So out we went, past the hotel's mysterious set of gay-plastic-meercats....
(The pink Pig had found some friends)
Into the car-like thing, and off, toward the slightly sub-tropical shores of Port Mulgrave.
"Toto, we're not in Kansas now...." It's probably wise not to ask what's going on in Hinderwell, probably the result of hallucinogens in the water supply.
The President of the United States of America is making a statement in front of the Fish'n'chip shop,
The Pied Piper is ridding the pub of rats...
Michael Jackson is visiting...
Little Red Riding Hood has STOMPED the wolf
Once upon a time, of course, it was tropical. Warm seas, steamy swamps, plesiosaurs... in jurassic times. The way down to the sea is a steep little path through bushy vegetation, with a few stone steps here and there, no handrails, some mud, brambles, nettles... it takes a while to get there. "Are we there yet?" she sings out... -not even close, -it's steep.
Precipitous in places. And you need to check the tide-tables before descending, because the tide comes in all the way to the cliffs, get caught in the wrong place and ummmm. well, not a good idea, anyway.
The cliffs are tall and crumbly, rockfalls are happening all the time, wise not to go too close,
Because at an earlier time, we bought a fossil, an ammonite, as a kind of unusual reminder of Yorkshire, and I'd promised that one day we'd go find our own, so here we were, on a foreshore where the strata laid bare are the remains of the Jurassic era, and where millions of years worth of fossilised sea-bed and swamps are falling from the cliffs and being ground up by the sea.
Just innocent looking rocks...
I always loved geology, geomorphology, but eventually loved art and ceramics more. If I'd persevered with it, I might by now be bored and unmoved by sights such as this.
Choose a likely-looking stone, smack it carefully with a hammer, to split it.
Peel it apart. Be the first mammal ever to see its contents.
An Ammonite (dactylioceras) that swam in warmer seas, right here, a hundred and sixty-five million years ago.
These bivalves were glowing like gold. We left them there, maybe for the next hunter, maybe never to be seen again, depending on the whims of the sea.
In the background, frequent rumbles and rattles as more rockfalls replenish the beach.
Eventually, satisfied with our haul, and with the waves a LOT closer, it's time to return to the old harbour, and face the long, steep climb up, back to the world. In all this time we've seen maybe five other people.
She moaned on the way up too, "Are we near the top yet?" "No".
But there's a respite, a seat about a third of the way up, dedicated to a man who fished from this bay for forty years, there are a lot of easier places to fish from, I think, but up and down that cliff every day must have either kept him very fit, or killed him.
More trudging. She knew I had the rations, so she had a motive not to just curl up in an exhausted sobbing heap...
And eventually, the top of the path, car in sight!
And so, back to our own little haven, a couple of miles down the coast, and a day well spent, treasure found, aching muscles, but a sense of worthwhile achievement.