Day 37 – Tiverton to Okehampton

By

I suppose when you whinge enough about the rain it does eventually stop and gives you a decent day. Only a brief shower early this morning and the skies cleared, almost completely at one point. I have been eagerly anticipating wearing shorts again, and I thought today was the day. Unfortunately, after walking the A3702 to Crediton this morning I embarked on the Devonshire Heartland Way after noon and the trail was thick with weeds and nettle bushes in parts, so I had to stick to long trousers. The last time I made the mistake of wearing shorts enroute to Worcester my legs were like live electric wires all night long from nettle stings. The sun just hasn’t been out long enough to dry the route completely, so still sloppy with mud, especially in the fields. I arrived to Okehampton literally caked in grass and mud up to my knees. 

Today’s walk was mostly through beautiful farm and pasture land, but it did go on a bit. There were a few sections of the walk I had to cut off with local roads because of the broad bends it took both north and south, only to come back on itself. There is only so many fields you can take full of cows and sheep, and I think I have had my fill, to be honest. 

From my indecision the other day about which direction to travel that would minimise road walking and take me the most direct route to Land’s End, I came across a website detailing all of the walks available in Devon. I had already intended to walk towards Launceton, but to be able to walk unimpeded by traffic and through the countryside is sheer bliss. Tomorrow will be another early morning start on the Two Castles Trail. From there, the following day, I will walk to Tintagel and join the Cornish Coastal Path. Here’s hoping that stretch will be my last road walk, although, after looking at the coastal trail I may yet try and cut out the meanderings of the route by cutting through a few country roads. My biggest fear are the Cornish hedges, as they are usually flush high against the roads, and a two lane carriageway is usually the width of just one. Really excited now to cross into the last county of this journey and on to the final stretch.

Just to give you some idea of the road walking conditions. There is usually a slim margin to walk on, but the corners are brutal when you have hedges on either side and a huge lorry or a John Deere comes down the road and you have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide!

Quaint little Okehampton. The above photo is the Meadowlea Guest House where I stayed. Nice town and very friendly people.