Woolacombe – Braunton (15.1 miles)
Distance from Minehead – 62.8 miles / Distance from Poole – 569.3 miles
Before I start, I should explain that I have not updated folks about the last few days walking, not because I have given up, not because I have fallen off a cliff, not because I have been distracted by the gorgeous Devon ice-cream (although some of that has been happening!) but because I have not had internet access. I am back and connected to the big wide world once again and so my journey with you continues.
Today took me from the gorgeous Watersmeet Hotel in Woolacombe (well worth popping in just for a wee!!) around Baggy Point and into a lunchtime stop at Croyde. I was lucky enough to be walking with Steve and Brian who had come all the way from Burnham-on-Sea to walk with me. Brian’s wife was so concerned that she packed them bacon sandwiches for the journey. The car journey that is!
After a very refined lunch break at the National Trust café (I could get used to this kind of luxury!) we set off towards the massive sand dunes and burrows at Saunton and Braunton, we first needed to cross Croyde Beach. Unfortunately after May 1st dogs are not allowed on the beach and so we had to do a slight detour. We happily followed a couple of footpath signs but then they seemed to disappear. We were stranded in the midst of a caravan park with no idea which way to turn. Luckily, at that very moment, someone who worked at the caravan park came strolling into view.
Approaching the man we boldly asked for directions to get us back on the right path without Toby going on the beach. To say he was enthusiastic would be an understatement. To say he was clueless would be even more of an understatement. He could direct us to Croyde village. He could direct us to Woolacombe (where we’d spent all morning coming from!). He could direct us to the tennis courts. Once we found our way to Braunton he could direct us to Barnstaple and Bideford. Alas he could not help, but boy did he try. He desperately wanted to point us in the right direction but he had no idea where that would be.
It reminded me of a sign I had seen a few days earlier which showed directions to all sorts of places, but unfortunately not to the one place I needed to go at that time. You may be glad to know we ignored his advice, (so I can’t tell you anything about the tennis courts orCroyde Village!) consulted the map and found our own way back to the path….although we waited until he couldn’t see us walking in the opposite direction to where he pointed! It can be hard to make out the right way to go when you’re overwhelmed with signs and symbols but can’t find the right sign for you and your destination.