Friday, 19 September 2014

Day 17 - Witheridge to Withypool, Fri. 19th Sept.

Was the early start a good idea?. I left The Mitre after battling with the mighty front door again at 6:00 am. It was dark. I was sporting my head torch, something I have hardly ever done before. The brightness of the screen on the iPhone mapping killed my night vision. Consequently I turned up a track leaving the village parallel to my route and wasted ten minutes or so backtracking. Stumbling across a sort of path over a ploughed field, but feeling I was making some effort at moving quickly a young girl with dog came skipping past and vanished into the distance. Fortunately it became lighter, and then I was into a long stretch of road where I really did march.

A lot of the route was on roads, but the paths were mainly on ancient bridle ways in sunken lanes, or following higher ground in other places - the sort of tracks where I was imagining the possibility of finding a medieval hoard with a metal detector. That was all a lot better than yesterday's contrived paths round fields.

Halfway through the morning light rain started and persisted until mid afternoon. At one point I sheltered, munched and regrouped in the church at West Anstey (churches offer a good facility for weary weather stricken backpackers).

I arrived at the tea shop in Withypool nine and a half hours after starting out this morning. The book says it is twenty two miles, but I have my doubts. I intend to measure when I get back home.

Tomorrow I could walk the book stated nineteen miles to the finish at Lynmouth, but have opted to walk only seven miles to Simonsbath where I have already booked in courtesy of the landlord here at the Royal Oak. The forecast is better and I prefer to enjoy two shorter days rather than have another big slog.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

4 comments:

High Horse said...

You can feel the change in the air - autumn is here!

gimmer said...

still hot here - sunbathing (ie working on papers in the sunshine, you understand) until 1700 hrs after just enough overnight drizzle to darken the stones, so all is not yet past for this fine September - thus very glad to learn of your plan to savour and enjoy the moors and the weather - not to race over them.

coastalwalker said...

Hubby bought me a head torch for Xmas. (I think it was meant as a joke) haven't used it yet, but would like to give it a go. Any tips for night walking?

Sir Hugh said...

HighHorse - yes, I am beginning to see the colours change and plenty of leaves on the ground. Looking forward to my return now.

-----------------

Gimmer - see today's post - it was definitely worth splitting those nineteen miles, and there's more to come tomorrow, although I reckon a proportion of my focus will now be on getting home.

------------------

CoastalWalker - hi Ruth. As I mentioned I have very little experience of night walking. Best avoid it if possible. I have had a few scrapes in Scotland Munroing after the clocks are altered - darkness comes early and quickly and can catch you out. All I can say is carry the head torch always - it will be no joke if you find you need it.