Freedom

Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th July- Watermouth, Devon

Me, Paddy Garcia, Kate Force One, Magic Dave, Burge, Madame Citron and Mr P

Not a walk as such but definitely a journey. After a complicated early morning, me, PG and KFO set sail in the mighty micra, loaded to the gunnels. An extended stop in Williton (lovely farmshop, ample street parking where required for making emergency phonecalls) en route before we met up with Madame Citron and Mr P at Porlock Weir, where, happy days, we stumbled on ‘Weirfest’. Not only 50+ craft ales and ciders, but food (not quite as good as it should have been, but food none-the-less), and Stormy Normy…. Dire Straits and a extended mix of Rockin’ in the Free World… in a carpark. PG thinks nothing further needs to be said about Stormy Normy.

IMG_1286After poking our head into Millers to admire their interior decoration and definitely marking it down for a future stay, it was off through a selection of small toll gates into deepest, darkest Devon. Beautiful, beautiful wild and woolly woodlands and sweeping views of the sea. Through Hunters Inn and Lynmouth, past what must be the most picturesque cricket pitch in the land, to eventually* arrive at Watermouth.

IMG_1215The campsite breathtaking, we pitched the tent on a high field overlooking the sea, then headed down to the steep steps to Broad Sands beach for first swim in the sea.

A very fine evening, reunited with Burge and Magic Dave who’d been climbing (and toasting their skins, sausage-style) at Baggy Point. Barbecued (actual) sausages and played petanque as the sun went down, strolled to see boats in the dark and swift pint in the pub.

Rain overnight but another glorious IMG_1278morning (despite the voice of doom passing us by), we packed up, spent some more time on the beach (canoes hired by Magic Dave and Mr P), then headed off to find fish and chips and funicular railway at lovely Swiss-style Lynmouth/ Lynton. At this point, energy deserted us- possibly sapped by intense yet pointless discussion about Burge’s previous walk in the Valley of Rocks which wasn’t in the Valley of Rocks**… Milling set in and we split up for the return leg, admiring Exmoor on the way back and rooting for Novak.

Overall, a perfect weekend away. Proper sunburn/ windburn, a variety of athletic endeavours, some drinking, milling, happy conversation and beautiful, astonishing scenery. This stretch of coast is a touch less extreme than Hartland (Beyond the Devil’s Window), being in the estuary rather than the Atlantic, which gives it a special charm. Feels lush and (this weekend) almost tropical.

*Some concern by KFO that the journey was too long, but not agreed with by us. Vital to remember the right campsite if we return. Hazardous plastic park next door.

** Fortunately met couple with local knowledge on funicular who confirmed Burge was remembering the wrong tea shop. Burge told them they were mistaken.

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