Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Chapter Thirty Five

15th April.
Therese has once again booked the lovely, huge cottage at Winsford in Somerset.  It's called Thorn Cottage and sits right in the middle of the village. She, Brendan, and Becky arrived yesterday with Eliza and managed to get settled in before we arrived. We had a good journey up and arrived with the sunshine just about lunchtime. Perfectly timed I thought as Therese was just ready to serve up the food.
In no time at all it was as if we had never left there from last time. We headed off to Minehead for a look around and to give Eliza a run on the beach. Although the sun was shining the wind was bitterly cold.
Minehead is were the South West Coast Path starts from, so we walked along the esplanade to show everyone the statue is. This is a photograph taken last year on the first day of our walk. It shows Linda standing beside the two big hands holding a map
Beneath here is the picture of mum just before she set off as well. I thought she meant she wanted to set off and do the walk herself...but it turned out she wanted to set off back to the car. We thought she looked great in this picture though; very well and very happy. Good to see. 

The holiday passed all to quickly, although we had great fun on it. We had decided from the very beginning that we should all do our own thing and if they matched up, we would do it together. Linda and I had planned a couple of walks for ourselves that we wanted to do. We have to get back into shape for our main holiday walk of the year. That's less than five months away.
We chose a walk that took us across part of Exmoor towards Tarr Steps. Needless to say...we got lost twice. A lovely walk though and we enjoyed it very much. The common is as wild and ancient a landscape as you would imagine, with its exmoor ponies and prehistoric sites. Very quickly, you can forget the 21st Century and find yourself transported back to another age.  
Tarr steps looks very similar to the old prehistoric bridges we are all familiar with. Huge slabs of flat stone resting on equally huge upright stones. Beside it is a ford but you could only drive a 4x4 through that.
There was a very nice pub there though and we made use of that as a pit stop. It was after that we got lost; I believe the drink had nothing to do with it; but it made for a longer walk. Thank God for good maps and road signs. We got back eventually...didn't even argue much over getting lost either.
A couple of days of wet weather brought us back up on the moor in the car as Linda and I wanted to go to Dulverton. Incredible up there after all that rain. Every path we had walked had now turned into a stream.
The river in Dulverton was in full spate and you could see how easily it must have flooded back in 1952 when the tragedy of Lynmouth unfolded. A pretty little town though with a beautiful church in it.
The connection with Lynmouth reminded me of how close it was to where we were staying and so the following day we all headed off there for a visit. We chose to park up in Lynton and use the little cliff train to go up and down. Linda and I used it on our walk last year and its great fun.
It gives you a good overview of Lynmouth as you come down. We all went into the exhibition centre set up after the disaster and found it very poignant. Very interesting though and a good reminder of how much damage nature can do to the unwary.
Linda's birthday on Friday and there was prezzies and cards all around. She even got given a special hat from Therese. My present to her was dinner that evening for all of us at the local hotel. Linda and I worked up an appetite by going on a five mile walk around the village. Great fun actually and we saw a lot as we walked. The weather stayed glorious until we stopped for a lunch break. One hail storm later the sun came out and you would never have known it had happened.
Dinner was a huge success and the meal superb.
Sadly, another holiday has now shot by and it is time for goodbyes and farewells. It's been good fun this week and I've enjoyed myself. Even something as simple as chopping logs for the fire was fun. Once again the company has been what made the week. All to soon it was time to leave and we headed home. Therese, mum, Brendan, and Eliza went off in one car and Linda and I took Becky with us in the other. She had to get home quickly for an engagement so we took her to catch the train from Taunton.
We really had a good time and now we are back home, just the two of us.  

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