Gradually, we learn

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There was a time when little else mattered save to reach the apex with haste.

Gradually, we learn.

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Terminal beauty – the foxglove

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Ingested in even the smallest of doses, the foxglove can kill a human. Yet the bee survives. To be reminded of our vulnerability in the face of a flower is both exciting and humbling.

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.

 

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