The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Day 12 - Yeoford to Tiverton

26 April
Distance: 19 miles
No. of yappy Yorkshire Terriers that gave chase: 1

With the skies promising a lovely sunny day we set out from Yeoford bright and early, with our feet refreshed and the spring back in our steps.

Lanes took us to Crediton where our lack of food situation was resolved. Armed with food, we were standing in the street trying to work out where to put two bananas, when a woman came to us and asked whether we were walking for charity. We confirmed that we were and she thrust £2 into Husband's hand - then she continued on her way as we shouted our thanks after her. With the £10 given to us by Winnie at the B&B as we left, it was looking like a good day for Macmillan.

Once done faffing in Crediton it was more lanes and a few footpaths (including having to climb over a locked gate and ignore 'strictly private' signs on what we were absolutely cetain was the line of a ROW) to Thorverton.

Most of the villages that we've passed through in Devon have been quite lovely, but Thorverton was a cut above.

The stream running down the side of the road, next to the stone cobbled pavements was picturesque, but then we reached the green just at noon which felt like a good time for a shoe-off break. The immaculately trimmed grass was very well endowed with benches which looked towards the wide stream in between two stone bridges. With the sun shining on us we could have stayed there much longer than the 20 minutes we allowed.

It was from Thorverton that we picked up the Exe Valley Way and enjoyed some stunning and far reaching views up and down the valley. Plenty of photos were taken and as I turned back to the direction of travel after snapping away at the view behind us I exclaimed "It's that house - even the car is beside it" (for anyone who doesn't know the significance I'll explain with picture and links when we get home).

Another break would have been nice before we reached Bickleigh; the sun was on us, we were getting hot and we'd tackled rather a long and sustained uphill section. However, Husband was out of water which was forcing us to ignore the protesting feet and carry on.

The pub on the way into Bickleigh appeared not a moment too soon and after a sojourn inside glugging lime and soda we crossed the road to a picnic site for a further stop for bread, cheese and melted chocolate. It made for a long lunch and that was welcome.

The afternoon session (which didn't start until after 3pm) was also alongside the Exe but this time with mud under our feet. It was quite an interesting walk, particularly when we left the main path and found oursevles clambering over and under fallen trees!

By the time we approached Tiverton the effects of 12 consecutive days of walking were showing. Red hot pokers were sticking through my feet and I was mightily glad to get to our destination.

Being in another B&B tonight (it's been a week with a lack of campsites) tea was had in a Thai. It seemed rather appropriate that the message in my fortune cookie told me "You are going to have a great adventure"!

I now sit here with tiredness upon me. However, tomorrow is a very easy day. 6.5 miles with neglible ascent. The other good news is that the worst of the lane walking is now behind us. From hereon canals and footpaths start to run in the right directions and we will take full advantage.

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