Day 8 Sat 07-05-2005
Okehampton to Shobrooke
I set off today from the hostel with a limp - my heel was very sore, but not as bad as yesterday. My route was towards Crediton, along lanes, as there are few east / west paths in this part of Devon. The hedgerows were full of wildlife, the sun came out occasionally, things weren't so bad after all.
I found myself developing strange habits. God knows why, but I started to greet all the animals I saw;
"Morning sheep," "Morning cows," "Afternoon Mr rabbit,"
and so on. Without realising, I addressed the wild animals as Mr, but didn't act so formally with the farm animals. It's a good job I'm walking on my own.
I got to Yeoford at around two, and had a pint in the "Mare and Foal". The thought of a pub tends to motivate the morning's walk, curing many aches and pains! I suddenly realised I had been walking for a whole week. My first objective was always to get to Bath, where my son Jimmy is at university, and it now seems as if I might achieve it.
Pressing on, I reached Crediton at one minute to four. The Tourist Information Centre closed at four, and, fortunately for me, was still open. The charming girl inside made a few phone calls, and booked me into a room in a pub at Shobrooke, about a mile and a half away. She didn't seem to mind my making her late, and was kind enough to be interested in my walk.
I reached the Red Lion at 5:30, just as the owners got home. Guy and Lesley showed me to a very nice, comfortable room, and I was glad to sit and rest. I had only eaten snacks and fruit all day, my appetite was still suppressed. Even when I went downstairs to the bar, I wasn't that hungry - a pint of beer was all I wanted. I made up for that by watching "Porridge" in my room.
The Red Lion Inn
Devon EX17 1AT