The wind feels cold against the sweat of my back when I take the pack off to reach for the camera. I’m becoming a connoisseur of mud – today it’s redder, stickier and less slippery than previously.
I’m tired today and I groan and curse in relief to find a bench to sit down on. I look up surprised to see the only person I’ve seen for hours just coming around the corner. She must have heard me clearly but we both great each other with polite helloes.
Wild garlic scents the path – a few are even in bloom now in January. “Two bags of 10mm aggregate, one bag of 50/50” a contractor standing in a half built driveway says into his mobile.
Leaving the cliff path I’m surprised to see a large angular netted structure filled with penguins waddling about. This is the Living Coasts aviary which marks the start of Torquay. The concept looks strongly influenced by London’s Snowdon Aviary designed by Cedric Price.
Entering Torquay I can smell food and perfume. Towns often seem to smell strongly after a long windy coastal walk – or maybe I’m just hungry! The palm trees along the waterfront are almost spookily manicured.
On the promenade a group of elderly gentleman are in the midst of an animated conversation. Each man gesticulates with their walking stick when they make their point, “You should read Rotten Boroughs in Private Eye, then you’ll know the full story” I overhear as I walk past.
In Paignton a chip bap is £1 and a B&B can be had for £18. There’s a row of deserted amusements arcades, one is called Cashino Gaming – all fluorescent pinks, furry prizes and flashing lights. I’m not in a Martin Parr mood so I pass them by in search for food that isn’t deep fried.