The gap!

The walk from Woolacombe Sands to Westward Ho! presents a difficulty crossing the rivers Taw and Torridge. Ferries run in the summer, but nothing running now, except for the small one from Instow. The only way is a long detour inland via Barnstaple and Bideford. It’s a bus then several miles inland around the estuary to jump the few hundred metres over the river.

I treat myself to a night indoors in Appledore at The Seaford and the freshest fish and chips ever. Quick check of the weather forecast in Appledore….

Dawn in Appledore

Next morning I am up super early to hit the track to Clovelly. It will be the longest day walking so far.

I pass two guys from Durham in Westward Ho, I try to persuade them they are burly enough to try out walking with my pack but no amount of flattery works. They learnt the hard way on a previous hike carrying a change of clothes for each day. They are heading out for four days walking to Bude, carrying tiny day packs and booked in to hotels each night

There is a wonderful derelict house right at the end of Westward ho! begging for tlc renovation! Tempted!

The track is up and down, unnecessarily so in my opinion. Wherever possible, stay high!! I cut through a much more comfortable level field. A few hours in, I decide to take the beach route. It’s hard on the feet, but saves the thigh muscles. It’s on the level, I can see Clovelly in the distance and the tide is out.

The going is good, but I get a little sloppy (tired) and take a long tumble eventually ending up flat on my arse. Stay still, check everything is in the right place, nothing broken, pull out a banana and chocolate biscuit and enjoy the view.

Wild women swimmers – Caroline & Gill

I eventually get to Buck’s Mill, another stupidly steep climb to the first cottages and a hunt for water, which finds the lovely Caroline and Gill. As ever people are just the best and so friendly. When they realise what I am up to (bonkers), they try to feed me. Again, never turn down a cuppa (and some bread, biscuit and juice).

And then it’s onwards for the last push to Clovelly, which gets me there just as the shop at the top is closing. The lovely Claire reopens, let’s me use the loo, more water and directs me to a great wild camping site just above Clovelly.

Definitely illegal!

It’s a wild windy night. Bad weather is coming. Ear plugs a must to get some sleep tonight.