Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Day 9 Easter Monday - Okehampton to Whiddon Down

Walking 8.45am to 2.45pm
Distance walked 10 miles
Distance left 945 miles

It was not so cold overnight so no frozen tarp although I was perfectly warm the nights it went below freezing - the joy of a down sleeping bag.

As I was having breakfast at one of the picnic tables, two of the Austin 7 wives came over and gave me a cheque for £10.00 for my charity. They then left for the final 100 miles drive down to Land's End.

I walked into Okehampton joining the West Devon Way again - not much chance of going wrong - just following the signs. The weather was good and stayed so all day although the forecast is for unsettled weather for the next few days.

These ponies came after me thinking I had food for them

I visited Waitrose in Okehampton for lunch supplies for the next three days - expensive Cornish brie, superb French pâté and some lovely French rolls.

The map was very "busy" around my exit point from Okehampton. It was a little confusing although I knew the general direction I needed to be heading in. I met a man who looked as if he was out for a walk and asked him for directions. He, Alan, was out for his daily constitutional, today with his sister-in-law, Carol, and they took me up a lovely walk, talking along the way, alongside a fast running stream and we parted company where they would head back into town the other side of the stream and I would take the lane under the A30. I was grateful for their help and company.

I took field paths and minor roads to Belstone, following the Dartmoor Way (seeing also signs for the Tarka Trail). From there I descended the village green to cross a stream to follow Belstone Cleave, an undulating path following the course of a fast running stream to Sticklepath, where I stopped for lunch beside the stream, watching a couple of yellow wagtails feeding from the water.

River Taw at Sticklepath

It was then a road walk through South Zeal to Whiddon Down where my day ended early at the Travelodge. Amanda arrived some twenty minutes later. We are booked in for the night. We have been out for a meal with friends, Tim and Rosemary, to the Tom Cobley at the village of Spreyton, a few miles away. The village was the home (or the reputed home) of Tom Cobley, he of the famous rhyme. We've had a good meal and the range of beers was amazing, about twenty four to choose from. I was boring and went for Doom Bar but it really is hard to beat.

I have received a resupply bag and the room is spread with stuff to pack tomorrow when I will leave to delve further into Devon. I will have six days supplies (breakfasts and evening meals) which should last me until Butcombe, south of Bristol, where my sister will provide my next real bed.

I shall have a change of boots. I find that my new Alt-Bergs are pinching my right little toe - a little stretching is needed. I shall continue for the time being with my Scarpas.

I shall move to a bigger pack. I am using the Kimmlite 55l to its capacity and I think I may be more comfortable with a larger pack (old and brand unknown) used well within its capacity and with better padding on the shoulder straps.

1 comment:

  1. Hello there.
    I'm enjoying following your commentary. Shame we'll be on the TGO Challenge when you pass through the north west.
    Scarpas....Litehiker??!
    Re rucksack - since my old Jaguar got its pension I've used a GoLite Quest, which does give very good support and is very comfy (tested on a 2 month trip). It just lacks that bottom compartment for the wet tent, in the rare event of rain. You could try one for size as you pass Bob and Rose's emporium in Malvern.
    Have fun.
    Martin

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