1/9/2014 – Budleigh Salterton to Sidmouth (6.9mls)

Today we were back at Budleigh Salterton to continue our walk along the south Devon coast. The weather forecast was not good but we were not unhappy about this because, with only 2 weeks to go before our week of walking from Penzance to Falmouth, we wanted to make sure that we had ourselves organised in terms of clothing and storage etc, whatever the weather. To that end we had recently purchased new boots for Fiona …

P1040382

Note the different colour, so no problems now with wearing the wrong boots! … and a new rucksack, so that we each would be able to carry our own load of spare clothing and water etc …

P1040383

We had also purchased new micro fleeces, socks and a headband for Fiona which can be worn in many different ways, one of which makes her look like a smurf – no doubt this will be captured on camera in the near future and will be an amusing alternative to her black plastic hat! (Note the pebble art on the beach in the above photo)

So, we set off from Wrington later than planned in the hope that the poor weather had cleared by the time we arrived in Sidmouth to park the car, but no such luck. Whilst waiting for the #157 bus to Budleigh Salterton we had an enjoyable conversation with a couple from Newbury who were on holiday and using the bus (rather than their car) to see different places in the area. The man was from East Devon originally but had left to join the Guards and so had travelled the world before they met in London – the two of them had done a fair bit of walking in the past. The 45min journey to Budleigh was fairly uneventful although we do marvel at the tight spots that the country bus drivers manage to squeeze through – at one point we drove down narrow lanes to a village called Otterton where the bus wended its way through narrow streets to the top of the village where it reversed into a narrow space and then  proceeded to retrace its steps back out of the village to the main road picking up another couple of bus pass holders on the way.

Arriving in Budleigh Salterton the drizzle had stopped so we found a tea shop in the main street for Fiona’s morning shot of coffee, plus a couple of toasted tea cakes with far too much butter …

P1040384

An opportunity for me to make notes in my Blog Log and then it was off just after noon for the first part of the walk which took us up one side of the River Otter for half a mile to be able to cross on a road bridge and then walk back down the other side of the river to get to the coast path. The estuary was teaming with bird life and we wished we had brought our binoculars, but that would have been yet one more thing to carry. With the view back to Budleigh Salterton …

P1040385

… we then headed along the fairly easy coastal path for a few miles until Sidmouth came into view in the far distance (to the right of my head) …

P1040386

It was just near here that we met a teenage girl with whom we passed the time of day – she turned out to be from the “US of A” and living in Plymouth, but walking with her aunt and uncle from New Mexico who were on holiday here for three and a half weeks. So it was a few minutes later that we the saw the aunt and uncle with a German lady slogging up the hill – the uncle was taken aback when I said “You’re from New Mexico aren’t you?” but then realised that his niece ahead of them had been spilling the beans. They were all waxing lyrical about the SWCP, something they had wanted to do for many years.

At that point the sun emerged so we stopped in a freshly cut corn field for lunch by which time the sun had gone in again and ominous grey clouds appeared. Passing what seemed to be becoming the mandatory caravan park …

P1040389

… at Ladram Bay we started the steep climb through pine woods where it became very steep up to High Peak. As with most of the peaks along this stretch of coast it then levelled out for a short while before rising steeply again to Peak Hill by which time the fine drizzle had closed in as a sort of fog.

At last we reached the top and started the steep descent through woods to Sidmouth which was only just visible through the mist …

P1040390

… arriving back at the car about 16:00. Back to Wrington by 17:30 where the sun was shining – a perfect end to a satisfying day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *