My first task this morning was to finish the nasty stretch of road between Maidencombe and Torquay. Much like yesterday it had to be walked in murky weather. It wasn't too long before I reached the outskirts of Torquay. I made my way to the Milk & More depot where I was greeted by Tim and Dave.
After passing rows of Fawlty Towers type hotels I had a quick look around historic Torre Abbey before emerging on Torquay seafront. There might be palm trees everywhere but the English Riviera didn't look particularly impressive in the rain. I made my way along the front to Paignton with it's colourful beach huts and pier. The prices advertised by the B&Bs here were the lowest I'd seen anywhere in the whole country.
From Paignton I headed west and made my way inland. Devon is quite a hilly county, if you're passing through on foot steep climbs are are unavoidable and I soon had a few typical examples to tackle. By now though, weeks after conquering the Highlands, I can honestly say I'm not really troubled by hills. In fact after making my way through most of England on mainly flat routes I now quite enjoy a few undulations for the variety. I stayed off the main roads and made my way to Totnes using quiet rural lanes. Totnes would be the only town on my route after leaving the coast so I stopped there for lunch.
By mid-afternoon the intermittent rain had stopped and was replaced by pleasant sunshine. I continued west along more deserted hilly lanes and was treated to many fine views of the Devon countryside, with the peaks of Dartmoor always visible on the horizon. I could see the unmistakeable rock formations at Haytor which I walked to in training a couple of months ago. There were some pretty villages and hamlets on my route including Harburtonford.
Soon after crossing (yet another) River Avon at Garra Bridge I reached the California Cross Campsite 3 miles east of Modbury where I'm stopping tonight. My sore heel is still tender, but it didn't hinder me again today. My worries about it are easing a bit now that it's coped with two days of walking without either worsening or causing any significant discomfort.
After another ten miles or so of making my way along country lanes tomorrow I will pass through the northern parts of Plymouth and visit the local Milk & More depot. When I cross the Tamar Bridge in the afternoon I will enter Cornwall, the last county of my walk. I've booked a B&B a few miles west of Saltash. If everything goes to plan this will all be over in a week.
GPS track click here
Mileage today; 23.12 miles, walking time 5 hrs 55 mins, average speed 3.9 mph
Weather; intermittent light rain until mid-afternoon, then sunny spells, max 17C
Cumulative mileage; 865.83 miles