Well, it is back to reality now from our lovely stay in Exmoor. Here are a few final photos
I had spoken to Paul the owner of the farm and he recommended going to Wistlandpound Reservoir as the walk is quite flat and good for disabled users. It is only about 25 minutes drive away so pretty local. So, imagine our surprise in taking over an hour and a half to find it. This part of the world is not so well signposted, and very few roads have names, which makes it really hard to find a place. My TomTom could not find it, not even in the points of interest. We ended up in Barnstaple which was handy as I needed eye drops as my hay fever has reached fever pitch and even though I am taking double the dose of antihistamines it does not seem to rid me of the symptoms, so I needed eye drops too. After my quick visit to Tesco pharmacy in this rather massive superstore, we left under the navigation of M who had found the place on Google Maps and was now my TomTom but in human form. We got there relieved that we could finally get out of the car and enjoy the place. Needless to say, the dogs were made up to get out of the car too and explore this new place.
As you can see from the header image, it is quite a lovely place to walk around, and the sun was out giving its all to us. We met many other dog walkers and were surrounded by quite literally thousands of blue damselflies which were lovely to look at.
This is what they looked like, although this is not my photograph, but that of David Kitching, taken from the British Dragonfly Society website.
After our jaunt, we came back to the cottage and pottered about as the dogs were totally exhausted by the heat on top of the exciting walk they had. I got the lounger out of the shed and lay there for a bit reading, then fell asleep in the midafternoon sun, and as you would expect, got burned quite a bit. Thankfully I have been a little sun-kissed these last few weeks and I expect it to have calmed down quite considerably tomorrow.
Later this evening we went for another walk with the dogs down a rather rocky lane that part way down has a mound of horse manure that would rival any medium-sized hill, in other words, it was massive. Not a highlight of the walk but all the same an amusing sight.
This evening we have both kicked back and relaxed on our own couches with a dog each keeping us company and read with Classic FM on in the background.
All in all, I think it was another successful day of relaxation.
…It’s been 35 years… Since I was last in Devon.
Well, our vacation came round faster than I imagined, and here we are on day two. Yesterday, we arrived at about 4:30pm after being on the road for eight and a half hours (288 miles). It was not all driving as we stopped many times for the dogs to have a stretch and something to eat or drink, and of course for pee breaks. M and I also need a few stretches, especially after being in a few traffic jams. One, which was thankfully going the other way on the M5 was 15 miles long, so I was glad ours was not that bad.
The cottage is beautiful and very in keeping with our taste. Sleeps four, private gardens, off road parking, games room in the barn next door and lots to see, especially the livestock, so far horses, ponies, chickens, sheep and goats, oh and the owner’s dogs and little boy. Our dogs are loving the place and having a great time too. One of the great things is that as it a farm quite literally in the middle of nowhere there is no light pollution, so at night you can look up and see the sky is full of stars that we normally cannot see. Yesterday when we arrived we met the owners and were shown around and taken through all the facilities that are available we discovered their welcome pack of scones complete with jam and the best of all Devon Clotted Cream, oh, they also left some chews for the dogs too as their welcome.
Today we decided to visit Ilfracombe, for a wander about and an ice cream, the off to a lovely pub called The Beggars Roost Inn for lunch. M had chicken tikka sticks and I had long tail scampy with chips pea and mint puree salad and a pint of bitter shandy. It hit the spot dead on, and I have to say, was delicious. We then went for a drive around, then to South Molton for some groceries, then back to the cottage which is another 20-minute drive. The cottage is in Exmore National Park and the hamlet only has 7 properties, and the need of a four-wheel-drive car is essential as it is up and down dale.
I loot a few photos whilst in Ilfracombe, one of which was of Verity, which is a Damien Hirst sculpture, standing 66.4 feet and is quite a vision, not too sure if I would say it is something I liked though. Not the best photo I will be honest, but I never brought my Nikon, just my iPhone, so pleases forgive me.
Ready for a sleep now as I have just eaten a rather large scone and enough clotted cream to slam shut my arteries and cause a heart attack.
More to come later as the Wifi is a bit crap and as such it is like being on dial-up.