Maddy and Nigel came to stay with us in Exeter and we tackled the route as a series of day walks. The first day was a fantastic introduction to Dartmoor for people who live on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens, with varied walking terrain and so many points of interest. A late lunch at Hutholes in strong spring sunshine contrasted with the finish at Bennett’s Cross, our start point for Day 2.
As ever Bennett’s Cross is able to conjure up a low temperature and biting wind but on this occasion low cloud also swirled around making navigation across Chagford Common difficult, though we did find our way to the intriguing double stone row on Hurston Ridge. As the day wore on the weather improved and we finished this section on benches outside the Drewe Arms in Drewsteignton. Days 3, 4 and 5 took us into Mid Devon and we all loved the contrast with the moor: the variety of flowers and birds, and the fields filled with animals – including a herd of alpacas in Morchard Bishop being moved by their owner who happily described the different personalities within her herd. Later that day one of our number was bitten by a black dog – in Black Dog!
After five days walking we had a ‘day off’ and then decided that it would be a good idea for the ‘landlubbers’ to get a sight of the sea, so we tackled the stretch from Simonsbath to Lynmouth – initially in glorious sunshine and unseasonably high temperatures, but this changed by the time we reached Exe Head, and our arrival in Lynmouth was somewhat different.