Buck`s Cross to Bideford

Friday May 19th

(A scary day)
more photos to be added later

When I woke, the storm had died down, to my great relief. After breakfast I photographed the kittens

rose`s horses
These are Rose`s horses

Richard and Rose
Rose and Richard said they would walk down to Buck`s Mills withme. Here they are with their two dogs, Bracken and - I think - Byrony.
It is a lovely walk down to Buck`s Mills, through a wooded valley. I have more photos of this day that I will put up later.
sayng goodbye
They walked down the lane with me. and before saying goodbye Rose took this photo of me by the coast path sign.
The sun had come out and - as usual - although I was sad to say to goodbye I felt a thrill of excitement about going on. Each day had been an adventure. The only worry I had was that I might have difficulties on the downhill sections of the cliff path. because of past problems, I have to be very careful not to twist my right ankle, which makes steep slippery downhills very nerve-wracking.
bluebells on the cliff path
The cliff path was an endless and stunning display of bluebells, dappled with sunshine. Sometimes there primroses too still, and other wild flowers. It was wonderful - at first. But as I went on, the downhills became harder to handle. I even began to dread the uphills, because every time you go up, you have to go down again.
The weather changed too. The sunshine gave way to dark cloud, and rain.
I know Peppercombe well, and because of that, somehow forgot to pay attention to where I was going, and ended up on the beach.
It was high tide. I didn`t really want to walk on the pebbles, but at least they would be flat. I had arranged to meet Rose at 2.30 in Bideford, and was conscious of being already a long way behind schedule, because of those difficult downhil stretches .
I set off up the beach, planning to take the cliff path again further on, where it comes down once more. The pebbles were OK to
the beach
 walk on, although I had to be careful. I was grateful for a strong stick that I had picked up early on - a makeshift walking stick.
Suddenly I realised that ahead of me the cliff jutted out almost into the sea. Perhaps it was a very high tide - the storm the night before had stirred the waves up, they were crashing on the beach. As I neared the cliff I had thoughts of giant waves that suck people out to sea. I had always wondered how they could be so stupid as to go so close to the sea on such a day. Now I had done the same thing, and I have to admit it was a little scary. At the same time, also stupidly, I couldn`t face going all the way back.
To cut a long story short, I`m writing this, so I obviously made it across safely, but it was rather frightening, slithering across wet pebbles, not sure whether they were wet from the sea or the rain, and it was a great relief to reach the other side - where I fell over and nearly did twist my ankle. But it was OK.
The rest of the cliff path wasn`t much fun - it was raining and quite cold, and again the downhills were a strain. On a good day it would be wonderful.... but when at last I reached the footpath to Abbotsham it was with a sigh of relief.

I called Rose on my mobile - she was happy to wait. She was the one with the baggage this time, and we agreed to meet at the Burton Gallery.
Walking towards Bideford, I could see the hills above Instow, and, after Bradworthy, I was very conscious of how much the 15 turbines that Hector Christie wants to put on Tapeley Hill would dominate the landscape.
It was strange being back in a town, with the traffic and noise, but the prospect of tea in the Burton cafe, and something dry to put on was welcoming.
After saying goodbye to Rose I waited at the bus stop with my luggage.. The buses to Barnstaple are very good, every 15 minutes, but it was one of those days... there had been a hold up on the link road, and the bus was half an hour late, and then took twice as long as normal to reach Barnstaple.  My son David met me and helped carry the heavier rucksack the last mile or so home, where a pile of mail and nearly 300 emails were waiting to be dealt with..