Scaring the horses

Trip Start Apr 01, 2010
1
6
28
Trip End Jul 31, 2010


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, April 14, 2010

As we walked north from Bude, we entered an area where large rucksacks are apparently unknown- at least to judge by the reactions of the animals, who were uniformly appalled by us. We scared off a flock of sheep (admittedly not the toughest feat) and a herd of cows; sent every dog we passed into paroxysms of frightened rage; and so terrified two horses that their riders couldn't get them to share the road with us. They had to ride them back to a nearby field, face them away from us, and give them a nice cup of tea.

Not sure what afflicted the animals, that they could be so easily confused and flustered by a backpack. Perhaps it was just the fact that we had left Cornwall and entered Devon?

Anyway, having successfully traversed our first county, we spent the night in a friendly little campsite near the village of Woolfardisworthy - pronounced 'Woolsery,' which must be the only instance in English or any other language of a silent 'fardiwoth'.

It was in Wool's'r'y that we took stock and decided to revise our travel plan slightly. Despite good knee braces and walking poles, Fi's knees have been showing signs of strain. Given a family history of joint problems, keeping to a 15 mile per day walking schedule with hefty packs doesn't seem wise.

So we're going to bring it down through judicious hopping on buses. We don't want to be so hardcore that we damage ourselves or stop enjoying the walk; this trip is meant to be a time of recuperation, not an endurance test. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, as our rabbi liked to say.

Hopefully this won't come as too much of a disappointment for those of you who plan to join us later in the trip. After all, if the good folk of Woolsfardisworthy can skim over half the letters in their town's name and still take themselves seriously, surely we can bus through a few bits of Britain and still get a proper Land's End-John O'Groats experience!

We're now in a cafe in Bideford, where the "hop on a bus" policy has left us enough time to get Fi's boot sole repaired before we walk on to our night's rest in Instow, and it's seeming like a mighty good idea so far.

Tomorrow Barnstaple, and then we head up onto Exmoor...
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