A Nice Cake is Waiting For You

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Issue III: Winter 2010

by Antoinette Carone

A nice cake is waiting for you.  This was the thought of the hikers on the Southwest Coast Path that runs along the coast of Devon and Cornwall.  Six people had undertaken this hike with a guide.  It would last a week and cover about sixty miles – ten a day.

Here was some of the most beautiful bleak moorland scenery to be found.  The grey-green hills touched the blue-grey sky.  The land was steep, hilly, rocky with only scattered trees.  It was springtime and bushes of yellow broom lined the pathway.  Sheep were everywhere.  They wandered onto the hikers’ path, became frightened and tried to run away only to fall over their own feet.  The hikers would stop their trek to give these stupid creatures their getaway opportunity.

The path followed the coastline up and down.  Ten miles would have been an easy walk but the hills were steep and the way winding.  Many miles kept the coastline and the sea a hundred feet below on one side and brambly tors on the other.  It took about six hours to walk ten miles.  Six hours to take in this melancholy disturbing beauty that was somewhat different each day.  Six hours of climbing over rocks or trekking along a beach with the tide going out or coming in.  There was always a pub at the end of the day with draught beer for the guys and a glass of wine for the two ladies.  And cake!

England has some of the best sweets in the world.  They are not rich and delicate as they are in France, nor creamy as they are in Italy, nor very sweet as they are in Eastern Europe.  They are substantial, laden with fruit, drowning in sauce.  A hardy cake – or pudding as they are called – fit for a shepherd.  “Death by chocolate”  was waiting for us.  What a way to go!

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