Distance: 27,6 km (17,1 mi) for a total of 370 km (229,9 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 940 m (3090 ft)
Weather: Overcast with cold wind in the morning, warming up and sunshine in the afternoon
As is agreed for wild camping I was up and away early, but not before seeing some deer hurrying along complaining about the intruder. The pitch had been fairly sheltered so I only recognised the real strength and coldness of the wind when I reached open land.
Not long and I was on the moor. And a good day for being here it was. Grey, hazy, cold and windy it looked and felt a proper moor. It wasn’t misty enough to make everything indistinct, so no orientation problems, but it reminded me of a lot of autumn weeks spent at the North Sea coast of Germany. And it was similarly easy to determine the dominating wind direction.
I passed Pinkery Pond which appeared quite suddenly. It looked a bit out of place but a nice view nevertheless.
From there I followed the track to Exe Head which offered an astonishing variety of paths to choose from.
Although it wasn’t really on my route I then made the detour to Simonsbath, hoping to find at least a tea room or something similar there. At one of the first buildings I passed a sign talked of hotel and tea room, but unfortunately it was closed. Another sign pointed to a polling station in a neighbouring house, if I got it right some sort of “outdoor centre”, and I thought I might give it a try there. Good decision! I was made some tea, refilled my water bottles (I was running a bit low in case of a second wild camp) and studied my map to determine how far to go. I discovered a campsite sign in Exe valley and asked the people running the polling station if they knew if it was still operational. This was confirmed and that settled it.
The bridleways of the day had provided hard walking because of the ploughed up ground, one reason why I usually don’t fancy bridleways. Hopefully tomorrow it’ll be more footpaths again. By then the sky had cleared and the sun was shining which changed the appearance of the landscape completely.
After having crossed the border between Devon and Somerset several times (at least it seemed like that on my GPSr) I’m now truly in Somerset, county number three 🙂