|flikr, Library of Congress|
The New Inn is still around and the town of Clovelly in Devon is booming with tourists. They still call it the New Inn which is quite funny as the photo was taken in 1880 by Francis Bedford. In the old days only pedestrians and donkeys with sledges transported goods up to the town, likely from the sea shore where the goods ships made landings. I found the view of the inn from the other side in a Flikr file. The prompt photo is from the National Media Museum.
My mother hated traveling. She loved staying home and she positively revered routine. Is that why I fight "routine" tooth and nail and why nothing pleases me more than being on the road? Do we inevitably swing the other way when our parents are rigid? My mother took exactly the same route to the store every time she went. It didn't matter if another way was faster, safer or more interesting. There was one way to the store and that's the way we went. My husband teases me now if I try to give him driving directions. "Yes Jill," he says and I shut up.
In all fairness, my mother never discouraged me from traveling nor did she express any disapproval. She'd only say, "I don't know how you do it." In some ways, when travelers speak to non-travelers it's like they're from different planets. Some speculate that their DNA is different. Here's a link to an interesting article on the subject. DRD4-7R is the gene they call the Wanderlust Gene. I think I have it; I know my mother did not.
When my mother came from Canada to visit me and my sister in California, she'd start counting the days until she could leave almost as soon as she arrived. I loved to have her with us, but hated to see her suffer. On her last few visits she was escorted by my friend Linda, the kindest person on the planet, who came along with her and we were all able to enjoy some time together. Mother was much more relaxed with Linda and the security of her company took away some of the terrible stress she felt when away from home.
I have only this one photo of my mother on the road. She and my dad took the obligatory European tour after he retired. This ghastly room is in Paris. At first glance I thought it was a hospital room and the black thing on the wall was an IV drip. Who would put a telephone up on the wall between two beds? The interior design is wanting to say the least. On the table is a bottle of whisky and two bottles of water...that's what my father drank: one part whisky, two parts water. Poor mother was stuck in that room counting the days left before she could leave, watching my father read guide books and sip at the whisky. Poor thing.
Reading about Clovelly and Devon rattled the heck out of my DRD4-74 and got me interested in the South West Coast Path. I've been looking for a walking vacation we could do with our traveling buddies who love to hike, preferably in England and this one would be a doozy....630 miles. My husband (who also has the Wanderlust gene) choked when I mentioned it to him, but I'm thinking we could attempt 25% of it in one chunk. That would be a reasonable 8 miles a day for 20 days with time off for good behavior. It would take about a month.
Now that I have a nodding acquaintance with Clovelly, the smallest section I would do is the one from Clovelly to Westward Ho which is 11.1 miles. Clovelly, in the information on the walk, is described as an ancient village with links to "smuggling and wrecking." They also mention the village has been used in many TV shows and films including the 1990 version of Treasure Island starring Charlton Heston.
I'm going to start training. My mother would call me insane.