Distance (on Coast Path): 16km
For only the second time in 66 days, I questioned my motivation for this jaunt. Having checked out of my mediocre B&B,
I stood in the rain, with old people and chavvy teenagers waiting for a bus. The bus from Totnes to Kingsbridge runs at intervals of an hour and forty minutes. I waited in the rain for over an hour.
But the bus came, as did the one onwards to Salcombe and I was soon on the little ferry boat to East Portlemouth. Back on the Coast Path😃.
I discovered Mill Bay beach (the locals’ choice),
then walked up through National Trust woodland past Rickham to Gara Rock for lunch.
The view of the Coast Path from the cafe.
The ginger cake is still just as good.
The walk west around the headland starts with a narrow path clinging to the cliffs. It’s a sunny day with little wind. The views are amazing. As the path begins to run beside the ria at Limebury Point, it becomes a gentle woodland walk.
Back in East Portlemouth I boarded the little ferry boat again, by the blue cafe and returned to DFT Central .
Range Roverless and sporting just one Helly Hansen garment (no Musto) I strode defiantly through Salcombe. How incongruous I must have appeared to the locals.
Salcombe does have some absolutely fabulous riverside properties but more than its fair share of DFTs.
The posh villas gave way to South Sands beach, which is cool for families. They even have one of those elevated beach tractor bus things
The path ascends steeply past the South Sands Hotel. This hotel looks really nice, one to come back to. Then the tarmac ends and I’m in a muddy lane. I spy two anglers. “…just a couple of plaice…” the men reply to my enquiry. As the path gets narrower, some oddly dressed trees catch my attention
This is unusual. Three trees wearing embroidered blankets. Perhaps a memorial to somebody, though the terrain is relatively gentle along this stretch. Or maybe some obscure woodland school project? Whatever it is, this is recent, the colours are still bright and fresh. I leave the woods and walking on bare rock, round the headland. This one even has a handrail to help avoid the 60 metre sheer drop on my left.
Time’s getting on, and at 6:15pm as I reach Sharp Tor, I meet my final fellow travellers of the day, a couple of flourescent runners. He complains that he has to keep waiting for her, as she can’t keep up.
Then as the sun gets close to the horizon I find myself on the top of The Warren, near Malborough, a warm evening, with but a gentle breeze from the south west. I set up camp on soft ground, in the midst of a gorse thicket, protected on all sides. Perfect accommodation on the trail.