I set off from Ilfracombe with my plan being to camp some 15 miles away beyond Hangman hill, one of the highest points on the Coast path at over 1000 feet.
The way out of Ilfracombe was dominated by the Verity statue by Damien Hirst which stood , obviously pregnant, at the harbour mouth.
As I climbed the hill outside Ilfracombe the statue did seem to fit surprisingly well into the landscape of the harbour, however I also noticed the low clouds approaching from the west.
I passed through Hele bay which was dominated by a great clump of identical holiday homes, some were painted slightly different shades of off white but it did little to alleviate their harshness.
As I went down the coast the cloud grew lower until by the time I reached Combe Martin I was now in fog.
It did clear slightly outside Combe Martin but as I started to ascend again I climbed into the cloud.
I was still four miles short of my campsite but here I was approaching a place known for its views and only being able to see about thirty yards.
This seemed an awful waste to me so I decided to take a gamble and camp early. This was a gamble for three reasons, first I was making a long walk the next day and second I had no real proof the weather would be any better tomorrow morning and third I was camping 900 feet up on a hillside with only gorse bushes to protect me and my tent if the wind sprang up.
I put my tent up in thick fog.
Looking outside at about 10pm I was treated to a gloriously clear and cloudless sky with more stars than I’ve seen for a long time. No light pollution here. I returned to sleep , hopeful for the morning’s views.