Monday, 13 April 2009

Day 8 Easter Sunday - Lifton to Okehampton

Walking 9am to 5.15pm
Distance walked 15 miles
Distance left 955 miles

It dropped below freezing again last night. The tarp was frozen both inside and out. I'm not really sure why I didn't get away till 9 o'clock; probably listening to the news on the radio and not getting packed up quickly enough.

The Easter bells were ringing as I left Lifton and continued along the Two Castles Trail. I passed by Dingles Steam Village.

It wasn't obvious what this was all about, but I stopped to pass the time of day with a woman who was staying there with her husband and friends in touring caravans. They make their own working models and bring them here; a sign indicated that today was a special event day but gave no further information. My map showed (because I had marked it on it in case of need) that my friend, Christine Roche, had camped here on her LEJOG in 2003.

Some hunt dogs barking at me

It really started getting hot so I stripped down to a T-shirt and slapped some sun cream on. My thermometer showed 22 degrees.

A distant tor

I passed through Stowford, Lewdown (where I bought a couple of apples in the village shop as I thought I probably wasn't getting my five a day) and Lewtrenchard. It was a long haul up a bridleway out of Lew Mill and Galford but the views from the top were wide-ranging to the north and made the effort worthwhile.

Lewtrenchard church

Looks like half a house at Lewtrenchard

I stopped for lunch (a cold pastie) in some woodland at Hedge Cross and where some sun came through I laid out the tarp to dry, thereby probably lightening my load by several ounces.

From here for the next few miles, the trail was close to the edge of Dartmoor, getting gradually closer.

About a mile beyond a hamlet called Watergate (the usual barking dogs trying to impress their owner), I switched to the West Devon Way. At Sourton I was nearly tempted into the village hall where the church was doing a roaring trade in cream teass but I wanted to get on (oh it was so tempting) and the climb up on to Dartmoor awaited.

Here I was on territory that I knew from previous visits and so I set a compass bearing for the village of Meldon. It was an easy elevated walk which then went under the A30 and then down to the campsite behind the Betty Cottles Inn, used regularly by Backpackers Club members for weekend meetings.

In the car park were three beautiful Austin 7's, part of a contingent travelling from Lowestoft to Land's End (furthest east to furthest west).

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