Day 9 Sun 08-05-2005
Shobrooke to Sampford Peverell
Guy gets me breakfast and I'm on my way just after eight. "Morning sheep!" Ankles not too bad. I climbed steep lanes and passed through Thorverton. Immediately after, I joined the Exe Valley Way, and had wonderful views down into the valley. The path followed lanes down to join the river, and then I walked alongside the Exe towards Tiverton.
There were some wooded parts, and at one point I tripped on a tree root, and did one of those running staggers to try and regain my balance. I stopped inches from the river bank, and wondered how I would be able to remove my backpack at the bottom of the river Exe. Thankfully, I never found out. A bit further on, I negotiated a tricky stretch - barbed wire one side of me, impenetrable undergrowth the other, and mud straight on. My trusty boots had one failing - they didn't come up to my knees. Later on, I stopped in a meadow near a sewage farm (luxury), and cleaned the mud off in a stream and dried my feet as best I could.
Sunday afternoon in Tiverton was quiet, but the launderette was open, so I did some washing. Getting good at it now. Whilst sitting barefoot I had a chat to a woman whose washing machine at home had broken, who seemed to accept my reason for my state of undress.
From Tiverton, I followed the Grand Western Canal, to Halberton. I had a pint in the Barge, and a chat to the very friendly locals. They advised me that there was a campsite a couple of miles further on, which should be open.
Later, as I passed through Sampford Peverell, I saw a cottage with a B&B sign. It was around 6 p.m. Should I walk on to the campsite, which might be closed? Or try here in this lovely cottage? No contest!
Rachael and Phil made me most welcome, showed me a lovely room, and put my boots near their stove to dry. Then they went back to their Sunday dinner, with family and visitors, which I had interrupted. I made myself comfortable, and, I am ashamed to say, listened to the Archers, AND watched Coronation Street.
Mountain Oak B&B
Mountain Oak Farm
Devon EX16 7EG