The Perimeter

Day 30: Barton on Sea to Bournemouth – Fog & Faith

Fog at Highcliffe, Dorset.

Thick mist amongst the trees in Chewton Bunny, a chine that marks border of Dorset and Devon and an old Smuggling route. Finger sign proclaims “To the Sea”.

Fog near Chewton Bunny, Dorset.

At the waterfront a CCTV camera rotates high on a post in the fog.

Foggy beach at Steamer Point Nature Reserve.

Sea fog at Friars Cliff, Dorset.

A man strikes up a conversation “Normally you can see Old Harry Rocks and the Polar Bear in the cliffs of the Isle of Wight, but it’s too misty today” I nod enthusiastically trying to imagine these wonders from the tracing paper vista before us.

Foggy Groynes at Mudeford, Dorset.

Dewy web, Highcliffe, Dorset.

Two women wearing gilets in plum and navy blue each carry little plastic bags of dog shit, the creators of which ignore the commands shouted urgently in their direction.

Chewton Bunny, the valley marking the Hampshire & Dorset border, Dorset.

Labrador and beach huts, Mudeford, Dorset.

By a neat row of pastel beach huts a silent couple read the Telegraph with mugs of tea, golden Labrador at their side.

Highcliffe, Dorset.

At Stanpit Marsh I rest to discover wild horses crowding around me biting and slobbering over my pack to try and get at my lunch. Not wanting to share it with my new friends I decide to eat elsewhere.

Closed pub, Mudeford, Dorset.

Christchurch Priory detail, Dorset.

The Arbour, Priory Gardens, Christchurch, Dorset.

Two women overheard on the path to Christchurch:
“His name is Dr Emmanuel, big black man …”
“Very black” she added moments later

Christchurch Priory misericords, 13th to 16th century, Dorset.

Jesse screen carved in 1360 behind the high altar, Christchurch Priory, Dorset.

Priory Gardens, Christchurch, Dorset.

I’m not taking any ferries across rivers or estuaries on this journey so it’s with some smugness I discover the the ferry to Hengistbury Head isn’t running today in any event.

Hippo & Swans, the Quomps at Christchurch Quay, Dorset.

Seascape I, Warren Hill, Dorset.

Beach huts, Hengistbury Head, Dorset.

Seascape II, Warren Hill, Dorset.

Start of Bournemouth’s celebrated 7 miles of sand. The weather takes a turn for the worse, sand castles stand deserted, many half collapsed atop burrows like badger sets.

Grumpy Old Gits Shed, Hengistbury Head, Dorset.

Although I’m close to Bournemouth now I need to rest/collapse on a bench under the glow of a sodium lamp – aware that with my backpack I look like the homeless men I’ve just passed preparing to make a bench their home for the night. Dog walkers avert their gaze.

A man jogs past at speed with a prosthetic leg and an Alsatian harnessed around his waist.

Bournemouth from Warren Hill, Dorset.