Friday, May 25, 2012


Frank kindly dropped me off from where Maisie had picked me up in Tiverton and I climbed to the start of the 'canal to nowhere.'

After a few miles I realised I had not taken the opportunity to visit Tiverton itself. Oh well some other time.

The Grand Western Canal extends about 11 miles from Tiverton to a small pipe under a back road well short of Wellington. It's completion and connection to the nearby Taunton to Bridgewater Canal (and thereby the sea) a victim of the then emerging age of steam railway.

The canal itself was beautifully clear revealing all the sticklebacks, various pond insects and plants I recalled from messing around in English waterholes as a child.


Shortly into my walk another walker approached in hi-viz gear. He was walking the JOGLE - in 30 days - in aid of Motor Neurone Disease, doing 30 miles a day along mostly major roads.


As I neared the end of the canal the urge to have a 'wild swim' overcame me. Alas the cool temperature urged me not to linger too long.


After leaving the canal end I briefly followed the nearby watercourse then struck a course cross country to find a pub for my now routine lunchtime pint or two (sadly of blackcurrent cordial).

It was a sunny day, I was listened to my Irish music, and today I had 2kgs less in my backpack. Coming down a hill towards an intersection I found myself dancing a jig. I expect the woman driving by thought she'd come across the dancing hillbilly from the movie 'Deliverance,' or the dancing yokel from the movie 'Far from the Madding Crowd.'

Early in the afternoon I was persuaded to follow the signs to a local antique fair being held in Cothy Manor.

As I wandered round the Manors' gardens I recognised the woman bustling across the lawns and realised it was the Cothy Manor that had featured in the BBC program Country House Rescue. I'd seen it only a few weeks earlier.


After chatting to one of the son in laws I set off at a fast pace to try to make the time so as to reach Taunton at a reasonable hour.

Somewhat shorter of Taunton than I hoped Richard picked me up at our rendezvous and took me back to Tess and their house just a short distance from my wild swim opportunity.

Over dinner Tess & Richard entrtained me with their experiences travel in Australia New Zealnd and Mongolia.