“Then Corr turns, stepping out of the ocean. His head jerks up when his injured leg touches the ground, but he takes another labored step before keening to me again. Corr takes another step away from the November sea. And another.”
One of my absolute favorite parts of my trip were the Bempton Cliffs. A good stretch of the east coast of the UK ends drastically in chalk cliffs that go straight down into the North Sea. Hundreds of puffins and thousands of sea fowl make these unbelievable cliffs their home. The thing that I love the most, though, was how the land is perfectly flat farmland for miles and miles, covered in cows and sheep and fields of grain, but then it all just ends in a matter of feet. It’s one of the most incredible things I have even seen.
I’ve always heard about the white chalk cliffs of England’s southern coast, so I decided to take a look at them when I was in Brighton. I hiked from my hostel in Hove to Newhaven, which was about twelve miles (probably closer to fifteen after factoring in all of the villages I stopped to explore along the way). The cliffs are so tall when you are walking along the bottom of them, and then it is incredible to get a different perspective by climbing to the top and seeing everything from so high in the air. It was so pretty to walk with the cliffs on one side of me and the ocean on my other side.
There were several moments when I could look all around me and be surrounded by nothing but nature–no villages in sight, no telephone wires or lampposts, and no other people. It felt strange to have that in such a wide, open space. Short of trekking to the middle of a forest, it’s hard to think of a way in which we aren’t somehow always affected by something man-made.