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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Day 16 - Morchard Bishop to Witheridge, Thurs. 18th Sept.

I had a monster meal at the London Inn last night with quantities that would defy anybody and I had to leave quite a lot. The pub was run by mum, Vera behind the bar, and daughter Sarah, on cooks. There was lots of family banter and village gossip about, and later I got the full thing from Vera about when she was a lass and they walked three miles each way to school, and how she had to milk the cows before setting off etc., etc.

By the time I left the village it was 9:00 am. I was lethargic and still weary from yesterday's efforts and walked very slowly the eight miles to Witheridge - 5.5 hours for eight miles. The walking was dreary, much on agricultural, lumpy, cow fields, and hate of hates TRACTOR TRACKS (like walking endlessly over buckled corrugated iron). There were also many bad gates lashed up with orange string, almost impossible to untie; once the indispensable Swiss Army knife was put to use. Another time the farmer had destroyed the TWM signpost with his hedge cutting leading me to a false trail down a steep, lumpy grass hill and back again. There was nothing to note of the scenery and you could have been anywhere in the country. I hope things will improve when I hit Exmoor.

I am booked in at The Mitre. Witheridge is an attractive, quintessential English village.

Got showered then set off for village. My pub closed, but door on latch, but I couldn't open it (massive door). Knocked on all locked doors in hall. No response. Returned to room where I had a faint Vodafone signal armed with pub visiting card and phone number. Tried number, " this number not yet issued".

Went back down, heaved on mighty door again and it suddenly came open nearly knocking me over.

At the village tea shop I researched logistics for tomorrow, and to be sure of accommodation I will have to walk to Withypool. 22 miles!

I had no signal but the kind lady at the tea shop let me use her landline and I am booked in at The Royal Oak. I have arranged for a packed breakfast which I will get tonight and I aim to set off early in the morning. This afternoon it is incredibly hot in the village.




The balcony path below Castle Drago yesterday


Castle Drago under restoration wraps


From Sharp Tor on the same path


One of the better bits of today's walk


The same farm where the farmer had trashed the TWM sign and tied up gates with orange string. Goodness knows what he had been up to excavating this eyesore



This one just to show some boring, lumpy field scenery. You readers have got to suffer too


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

6 comments:

gimmer said...

I can just make out old granny Starkadder coming round the side of that farmhouse, ready to beat you with a besom if you come any nearer -
your travails today will make tomorrow (or the day after) all the better and more enjoyable: hope the promised thunderstorms pass you by - grumbling hereabouts with it still 25C outside at 2000hrs.

John J said...

It's a damned sight warmer where you are - in Salamanca it's cool and soggy!
Enjoy the rest of your walk, it's a superb (if rather hilly) route.
JJ

Mark said...

My hands up!
Just catching up Conrad. I thought that you would be continuing with the SWCP and was caught out by the TMW. It all sounded very attractive, until today. Good luck with tomorrow's long haul and with the rest of your walk.

The Crow said...

I spent an hour and a half at the gym tonight, trying to build up leg muscles to support my knees. The hope is to avoid surgery. Anyway, as I walked out to my car afterwards, my knees were more sore than I've ever felt, and I thought of you on your treks. It made me feel embarrassed to be moving so slowly, cringing at every step.

You are my role model, Conrad. I hope to get to where I can go for long walks as you do. Not saying I'll do them...just want to get in good enough shape that I could.

Best wishes for smooth paths and lots of invites to tea!

AlanR said...

Very enjoyable.

Sir Hugh said...

Gimmer - well there are some good farmers,.
No thunderstorms but light rain all day.
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John J - "always look on the bright side of life"

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Mark - I think doing the whole SWCP would be too much for me. Especially as I seem to have abandoned tenting fo expensive accommodation. This trip has cost plenty.

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The Crow - hi Martha. That sounded like a good plane, but maybe you went at it too hard to start with.
You should see me hobbling down some of these steep hills. So far my enjoyment of doing these trips is outweighing the unsatisfactory workings of knee joints but it's becoming a bit of a close run thing.