Day 17 Barnstaple to Challacombe

11th April 2018

Weather: Light rain until 10.30 ish. Cloudy then sunshine breaking through 11.30. Mist on the higher ground ie: as I approached Challacombe which blotted the sunshine.

Finally a move inland, away from coastal walking until I reach Bristol. Today quite a bit of road walking with views of valleys & trees

My host, Brian, at the rather excellent Old Vicarage B&B warned of the muddy lanes along my intended route North & Raleigh. So I headed out South via cycling route 3 threading between houses, through Tesco’s car park. This the (formerly) gaily painted road underpass nearby

Soon route 3 moved away from the main road

to alongside a stream (looking quite full) lined with wild garlic.

Then a bit of road and byway to Goodleigh/ Coombe Cross with views of hills and woods.

An unnerving walk along a fast road from Chelfham to Loxhore Cross, and once again on a track, not that muddy, overlooking a valley with mist on distant hills.

After a lunch stop on the edge of Hill Wood I was ready to set off when another walker came along (carrying a rolled-up white umbrella dangling from her rucksack). Walking quickly for Sally Glenn to catch a bus, we chatted for a good 30 minutes until Bratton Fleming.

After a photo stop at the church,

I stopped at the local store for tea & cake.

Another bit of fast road to endure before a quieter lane. Sally’s promised good views of rolling hills were a little obscured by mist.

I stepped onto the bridleway with, unfounded, concern about excessive mud. Just the usual!

The “Medieval Village (site of)” consisted of some banks of earth, but a lovely view above a valley despite the mist.

A final clamber across a muddy field,

closely observed by a bull,

I strolled into Challacombe looking for the campsite.

The pub barman and a ‘campsite’ neighbour, declaring that, despite the notices, it was never used.

A chat with a man shovelling mud from his drive- the mud an obvious intro. His project is to renovate a house & grounds.

Back to the pub with a request to pitch my tent in the beer garden, which was, thankfully, given.

I hadn’t put the tent up for 2 months, so it took a bit of working out.

On writing up blog, I find there’s another following behind me and blogging. (Staying at Old Vicarage tonight)

Author: Walklizard

May your feet stay dry as you walk through the bog. May your face be unblemished as you walk in the sunshine.

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