Hiking along the coast (part 2)

Sunday (18 Sept.)

Slowly the world starts getting some colour. The sun is not above the
horizon yet, but it will be soon. Although the wooden hut where I slept
was not really well isolated it wasn’t a cold night and I’m eager to
get out of my sleeping back and enjoy the fresh morning air. Ten
minutes later I’m already of the golf course where the hut was located
and sit down near the edge of the cliff. Below me the waves rhytmically
crash into the shore. The tide is at it’s highest now. For a moment I
consider my destination for today – I feel the need to move on. Then I
come back to my senses; it’s a beautiful morning with an almost
spotless blue sky and again a great view of the high-rising cliffs and
the sea below them. These are the wee hours of morning and at this
moment this spectacle exists only for me.

I make a cup of tea, drink it slowly and afterwards do some meditating.
After about an hour a man in his fifties walks by together with a small
dog. The dog is very excited and the man explains me that they usually
don’t meet people this early. They walk on, and I go back to watching
the sea. There’s nothing I need to do and I think of something Erwin
said in August when, after a long period of hard work, we had almost
finished our Bachelorproject in Artificial Intelligence. He told me
then that after finishing the project he would meditate for an entire
day. For me, after and during this long project there were always many
things to do, places to go and ideas to sort out. Now, I’m just
enjoying the moment and I do feel like staying here the entire day.

The warmth at this early hour makes me realise it’s going to be really
warm later on. Twenty meters further on a small tent is pitched and now
someone starts waking up in there. The tent probably is to hot for
sleeping already. After some movements a 60-year old guy with long
black hair emerges. We start chatting; his name is Pete, he’s retired
and he has been living here in his tent for a couple of weeks now. He
used to stay in his house in Sheffield, but got tired from watching
television, tired from his kids who are obsessed with material
belongings and tired from the people around him who are stuck in their
routines. Here he tries to find some freedom.

I go back to watching the sea. Very slowly the high tide changes to low
tide while the cliffs and the now revealed sand beach are getting
filled with passers-by. For a change all the other people are going
somewhere, while I’m sitting still for hours on end, and being
perfectly content with it. It can be tiring, always having to do
things, never being able to fully enjoy your free time because there
are always things nagging in the back of your head. It’s hard to live
in the moment, free from worries about the future and mistakes from the
past, but right now I’m doing perfectly fine.

Sleeping places
Finding accomodation for the nights was a challenge, some places where
perfectly fine, while others where of somewhat doubtful quality. The
first night I spent at a well covered busstop on an abonded parking
lot. At least, that is what I’m thinking when I go to sleep. Later on I
notice that the rain is blown in from the sides, that the roof isn’t
waterproof and that there is someone on the parking place. He or she is
driving a car around, very, very slowly for hours on end. Sometimes
another car drops by, stays for a while and leaves again. I get almost
no sleep, but do get a nice wet sleeping back and one soppy shoe. This
experience reminds me of something my German friend Annika asked me
when I went days on end with way to little sleep; “Aren’t you afraid of
going mad?”. As I’m silently leaving even before the first light
of the day I realise that indeed I don’t want any more nights like
this. Sleeping rough is okay, but there should be some sleeping
involved and I do am concerned about my personal safety.

The second night I sleep in a bunker. It’s an interesting experience,
although somewhat more windy as I expected. The third night was spent
in the wooden hut. It was nice and warm, which is really suprisingly
for Brittain in September. The fourth night I sleep on the side of an
unused building. It provides some protection from the wind. I’m
sleeping with my jacket on though, so even when the wind tries to
penetrate my sleeping back, it doesn’t chill my body. The fifth night

I’m again sleeping in a wooden hut. This time on one of the benches,
because the floor isn’t particularly clean. In the night I’m shortly
awaken by some heavy rain. I smile and make myself comfortable; this
night I’ve a perfectly covered sleeping place and nothing to worry

Tuesday morning (the 20th) I start hitchhiking again. My first lift is
from a tree surgeon. He suprises me by spontaneously offering me some
accomodation in his cottage. Well, it might come in handy some other
time. Especially as I’m somewhat hesitant about the sleeping places I
found this week. It’s one thing to pitch your tent on a clearing in the
middle of a forest, but it’s another to sleep in places which may or
may not be somebody elses property. I’d hate to offend anybody.

What’s next?
On Wednesday the 21th I’ll make my first long hitchhiking trip in
England – from near Hull to London. I might enjoy staying there for a
while, although heading further south, towards the sun, does sound
quite nice to me.. Also, looking at my finances it seems about time to
find some work somewhere. If I get any oppurtunity I’ll probably take
it, regardless of the location.

I really enjoying reading your thoughts people! Please feel welcome to post or email :-)

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4 Responses to Hiking along the coast (part 2)

  1. Wouter says:

    Feels like reading Lord of the Rings… Even Gandalf is there :)
    Great to hear that you are finding what (I think) you needed, and that you still think of the people back home (and all the clever things some of us have said).
    Do be careful where you sleep though… Don’t want to sound like I’m your mom but hey… hard not to get a bit worried sometimes.
    Pretty sure you’ll be just fine though. You sure sound old and wise enough in your posts :D


  2. Gerard says:

    Checking your site for all your activities in the oudoors of England. Even that I enjoy my own time here in Portugal, I would also like to be in your shoes. Great to here that you take every day, as it comes.(Carpe Diem) In comment on your reply on my email; We could realy use some rain here! It hasn´t rained here more than 11 months. How long did you planed to keep hiking before you want to arrive in Londen. Furthermore I hope youre sleepingbag is okay

  3. Jenny Jaffe says:

    hee jurgen-
    die laatste update van je heeft wel literaire kwaliteiten! Ik lees nu in 1 keer een heel aantal posts…die oversteek van het kanaal klinkt heel spannend. Het verblijven in hutjes doet me denken aan hoe ik een keer in verlaten hutje aan het strand in Galicie was gaan slapen. Alleen bleken om 5 uur ‘s ochtends de vissers hun netten uit dat hutje te halen! Ze deden gelukkig alsof ze mij niet hadden gezien…misschien waren ze gewend af en toe iemand in een hoekje te zien liggen…
    Keep us posted!

  4. Erwin says:

    Hey jurgen :-)

    I’m just reading up on your beautiful stories! I’ve not done the meditation day yet, but I will soon :) I’m really surprised at how much u can do in so little time! It’s almost as if u live at a pace four times faster than me. Oh and your writing is very is to read, it might be a good idea to bundle your travel stories at some later time in your future.

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