Gill Point St Helena Island

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow”. William Shakespeare

I love the walking group, really it is the one event of the week (or the month as has been the case in the last few weeks due to the weather) that I look forward to most.  Some of us arrive at places we never knew existed on this remote little island. It is madness that as a child I never discovered these little island retreats. The world seems so large and scary when you’re a child, even an island of 47 sq miles.

Leading the way down the hill to Gill Point – Check out the orange ‘Magic Mike’ walking boots

I probably travelled the UK more than a lot of Brits (due to my job). Is it simply because we take for granted that the landmass is there and we can visit it any time we want? When I think of places like Bradford on Avon, Brixham Harbour, Swanage, Edinburgh,  Barnard Castle, Tavistock, The IOW and St Ives (but to name a few) I am so glad that I was able to see so many of these places and stop off for whatever the local grub was or enjoy a drink in the local often often antiquated pub. I think about the people I met, too many to remember. Strangers in a town that sometimes I only ever visited once.

For me, life is about experiences. I never want to stop enjoying the powerfulness of the moment. I never want to stop embracing the laughter, the conversations, the views, the  quiet without hangups. Someone asked me, “what about the bad times in life?” Yep, they are all part of the journey. I believe ‘yin and yang’ allows for valuable lessons but these days I am trying my best to moderate the pendulum so that I don’t end up with too much drama and not enough excitement. When the pendulum swings one way, accepting that it has, is the means to try and bring it back to the centre rather than swing to the opposite extremes.

Climbing into tight spots and scrambling back out

I am not easily offended these days, although one lady on the walk (yes you Polly) has pimped my conversation competence out as a lullaby for children at bedtime. I love banter. Thank you to the guys on the construction sites for this. I love it when people don’t take life too seriously, aren’t too sensitive and can laugh at my fooling, as I have it in large quantities. I get overly excited sometimes about the smallest things, but it is a sign of my happiness. I am high on life. If wanting to laugh as much as possible is a crime, then “your Lordship, I am guilty”. We should never water down our happiness and laughter for crazy convention which would have us on our knees living miserably if we let it. Two fingers up to that.  

He did it!

Gill Point is a short walk down to the coast via the outer perimeters of the Airport. The many thousands of pieces of fragmented rock along the way as well as the climbing here and there (I love rock climbing when its on the surface of the black basalt I realised) makes for beauty, fun and the walk is not too tiring. The weather conditions were perfect, thank you to the meteorologist who came along with us, you saved the day which did not see me ‘decaying’ in my PJs all day. (Nice thought – not).

The rock face, colours, contours, contrasts…..magnifique!

As the waves battered the coves the sea salt leapt over us, the smell of raw, unadulterated sea breeze blasted our senses spaciously. I commented to a fellow walker how the colour of the surf was like the ice-bergs we see on TV, a beautiful aquamarine submerged within a brilliant white foam.

She roars! She looks so beautiful against the black basalt rock – The Sea that is 🙂

This is definitely a walk for the fainter-hearted (and the rope bit isn’t as challenging as it looks). I was very pleased that I was able to get to the top before an avid walker who is always competing with everybody on getting back to the top first, sometimes pushing people out of the way in order to get in front. “Take that one!”

Anyone wishing to join the walking group on Sundays, give Ed Thorpe a shout out, therapy, laughter, beauty and exercise in one package, a great deal.

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