Friday, 27 April 2012

Week 1: Minehead-Barnstaple 'On the Path' Day 3

Day 3: Word of the day - Steep
Lynmouth to Coombe Martin
- 14 miles
- 4,900 feet of ascent
- About 42,000 paces (pedometer fail)
Tried to catch the Fernicular railway from Lynmouth, but we were too early - could not wait until 10 o'clock so had to walk the 500 feet up to Lynton.
Walked out to Castle Rock past feral goats. Whilst painting Castle Rock I found that sketchbook pages blowing about are a real pain (should have remembered the elastic bands).

After initial slog uphill from Lynmouth we felt pretty good this morning - could it be that our legs are getting fitter. Still a long way to go though - might be finishing in the dark today. Stopped to sketch just after Woody Bay, looking down at arch rock near Wringapeak. 

We came across evidence of vandalism at Heddon's Mouth - three coast path signs deliberately smashed; later we found a gate off it's hinges near North Cleave - we replaced it (just hope it wasn't the farmer that removed it!). 

Stopped for lunch in the sunshine high on the cliffs of East Cleave, just after Heddon's Mouth. The sea was an amazing range of colours, from turquoise to purple.

Stopped to sketch a hawthorn and rest feet below Trentishoe Down. 

Down to Sherrycombe for a cold but refreshing foot-bath and water refill. We tried to save time by not removing the bladder from the rucksack; not being able to see we overfilled the bladder and when the tube was removed it created a geyser!

The last hill of the day was the ascent of Great Hangman, very steep at start (strained muscles all round). At 1,043ft (318m) this is the highest point on the whole coast path and we reached it just in time to take some superb photos of the setting sun from the top.

On the way down near Little Hangman we passed many black lambs with white spots on the top of their heads, they were getting very bouncy as we passed. The long and tiring walk down to Coombe Martin was followed by a long and tiring walk up the high street (apparently the second longest in England), but the B&B at Trenode House (thanks Rita) was worth it.

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