Saturday, August 16, 2008

Spurned Pointers

Don't panic, this isn't going to be a post about my sad love life. I don't do one sentence posts.

No, this is about my day out yesterday at Spurn Point, or Spurn Head as it's sometimes called.

First, lets have a little map.

The picture-in-picture shows England. Bet you didn't know it was THAT small ? And empty !

Anyway, as in the case with these sorts of map thingies, the circled bit is expanded to show the details - but you knew that already.


Being a clever sod, I've added Leeds myself as the map didn't show it and it's kind of crucial to my story, being my starting point an' all.

"Well children, do you see Spurn Head ? Hands up. Yes, Timmy, we all know it looks like a willy but thank you for saying it out loud."

Actually to be anatomically correct, it's a bit of a sad, limp willy and as usual the Americans have a much better one, a sort of viagra peninsula, called Cape Cod. Showoffs.

One reason for wanting to go there was because the drive would take me past The Humber Bridge which is a big, big, BIG bridge over, ah, well, The Humber. Google it. I'll get to it later.

I set off at 11am as, lets face it, I wasn't going to miss a lie-in. Sun or no sun.

So by the time I got to the end of the world and realised I'd better get some lunch before totally leaving civilisation, I came to a lovely pub.

This pub in fact.

As you can see, the road, although hardly a 4 lane highway, is at least paved and can take a car in either direction.

This view is looking back the way I'd come and you can just make out the water on the left. If we went up in a hot air balloon, we'd soon see water on the right side as well - as we're now at the start of the peninsula.

If anyone cares, I had a steak and ale pie, chips, peas and carrots. Yum.

A few hundred yards further along, I came to a sign. As it told me that there was an entrance fee, it wasn't a good sign. Literally.

I thought about it long and hard but as I'd driven for 2 hrs to get there, I wasn't going to go back now.

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I HATE paying money for scenery. Well I don't mind too much if the money has obviously been ploughed back into the place to make it better for the paying customer - but this was not immediately obvious at Spurn Head. Or Point. Or Willy.

And the sign said "Private Road." Private it may have been, but road it certainly wasn't.

Oh before I go any further in this post, I think it would be a grand idea to show everyone what Spurn Head looks like.

As my hot air balloon never turned up, I've had to nick an aerial photo from Wikipedia and even then it's from 1978.

With erosion and other weathery technical stuff that I wouldn't expect you to understand, there isn't quite as much of it as we see in this image.

I've also cleaned up the photo and added a couple of arrows to make things easier to explain.

Right now we're at Point 1 with the sign and the handing over of money and the start of the private 'road'.

This road, nay track, led to Point 2 and lets just say that along the way, I lost a couple of fillings and my car now needs new shocks.

It was only wide enough for one car and when I held my hand out the windows I was able to high five the grass stalks. If you DID meet a car coming the other way, it was up to one of you to find a passing area and thankfully there were plenty of them. An SUV would've lost a coat of paint. A truck would've lost it's wing mirrors and an RV would've lost the V.

At the end of this 3.5 mile track, there is a simple black and white lighthouse which was built between 1893 and 1895. It's just a shell now as it closed in 1986.

Daphne had told me that when they went to this area some years ago, they were able to go up inside the lighthouse. No doubt some kill joy from Health & Safety came for a visit and said "oh no, no, no. This will never do. Someone could jump off the top and hurt themselves.
Whatever next ? Base jumping ?"

And so the doors are now firmly locked and no one can get a lovely view of the peninsula without renting a helicopter or a basketball player.

I left in a huff.

There was a car park area at Point 2 and although the 'road' went on for about two hundred more metres, only official coastguard vehicles could use it to get to their buildings.

I parked up and walked.

I could've headed right and onto the sandy area which goes all the way around the 'head' but I wanted to get to the VERY end of the peninsula. This involved following a convoluted path up and down through the vegetation and often this path, which was simply made by the footsteps of thousands of visitors over the years, split into more paths.

I couldn't see too far ahead and tried to pick any path that I hoped would take me to the end. On one occasion I managed to return to a place I'd passed before and I got a bit of a panic attack as I'm not at my best in a maze. I'd not brought any jaffa cakes.

Suddenly I heard the sound of waves breaking on the shore and I literally burst through the last of the vegetation and came out onto the very point of Spurn Point. Feeling like Dr. Livingston, I sank to my knees in the soft sand and thanked God for my safe deliverance !

Then I went back to the car and drove home.

The End.

Well no, but I know my travel posts can be a bit long at times so I'll leave the rest till tomorrow. It's late and I'm off to bed............

1 comment:

Daphne said...

It feels like the end of the world, Spurn Point. And I wouldn't mind paying three quid if they collected the rubbish off the beaches - for some reason a lot collects there - and built a little visitor centre. But otherwise it should be free. Worth a visit, though, because there's nowhere else like it, certainly not in Britain.

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