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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Day 18 - Withypool to Simonsbath, Sat. 20th Sept.

Last night I had a good shin beef casserole with mini roast vegetables at the Royal Oak - chef knew what he was doing.

Breakfast not until 8:30, but it didn't matter, I had only seven miles to do with the pleasant knowledge that I was already booked into the Exmoor Forest hotel at Simonsbath.

I dawdled all the way. A distant mist prevailed so views were restricted, but atmosphere enhanced. I was soon up onto what they call a moor around here, all very pleasant but no relation to Ilkley or Goathland. Here it is largely reeds, gorse, bracken and a bit of heather, and because of its suitability for grazing animals, close cropped grass. Ponies, cows, and sheep, and their leavings were the order of the day.

A long length of the path was well evident but only about eight inches wide, and occasionally disappearing. I lost it once and ended up about fifty yards off. Even with map, gps and compass it was quite difficult to get back again across the rough terrain - you can be only ten or fifteen feet away without being able to see it.

Dropping down off the moor the attractive River Barle came into view and was then followed into Simonsbath on good paths.

Once again I have ordered a packed lunch in lieu of breakfast to be given to me tonight and I aim to get away for 7:00 am to do the last stint to Lynmouth. Getting home may be a challenge, there is no railway, and it being Sunday not much in the way of a bus. I may resort to hitch-hiking to get me to a railway station. We shall see.




A different take on dry stone walling


Very steep - there's lots of this on the TMW





Typical vegetation on the moor. The path was more established here



Typical narrow path - lose it at your peril


River Barle


Close up with the Barle


A bit of the orange string I keep moaning about. Here the string was the only thing holding the gate post up. When I untied it the gate post just fell over


I sat here in peace for a while, then after I had things to myself all morning various parties seemed to appear from nowhere and so it continued into Simonsbath


My bed at the Exmoor Forest hotel - you could have a game of tennis if you could stand up


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

4 comments:

Phreerunner said...

Good Evening Conrad
I've just enjoyed catching up with your current trip and am envious of your timing to coincide with the wonderful weather.
It sounds as if your knee is behaving as well as can be expected, but I'm sure it'll welcome a pause for a long train journey and the ritual downloading and sorting of photos.
Have fun with that.
All best wishes
Martin

Sir Hugh said...

Phrerunner - hi Martin. Quoting Terry Wogan, "I'm rarely free of pain but I don't talk about it".

Well it's a bit like that.

I think there are over a hundred photos, and as you say i'm looking forward to sorting them and doing a Dropbox thing

gimmer said...

i guess that by now (darkness wraps around us) you have finished and have either made you way home or are shacked up in another luxury hotel or characterful pub, awaiting the first bus/train of the morrow!
from yesterdays post, I gathered the impression that Dartmoor has it over Exmoor - but maybe today's section will adjust that - I believe it was touch and go as to whether enough of Exmoor survived the 'plough it up' policies of the latter part of the C20 to save its wildness and character.
Look forward to seeing the file - I'll exchange with mine of the Pyrenees!

Sir Hugh said...

Gimmer - yes, shacked up in hotel. Will be doing a résumé post covering the points you raise.