I kept to the official coast path. After a look at the map I decided to find my own way on some of the many public footpaths available all over England. It was a good decision because my diversion lead me to some interesting places I would otherwise have missed. I went by and briefly visited a donkey sanctuary where unwanted, overworked and abused donkeys are rescued. It's an amazing facility covering a large area all divided up into different paddocks (corrals) for different donkeys according to their types or their disposition. There is even a paddock for therapy donkeys that are used for helping visitors who have physical or mental disorders. All of the buildings are modern and well equipped and it is obvious that the donkeys are well cared for.
The donkey sanctuary
He likes me!
Further along the way I came to the village of Street. It's a beautiful little village nestled in a pretty valley. As you can see in the picture the cottages are old and many of them have thatched roofs. Needless to say it had a pub, The Fountain Head, where I stopped for lunch.
When I left the pub I walked past a mum, dad, a little girl and a baby. As I went by the little girl saw the poster on the back of my backpack and said, "Why does that man have a picture of a baby on his back?" I turned round and replied, "I'm glad somebody asked," and had a great conversation with the parents who donated in the name of their two daughters. From street I continued on and eventually rejoined the coast path at Branscombe Mouth. It was along this stretch of the coast that the red sandstone cliffs started to give way to the most westerly occurrence of the famous white chalk cliffs.
As I approached Beer I met three young ladies, one carrying a baby in a backpack, and we walked together for awhile talking about Hazel, Gillian and Hazel's Heroes and they all took one of my cards so that they could look on the internet.
When I arrived in Seaton I found accommodation at the first place I came across, a nice B&B. All in all a really good 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.