Minehead to Porlock surprisingly doable. Porlock to Lynton a pure killer. The National Trust need to sort out their signs. Signs to Lynton stayed determinedly at 9 miles for a couple of hours. Then went to eight, seven and back to eight miles. Two signs not a few hundred metres apart went from seven miles back to seven and a half. Grrrr. Finally arrived in Lynton, just in time to catch the vermicular train up from lynmouth to Lynton. Quick check into hotel, then on the hunt for food only to find the few restaurants and pubs all fully booked. No chance of getting in.
Leaving Lynton this morning refreshed. Walking out, early part poetry. Friendly people everywhere. Walking through the valley of the rocks I was greeted by this fella guarding the entrance…
A little further on, Chris and Mark, groundsmen at Lee Abbey passed me on the way and invited me in for a cuppa and a chat. Never turn down a cup of tea!
Got to Hunters Inn for lunch and meet my third Chris in as many days. He is walking five days on the path, a total novice he is carrying more weight in clothes than my total pack.
My target for today is Southdene camping, halfway to Coombe Martin. Just a field, but oh what a field! A call to the farmer, pop a tenner in the shed next to the gate. Then unexpected delight.. compost toilets that are more throne than toilet. So clean. And the hottest oh hot shower. I dried butt naked in the field, careful not to flash passing farmers.
I set my tent up with a perfect clifftop view. The field my own, only sheep for company. I consider coaxing one into my tent for warmth. But I have spotted a duvet in the shed. After some hesitation I decide to nab it, who else is going to use it?
Well, forget one man and his dog, when it comes to sheep herding it’s one woman and her duvet. Crossing the field i must have looked like a monster sized sheep, black legs under white duvet in the twilight. Never have so many sheep moved so swiftly in a single herd to the far corner of the field.
Dinner cooked on the JetBoil, getting ready to settle in for the night, then the drama starts. Just the most amazing sunset. Each time I thought that was it, turn away and then only to turn back to an even more dramatic sky.
Next the moon. Well it was like a lighthouse was beaming into my tent. Fortunately it only made a brief appearance and was soon below the horizon, leaving me in the darkest clear sky and a million stars. No chance of my camera capturing it, I did try!
So toasty with my duvet and down sleeping bag. I slept with the tent flaps wide open, peaceful. I honestly think I may have peaked too soon on the SWCP. It cannot get better than this.