So it seemed the van that appeared just before we went to sleep the night before, had no intention of sleeping during the night, and relentlessly spent most of the night constantly heading back to their van. Around 7am, the first car of the day rolled up, and as we were both already awake, we decide to get up early and make an earlier start to the walk than planned. Anyone who knows Willow, will understand that this is not an idea she would often entertain.
The gorge is a roughly five minute walk from the car park. As we set of, the path led us past the sleeping habitants of the van. Images of all the horrendous things I could do to them flashed through my head, I especially liked the idea of padlocking the people in their hammock, and setting a fire underneath them. Unfortunately, neither of us possesses a padlock, and so I just glared in their direction angrily.
The start of the walk informs you that the path is dangerous. As always, we were prepared by not bothering to bring suitable walking boots. We did have a bottle of water each though. We are getting more sensible with old age.
It’s not long until you are at the entrance to the gorge.
The gorge very quickly narrows, and it is not long until you are surrounded on both sides by high rocks on either side.
The path was filled with trees, desperately trying to climb their way out of the gorge towards sunlight.
We passed through a tunnel and then the gorge started to close to its smallest point.
Most of the walk is on level ground, although at times you are required to scramble over fallen rocks. Occasionally, the gorge opens out to a more wooded opening.
When we had cleared the path, we headed onto a GR route that we hoped would lead us around the cliff and back to the van. The reason I say hoped, is that Willow didn’t bring the instructions for the walk and she had a feeling we were supposed to take the route to our left. With a sign to our right leading close to where we had parked Ruby, we decided to play it safe and follow that one instead.
The walk lead us down a GR path through forestry commission. With no instructions or phone to guide us, we were reliant on the GR sysbols and cairns. Fortunately, most of the walk was clearly labelled, and we only got lost once or twice.
The walk climbed back around one of the cliffs, and offered us spectacular views of the local surroundings.
Finally, we started our descent down towards the local town, before cutting back across the bottom of the rock back towards Ruby.
We arrived back at the van around lunch time, and so deliberated on what we would do for the rest of the day. With Google Maps up, we realised that we were close to a gorgeous beach that we visited last year. There was a horrible site for campers right next to the beach, where van after van were lined up next to each other, with only half a metre of space between them. However, once in this area, you could drive further down a road and park up right next to the beach.
The beach was just over an hour away from where we were and we made it there in good time. Unfortunately, we were told by a lady working at the barrier that our van was not allowed past, we couldn’t make out whether it was fully booked, but it seemed more regarding our van. We spent the next the next thirty minutes looking for a spot to park, which was incredibly difficult as the while town was trying to discourage camper vans with height restrictions.
We did eventually spot a space in an area which permitted camper vans, only for a car to sneak in and take it seconds before us. Uncontrollable anger raced through us, as there were many parking spaces available in other car parks that we could not get to due to the height of Ruby. It was sheer laziness, and we made sure that the people in the car realised how enraged we were.
Luckily, after another drive round the town, we noticed a modern VW van packing away in the same car park. As luck would have it, our fellow VW enthusiast made sure that we were able to claim the spot after they left.
With a spot secured we headed down to the beach for some much needed sun and sea.
The time spent relaxing only made me more furious that we were not allowed past the barrier. It made me more agitated when I saw new vans turn up and pay to enter.
Two young boys had replaced the unhelpful lady on the barrier, and so we thought we would have another shot at getting the van through. As luck would have it, these spoke better English than their colleague, and as it turned out they were initially going to turn is away as they didn’t think we could sleep in Ruby. When we explained that we could, the barrier was lifted and we were free to roam.
We instantly drove past the graveyard of big white campers parked closely knitted together, and headed for the secluded part of the road, further down the beach.
This part of the road has many signs informing you that inhabitable vehicles are not permitted. They also had a height restriction bar in place, but luckily this was not closed.
We drove as far from the horrible camper village until we were in a secluded beach car park, only minutes from the sea.
With a spot secured, we had weird french vegetarian burgers that we found and enjoyed our spot staring at the sea.
Just before we went to sleep, I spotted a small cloud in the distance that mesmerised me. It had a small lightning storm contained within it. And every so often lit up the sky like a flickering bulb.
We had decided that tomorrow we would extend our beach trip for a whole day of relaxing.