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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Cliffs of Chalk

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 9 April 2011 | Views [1113]

After taking two trains to get from London to Eastbourne, Maria and I set out for our excursion to the chalk headland of Beachy Head. Today the weather is beautiful and perfect for today's extraordinary hike! There are like 25 of us on this journey. As we walked with the wind through Eastbourne (said to be the sunniest place in England, if not the UK), we began setting out across dramatic fields of green with the white cliffs in the distance. People aren't joking when they tell me that the white cliffs are spectacular! Whilst these white cliffs aren't as well-known as those at Dover, I reckon they aren't any less spectacular! The English countryside is equally beautiful with its rolling green pastures blending in well with the white cliffs, aquamarine ocean, and blue sky. Upon reaching the Belle Tout lighthouse Maria and I each got a coffee. "Belle Tout" means "all beautiful" and I told Maria she's exactly that. She's such a special lady :). Keeping my camera active and my dare-devil spirit intact, I bravely hung over the cliff lying down and looking toward the English Channel. Maria snapped a photo of me atop a rock on the edge of the cliff; she thought she messed up, but it turned out to be one of my best photos in a long time! Thank you Maria! As I look over the cliff I see a small lighthouse at the base of the cliff where it meets with the ocean. These cliffs sometime erode at a rate of one metre per year! After all chalk is very soft. As we were preparing this morning, Maria made a tasty wrap of turkey, avocado, and Laughing Cow cheese. In Los Angeles I have a good friend named Winn; she's 92 and a Blitz survivor. She said to me before coming over here: "tell Maria I said she needs to take care of you." Take care of me she has, but equally important is that I'm doing my part as well. Maria has such a great soul, and I really admire her. The wind was powerful and it was sunny but cold enough that I had to pull my jumper out. The walk up a hill afterward wasn't a daunting one. Unlike myself, Maria doesn't undertake serious treks such as the Inca Trail or the Rees-Dart...she sticks to more simple walks. However, she chose a great one today! Great Britain isn't nearly as rugged or mountainous as New Zealand or Peru. Located in Scotland, the highest point is Ben Nevis. Before I got to England, we were discussing going to Prague and Brno or possibly to Guernsey but we're sticking close to London. It's very beautiful here! As we followed the edge where green, white, and blue meet I continued to absorb the magic of Maria's radiance and the sight's exhuberance: blue ocean, white cliffs, green grass, clear skies, and a platinum experience...we headed toward the series of cliffs called the Seven Sisters. There at the cafe I stocked up on postcards before heading down to the beach. Andres and I took turns skipping rocks across the turquoise water that's in line with a place like Fiji or the Cayman Islands (only in a very different climate). We walked resiliently and peacefully, yet seemingly endlessly across rolling fields of green. The hike is a total of 8 miles! Years ago, an 8-mile hike would have been a serious undertaking for me, but it was very enjoyable today! As we strolled into Eastbourne we chilled at a pub where I got a tasty spritzer and a saddle of lamb that seemed to taste straight out of the microwave. Lousy grub aside, what an amazing journey today! Alongside Maria = twice as amazing! Back in London, Maria and I sit over a cup of tea reminiscing on our hike today. This place is as enchanting and mystifying as it is exciting and rewarding! And it's been a great journey at that. 

Tags: beaches, cliffs

 

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