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Minehead to Porlock Walk

We left the van on Minehead's beach front, not far from the eyesore of Butlin's concentration camp, and prepared to begin the official start of the south west coastal path. Though we'd walked some sections previously we decided that it was time to take it a bit more seriously and make an official start. So Simon brought out the red ribbon, we asked some unsuspecting passers-by to hold the other end whilst someone else took a photo of us cutting it next to the monument which marks the beginning of the trail. The monument itself, an hallucinogenic large pair of hands holding an enormous map, is a fairly recent addition to the route, and we both agreed that without it we'd never have found the starting point.

Off we strode, full of vigour, determination, and with mind altering pasties in hand for sustenance, the path left the seafront with it's pissed and bored population milling around for the bank holiday, and instantly leapt up the nearest hill all the way onto Exmoor.

This part of the path appeared to be a bit of a rollercoaster as it climbed up the moorland, then suddenly plunged into a valley. The views, however, were stunning, and we sat looking out over the Bristol Channel to Wales admiringly. Surprisingly, although it was easter, hardly anyone else seemed to be walking the route, and I'd expected to be behind lines of people like it is in the Lake District.

One of the hobbies around Minehead seems to be setting fire to things, and as we walked past scorched signs and burned hillsides we expected to meet pyromaniacs at any moment and be torched alive. We eventually came to a fork in the path, and decided to choose the 'rugged path', which followed the cliff edge. Since we were out to walk the coastal path, we figured, it was time to get a bit fundamental about it, and actively follow the coast.

Soon we found ourselves on Bossington Hill, high up and looking out over Porlock Bay. It was getting late, however, so realising that it would be difficult to find a bus or taxi on Easter Sunday to take us back to Minehead, we descended the hill, found a bridleway, and followed it back to the road to Minehead.

Back at the beginning of the trail, we found 'Jaws' fish and chip shop, which, apparently unchanged since the 70's with it's sitting area in the back of the shop, was just like chip shops used to be. We had a lovely supper, and Simon and I discussed where best to spend the night.

We opted to park on a track close to Selworthy Beacon, and I was introduced to Stealth Camping in Simon's modified Mercedes Sprinter. Looking like a plain van on the outside, the interior is fully kitted out with a double bed, sink, toilet and fridge, cleverly designed to enable you to park up and sleep anywhere without arousing any of the suspicions that a campervan or hippymobile would.

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