Rising with the sun (which was hidden above the hazy morning sky), I head off from the garden campsite of the Exmoor forest Inn at Simonsbath, west along the B3358 a little murky under the autumnal shroud of the tunnel of trees that the road passes through, and fairly hazardous dodging the early morning traffic. after 4 km of this I pick up the macmillan way uphill through misty moorland to Moles Chamber, which remained hidden from my view. nonetheless it was a good relief to escape the roads for a while!.
This inevitably didnt last for long as the direction of travel was straight onto a single lane road over Shoulsbury common and under the (hidden in clouds) remains of Shoulsbury castle, over a five way crossroad and i hit another roller coaster road through Fullaford and Leworthy up to the top of Bratton down, an appropriately named hill as from here the road descends into Bratton Fleming where a village shop supplied a breakfast roll to stoke this hikers engines!, from the village i chose a descent into the valley of the river Yeo which i was to follow nearly all the way to Bartnstaple! this route was a good choice as the path just over river wended its way up and down the hillside in pleasing woodland until i rejoin the alleged B road to town, an extremely busy road that need required me to be on alert! which proved handy as i was soon chasing a Buzzard along the road as it flitted from perch to perch! great view!.
passing the road to Hakeford i see a magnificent tho sadly abandoned railway bridge towering over my head.
A few more twists in the road and countless cars dodged i enter into Barnstaple having walked 15 miles in a morning! abusing this progress i wander aimlessly through town picking up the usual provisions and the added bonus of a good meal!! as ever in town my sense of direction was awry! but soon enough i found the south west coastal path north of Bickington where a slow pace led me to a nice wild camp overlooking river Taw and tonights rest.
|view of the river Taw from Barnstaple|