4 and 5 May – To the sea shore

Yesterday morning we said good bye to Sally. She’s off spending time with her family before heading back to Canada next week.

Pat, Marianne and I spent a long day travelling. We walked from hostel to train station in Canterbury and caught a train to Victoria Station in London. We walked from there, mostly through Hyde Park, to Paddington Station. Pocket Earth guided us through trails and byways. Such a handy app!

At the station we waited for the platform to be posted then joined the throngs rushing for a seat! A bit chaotic but we were able to get three close together. We changed trains in Exeter and carried on to Barnstaple. There we had seven minutes spare to find the bus stop and catch the last bus of the day to Bude. We found a bus stop, were assured it was the correct on but it wasn’t. As we saw our bus pulling away from another stop on the other side of the street we hailed the driver. He had to stop behind another bus for a Red light, otherwise I think we’d have been out of luck.

We clambered on, paid our fair and climbed to the top deck. From there we watched the Country side roll by as we drove first on a main road then deviated off onto a road narrower than the bus! Tall hedges on both sides, branches scraping in the sides and top of the bus! We were on the local commuter bus and saw numerous small villages on the rather long slow scraping drive to Bude.

Off the bus, having rung the “please stop here” bell. We were told by a smiling young man that we didn’t really need to ring the bell as it was the last stop. We were now in the small pretty village of Bude on the north Cornish coast. A short walk to our Brendon Arms hotel. Once again, thanks to Pocket Earth it was a mindless quick walk!

We have very nice rooms above a vibrant pub. Dinner consumed and washed down with wine we went off to bed, tired from a day of doing very little.

Today Marianne has set off to try to sort out a luggage transfer service for her pack which she is finding too heavy as she has a sore knee. Without Sally as our assistant navigator, Marianne is now being called into active service in that regard, so her other mission of the day is to master the intricacies of navigation.

In case anyone is wondering…. Pat is the “mistress of the guide book narrative.” I am the “mistress of Pocket Earth and the paper map.” Marianne is to be “navigation back-up mistress” because, on occasion, Pat and I have been know to get turned around!

Pat and I have spent the day exploring the beach, (sandals off for minor wading), watching surfers, feeding sea gulls, reading in the sun on a cliff top, exploring a geologically interesting point of land, doing a reconnaissance of the start to tomorrow’s walk, visiting a castle museum, and drinking cappuccinos and beers. Very laid back!