Alone with the Atlantic – Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Wales

For five nights I slept beside the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. On the first, I woke before the night was up and walked with the stars over frosted grass and frozen puddles, and on the second I slept with the pounding drum of the rain upon my shelter. And so it went, from one peninsula to the next, weather on my face, beyond the whirling lighthouse of Strumble Head, the moorland ponies of Mynydd Morfa and the slatestone incisors of the Aberdinas Islands, not a another walker in sight for three days and three nights.

 

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Beauty without restraint – South West Coast Path, England

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Sandy Mouth, north Devon, England

We lit the fire with kindling and paper, then surrounded its flames with fragments of drift, their knots and heartwood damp from the rolling sea. With the heat warming our sides we lay upon the pebbles, the Atlantic in our ears, the stars in our eyes. It is times like these I will remember.

Later that night, on a headland above the swash, I unzipped my bivvy. The skies had clouded over and rain fell in thin sheets, blown left and right on the switching wind.

This is the South West Coast Path, peninsulas and valleys, time and time again, stars and rain, beauty without restrain.

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Sandy Mouth

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Sandy Mouth

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Welcombe, north Devon, England

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Welcombe, north Devon, England

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Hartland Point and the island of Lundy, north Devon, England

 

I am the river – Norfolk, England

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First frost over the breckland of north Norfolk, England

Through tussocks, reeds and the occasional yew,

I am the river and you the view;

Through pasture forgotten and by trees of oak,

I will walk the land like liquid smoke;

Quietly.

Sunrise, love and ice – Kepler Track, New Zealand

Sunrise on the Kepler Track, New Zealand (Jake Graham Photography)

Sunrise on the Kepler Track, New Zealand (Jake Graham Photography)

We woke in the hut before dawn. The logs in the burner, the night previous so alive, had faded, leaving us huddled side by side in our sleeping bags like penguins in a storm. Too cold to sleep, we rose, pulled on our hats and gloves and pushed open the cabin’s creaking, wooden door.

Cloud branched through the valleys beneath our vantage point, and the low scrub that populated the Luxmore slopes lay frozen with wind-sculpted ice shards.

Some time later, the night’s sky turned sapphire. The sun climbed slowly beyond the eastern ranges, at first, oddly cooling, before washing the scene with a warm amber light. My capillaries flooded with love, and, at that moment, I was present.