I was looking forward to the trek over Exmoor to locate Exe Head for the second time. I passed through on my LEJOG walk, but this time I would cross that path at right angles. I hadn't fully realised until writing this that I have walked to Exemouth on the SWCP, and now to Exe Head. Is there a viable route to trace this interesting river?
Compass and gps were needed to get to the river source, others who are better at following almost invisible tracks may not need all that gadgetry. It is strange how memory plays tricks, but when I finally homed in it was a much more elaborate location with fences and crossing paths than I remember.
That had been a great trip across the moor watching the light improve. I now followed a much more defined path following Hoarse Oak Water with fabulous semi wooded ravine views, and then a tricky bit of navigation at The Hoare Oak - no clues, followers must sort it for themselves - part of the fun.
That took me to a superb cropped grass ridgewalk with great views, and I met the first people of the day on my route, a family on horseback.
The final few kilometres into Lynmouth look deceptively easy on the map - a broad track through woodland for starters, but then a tortuous hill climb, descent, zig zag, narrow path that goes on forever. However, the wooded ravine views and the distant sea are worthwhile rewards.
After five and three quarter hours walking I was at the finish -Lynmouth, 12:45pm. My overriding concern was to find a public convenience. Once sorted the local brew shop informed me no bus anywhere until 5: 00pm. I started to hitch-hike to Minehead, my direction of travel to get home. After one lift of two miles I was in the middle of nowhere, and it was after 3:00pm, things were getting serious.
I crossed over the road and started hitching the other way back to Lynmouth. I got another lift to five miles down the road from Lynmouth to Barnstaple, again in the middle of nowhere. A guy in a a Land Rover with a Springer Spaniel stopped on his way home which was about three miles from Barnstaple. He drove me right past his house, then all the way to the railway station in Barnstaple, waited until I established it was not possible to get home tonight, then drove me to a hotel in the centre of Barnstaple where I am now typing up after a very satisfactory evening meal. There are still some very decent people about, but not many judging by the huge number that didn't stop. This trip is costing me a fortune, but worth every penny.
Looking back on the way to Exe Head, morning light forcing through
Now a bit of sunlight on the moor ahead
Off the path on the way to Exe Head
Hoarse Oak Water
Easy walking on the ridge to Cherriton
A fellow Yeti owner. Loading lambs sold on to more lowland farmer for further fattening. His land doesn't have rich enough grass
One of many views from path approaching Lynmouth
Lynmouth, just to prove I got there
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