Harold goes hiking

Meet Harold – a rather grumpy and distinctly overweight brown bear who’s exceedingly fond of his creature comforts. Somehow – don’t ask him how, he has no idea – he always found himself being tipped into someone’s smelly rucksack at the start of these damned walking holidays. He used to complain loudly, squashed up between yesterday’s balled-up hiking socks and the used blister plasters, and then console himself by rifling through the emergency chocolate until it appeared that a plague of locusts had been at work.

Ascent of the north face

But, as the years went on and Harold quite unintentionally got more and more miles under his belt (that’s the belt which has needed several extra holes) he found he actually started to rather enjoy this walking lark. He’s learned to take the positives from it – that a hot bath, a nice meal, a bottle of wine and a comfy bed never feel and taste quite as good as they do after a day of really hard graft. Now he’s become quite a connoisseur of the upscale bed and breakfast, the seaside bistro and the cosy village pub. He comes along at his own suggestion – just as keen to get round the old South West Coast Path as we are, although he’s aware he’ll be far from the first bear to have done it.

Bear-sized sofa at a Torbay B&B

But, it’s all about the art of the possible, isn’t it? And Harold didn’t know that he had it in him to do something like this. So he’s provided a few insights into his coast path for you to enjoy, on the premise that life’s very much what you make it and he’s had far more fun than he ever expected. We just wish that, since it’s us who have to carry him around, he’d see his way clear to slimming down a little…

[View Harold’s pictures on Flickr]