August 19th, 2013
I am always impressed by people who busk with a harp. But children busking with a harp is truly heroic. And the end goal of their efforts commands immense respect – watch the video very carefully!
I came across these two lovely lads, while spending a day in the wonderfully eclectic town of Totnes with my mother, and a dear old friend with whom, once upon a time, I climbed up to Annapurna base camp in Nepal, and had not seen much of since. How fitting to reunite on another journey on foot, all these years later.
We spent a meandering few hours wandering the streets and looking for refinements to my kit for the next leg of my journey – a frying pan, a grill and a lovely little lantern, which I found huddled in a higgledy piggledy shop (my favourite kind) that had a bit of anything old and beautiful.
I must admit, though I have refined my kit to what I actually need, there are still some things that feel are ‘essential’ in a different way, and candle light is one of them. I read in Roger Deakin’s ‘Wildwood’ the other day a quote about candle light illuminating the darkness and electric light killing it. The darkness in Devon is something I wish to embrace totally, so candle light is therefore part of my ‘essential kit’, whether journeying or staying put.
I have been fortunate so far, in each region I have journeyed, to be offered a ‘base camp’ in some form. In Devon, a lady I didn’t know before has so kindly offered for me to base myself in her converted granary. This connection came through somebody else I met in Cumbria, who had read my blog and we happened also to meet me because she decided to visit Sprint Mill, which the blog described, while I was there.
In Devon I shall likely be walking more often with my large backpack, from A to B, than I was in Cumbria, where I would leave it at the bottom of a mountain and go on day walks. For the curious among you, on these day walks I found that my essential items comprised: a notebook, a pen, some nuts and dried fruit, some dried meat (very good walking energy), my iPad for taking photos and videos and posting blogs when I found network at the top of a mountain, a map, and some water. That is what I need. No more, no less.
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Sarah Thomas is Penguin's Wayfarer and she'll be walking and writing for us all summer. Follow her journey here!