Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Sunday 4 October 2009 - South Devon Coast Path - Day 2 - Dartmouth to Paignton

We were greeted by a dull and overcast morning after overnight mizzle. But a full English had us champing at the bit for today's perambulations. A grumpy Spar lady failed to dampen our enthusiasm and a stroll through the sleeping town located the other workers. Two jolly ferrymen, who soon delivered us safely to Kingswear, whence the Coast Path led us through pretty woods.

The other early risers were busy in their sailing boats, readying themselves for the starter's gun. Just one minor problem. No wind. Yesterday's blustery conditions have dissolved into today's humid, overcast, calm weather, with sea fret over Torquay.

Two chaps welcomed us into a cabin from which they perform the role previously carried out by coastguards, on a charitable basis. All merchant vessels over 2000 tons are required to broadcast their whereabouts constantly, so their names were on the screen. Another large unidentified vessel on the horizon was identified, via Jane's Ship Silhouettes, as one of two naval supply ships.

A little further on, after a flurry of cirl buntings and a man with a telescope trained on a distant grey seal, a steep pull through some gates found us at Coleton Fishacre Garden, a National Trust property. We were dripping in the humidity. "Coffee and cake, please." "Would you like some water as well?" "Yes please."

The gardens were still rich with brightly coloured flowers - some are pictured above; the conditions today were too dark for any other phone photos.

The path undulated like a fairground ride for the next section to Man Sands. Lunch was most welcome, though for the second day running my butty was singularly unappetising.

Afternoon tea at Berry Head, where the Napoleonic Fort didn't quite match the splendour of its Italian counterparts, was followed by a gentle stroll into Brixham, where Andrew, 19 km into today's stroll, changed his mode of transport. Half an hour later, at 4.30, he had reached our B & B in Paignton and was preparing for a good rinse.

Meanwhile, I spent some time in Grove Woods, beyond Brixham, inadvertently taking a 2 km diversion to achieve a 400 metre progression along the coast path.

At 5 pm I entered the sea fret and donned waterproofs for the first time for many weeks.

The paths remained pleasant and rural. The Devon Belle steamed past, headed by a magnificent old engine - a GWR County Class or similar.

By 6 pm I had entered Paignton, where I discovered that my map bore little relation to the ground on which I found myself. A call to Andrew resolved the problem, and he kindly ventured out to track me down.

The inadequacy of my map was confirmed...
"That's a map of Dartmouth" observed Andrew.

Paignton revealed little by way of options for sustenance, but my convoluted wanderings had not been in vain - I'd spotted the Harbour Restaurant, which fed us very well.

I've spent 9 hours walking the best part of 30 km today, with around 1400 metres of ascent, so am looking forward to another good night's kip.

Next Day


Alan Sloman said...

Another coffee shop today.... sigh.

""That's a map of Dartmouth" observed Andrew.


Phreerunner said...

It's Andrew, he's a bad influence when it comes to coffee shops, even - as in this case - when it involved an unexpected extra 50 metres of ascent!
He's good with maps as well!

Alan Sloman said...

Now I am not sure if Andrew is still alive - is this some cunning ruse to cover up the tracks of a quick shove over the edge of the cliff? Obvioulsy your plot to dispose of the gent in Italy was foiled, so...

Let's have proof - a piccie of the Andrew with today's newspaper...?

Phreerunner said...

OK - given that my story that Andrew is a Google ID luddite and hasn't worked out how to make comments on these pages must be completely ludicrous - I suspect that... yes, he must have been washed away at high tide! (There were no cliffs yesterday.)