The first night in the tent went quite well – I slept, although, it must be said, not as well as in a proper bed. After a breakfast at the YHA I gingerly got on the saddle to tackle some more hills. The first of which took me into a valley to Branscombe, with a beautiful and unusual church nestled in the quiet valley
Another climb (spotting a pattern here?) and a another 35mph drop into Sidmouth for a coffee stop and a ponder about my plans for the night. I had booked a site near Exmouth, but on current progress I would probably be there by 2 o’clock… a bit early to finish, so I cancelled the booking and decided to get the ferry from Exmouth to Starcross that afternoon and see what was left to do from there. Leaving Sidmouth, I was introduced almost immediately to Peak Hill, which deserves it’s name – another walker, but more gorgeous views at the top
The worst hill of the day out of the way, I went on to Exmouth. I stopped for a breather in a secluded valley, staying for about half an hour just taking in the peace and quiet and timeless beauty of it all – it’s moments like that, that make it all worthwhile.
Arriving at 1500h at Starcross terminal next to the train station I pondered what to do. Find a camp site and tackle Luscombe hill (253m) the next day to complete the last 25 miles, or jump on a train and get a bath and welcome from my Brother and his family that evening? I wavered, cycled 3 miles down the road to Dawlish to find a site, but it was full of holiday homes and resort camp sites that quoted £35 for a night in the tent! The £6.50 fare to my brother was too tempting, and I cycled back to Starcross to catch the train via Newton Abbot to Ivybridge. A hot bath beckoned!
I’ve had an incredible four days – seen Lizards, big hairy caterpillars and huge birds of prey on the road or over my head. The hills have been tough with such a heavily laden bike – something I will think about on my next trip… YHA beds are perfect – cheap and comfortable. But you can’t beat proper travelling and exploring by bike. Until my next trip…. Thanks for following!