Day 16: River Exe valley – Minehead

Friday, 05/05/2017
Distance: 21,4 km (13,3 mi) for a total of 391,4 km (243,2 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 920 m (3010 ft)

Weather: Cloudy with cold wind in the morning, sunshine and more cold wind in the afternoon

Knowing that I had to retrace my steps from yesterday for quite a stretch of steep road-walking I wasn’t really eager to start, but finally set off. The first sight of the day was a very sad one:

A little later I came across this sign and amused myself with wondering what horse drawn animals the designer had in mind …

The walking was still on bridleways but the path’s condition was much better than yesterday and would have allowed for fast progress if it hadn’t been for the wind. It was a constant fight to remain upright and without my walking sticks I’m sure I’d have miserably failed at certain times. But by reminding myself to just set one foot in front of the other I managed pretty well.

Sooner than anticipated I reached Dunkery Beacon. Up to this point I’d seen literally nobody, but this changed from here on. I then followed a track to Wootton Courtenay where I hoped to find some tea. But the only restaurant I found was closed  (no surprise being well after lunchtime and equally well before the evening). The village shop was also closed, so my willingness to support the local economy didn’t bear fruit.

The number of ways available behind Wootton Courtenay could have been confusing, once again the map on my GPSr proved to be very useful. I bent my steps towards the youth hostel of Minehead where I was lucky to secure a bed, evening meal and breakfast, so tomorrow will see a good start again.

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7 thoughts on “Day 16: River Exe valley – Minehead

  1. As an animal lover I hate to see roadkill of any sort, and to see something like that just lying at the side of the road is really sad 😦

    Your brain must work in the same way as mine when it comes to road signs – I would have thought the same thing too 🙂 Many years ago I saw a crudely made hand painted sign on a country lane ‘Slow mud on road’ and it made me wonder what slow mud actually looks like 🙂

    Nothing worse than finding restaurants/cafes and shops closed in the middle of the day just when you want something to eat and drink; it’s good that you managed to get a bed and something to eat at the hostel 🙂

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    • In fact, I’m quite sure that the badger wasn’t a road casualty as there was no blood or other sign you would expect. When I showed her the picture one guest in the hostel told me that it’s not uncommon practice here in the south-west that farmers poison badgers to prevent them infecting the cattle with diseases they carry.
      Slow mud? Hm, no idea, but I’d like to know, too.

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  2. ooh yes, the colder weather has made it’s way north to Yorkshire now. I can imagine you leaning into the wind in the wide open spaces. I love Youth Hostels. I was introduced to them on school trips in the 1970s. 3 or 4 teachers took a dozen of us, both sexes, on a walking tour. I don’t remember it having any serious purpose other than to make us aware of the countryside. Then as a teenager I sampled them again with a boyfriend. Cheap, cheerful and full of like-minded folks.

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    • Hi Christine, the days usually aren’t too bad, yesterday had perfect walking temperatures, but the nights are still a bit chilly. No problem in the sleeping bag, but to get out of it 😉

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