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Saturday, 13 August 2011

Lynmouth to Watersmeet & Back

Today Jon and I went to Lynmouth for a Weekend Walk. We discovered that there was going to be a raft race later on, and were worried we'd have trouble parking, but a helpful ticket warden pointed out an empty space to us in one of the car parks. Yay!

We set off along the East Lyn river, crossing from side to side via the various bridges dotted along the way. One bridge was out of action, due to "the main support and handrails" being "damaged" according to the sign; good thing that sign was there, as we originally thought it might have been due to the fact that one side had almost totally collapsed. ;P

The river was beautiful and the trees were leafy and pretty. We walked through the idyllic scene until we reached Watersmeet, where the Hoar Oak Water flows into the East Lyn. There's a National Trust tearoom here, so we stopped for refreshments. While here, a strange insect landed on Jon's leg. If anyone knows what it is, please let us know! We saw more later on the walk back.

Our route back to Lynmouth took us up a steep, zigzagging slope to Myrtleberry North Camp, the site of an Iron Age fort. After this, the path became even steeper (and the bugs, flies and possibly even mosquitos appeared in vast quantities). The views were amazing, though, so that more than made up for the pain in my knee that has materialised since the walk.

The rest of the route made us zigzag down, up and down again, sometimes going straight along paths through bracken. We eventually found ourselves back in Lynmouth, just in time for the raft race! So, we stayed to watch...

The race was late to start. They played a Simply Red CD over the loudspeakers and we seriously considered making a swift exit, but then the CD was changed and shortly afterwards bagpipes were heard leading the procession of rafts down Riverside Road towards the harbour. Bags of flour were being sold for people to throw at the rafts during the race, some of which we were informed had special defences built in - and we were also warned that some may even be able to fight back!

There was a Kiss raft, a Smurfs raft and a Viking raft among the entrants. All those that managed to stay afloat long enough to reach the bridge were heavily pelted with flour. It was a scene of utter chaos, but one in which everyone was having fun. I'm not sure who won, but this was definitely a race in which the taking part was far more important than winning!

Jon and I then made our way ahead of the crowds to the Village Inn, where we both had a delicious dinner - Jon had a burger and I ate Cumberland sausages with a giant Yorkshire pudding. And, feeling full and content, we made our way home. :)

What fun will we have on our next Weekend Walk, I wonder?

FairyJo! x