Home » My End to End Land's End to John O'Groats long walk blog » Leg 4: Days 14 to 17: Yeoford to Taunton, May 8-11 2017, 53.6 miles (86.26km). Total walked so far: 228.21 miles (367.26km)

Leg 4: Days 14 to 17: Yeoford to Taunton, May 8-11 2017, 53.6 miles (86.26km). Total walked so far: 228.21 miles (367.26km)

Leg 4: Days 14 to 17: Yeoford to Taunton, May 8-11 2017, 53.6 miles (86.26km). Total walked so far: 228.21 miles (367.26km).

Looking down over the Crediton Hamlets, onto the red red iron soil of Devon, known as the culme measures.

Our first friends

Louise is popular with the heifers.

Shobrooke Barton, one of the oldest farmyards in Devon, with it’s signature red cob walls, typical of this area.

Long conversation with Steven and his dog Archie. He told us so many stories about Shobrooke Barton and about Cuthbert and Gilbert Shelley (relatives of Pierce Blythe and Mary Shelley), old owners of Shobroke Barton and sons of Lady Shelley who lived in Shobrooke Park manor house which burned down in 1946. At the time the manor was housing refugees, a few of which went up in flames along with the house. The Barton once housed upper-class students from Exeter University who would go to the local pub, the Red Lion,  and order “three bottles of your finest champagne please” to which the publican could not oblige and offer in lieu a pint of cider… 

Steven bought his cottage from Gilbert Shelley for £18,500. Gilbert told him “you are robbing me blind” but Steven found the old deed, and saw that Gilbert had bought it for £400. When re-thatching his roof, deep under he found some black grasses, rye grass, black from the smoke of the hearth that used to seep through the thatch. What is striking is that rye grass which was used for thatching, stopped growing and disappeared from the area in…1490!

Green man: Louise said that this face was probably modeld from the face of a real man, likely the owner of the house.

Celebrity spotting: a chance encounter with Sir Richard Branson amongst his pals, the dudes.

There goes Louise.

Ben, Eric (driving), Molly & Ted.

Eric said that Ben, Molly & Ted are three of seven he has at home. To say he is a happy man and loves life is an understatement. I grew up with Ginny, my very own collie, so I know.

Ok, this landscape north of Thorverton is like a fairy tale. I couldn’t stop snapping so all the next picts are of the valley of the River Exe, between Thorverton and Bickley, sooooo beautiful!

Jean Giono said: “Happiness is in small valleys”. Still and always one of my favourite truths.

All I can say is I am glad this decapitating machine is ahead of me, not behind me..Yet another engine I saw struggle for a long time to get through and out of the gates of it’s field.

Bickleigh Castle: our home for the night. Not bad!

Added bonus to Bickleigh Castle: hanging out and playing with 9 a-do-ra-ble black lab puppies.  I had to resist adopting one.  That was very very hard.

Serena, our hostess, is very busy these days…

View from my room at Bickleigh.  I think Louise had a pretty nice view from her room as well.

My room from the outside.

Country gentlefolk out for a spin in their Tiger.

What happens when animal agriculture gets too big for it’s breeches in medieval quaint ole’ Britain… This is where it’s kind of cool to be a walker, and skip by the traffic jam whistling while the stuck drivers in traffic jams both sides fume….

He was amazing. The other guy was the ‘bad guy’…

As he extricated himself from the cottage and before he ventured onto the ancestral stone bridge, he took part of the sidewalk (pavement) with him with the most excruciating screeching sound of metal bumper bars on stone, while the owner of the cottage stood there, watching and grimacing.

The River Exe in Bickleigh.

I’m guessing there was a time when mattresses were being disposed of in this tiny box…

Taking the ferry across the Grand Western Canal in Tiverton, as one does…

There are worse jobs on the Grand Western Canal, we will now be following this canal for the next two days.

Manly Bridge

So cool!!!

How long to I have to stay here?

This farm had a vibe of not very happy animals…

Can we go out and play, please?

Dis-used railway over another aqueduct. No thanks to Dr Beeching. I learned about him from Louise. She was shocked that I had never heard of him so I tested it by mentioning him to any passer-by. “So, what about Dr Beeching?” I would say, and invariably everyone would say: “Oh yes damn Dr Beeching, took away our railways…” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Beeching

Pet in the beer garden of the White Horse in Bradford-on-Tone.  Walked 6 hours to get there in time for lunch, but missed it.  Got to see this guy though and have my healthiest lunch ever: you will love this Emma: three packs of  of cheese and onion crips (potato chips for you Americans) for £2. It is a lovely pub I do recommend, if you happen to be walking by, that is…

Cancerous-looking nodules under this young heifer who spends her life under the buzzing high-tension wires near Taunton. Some of you remember Teru Imai, our great mentor who walked around the world with some of us for five years in 1991-1994 who’s flower farm was directly under buzzing high tension wires of San Bernardino country near Los Angeles. She and her mother both got this and both died. Teru on Decemeber 11, 1999, and her mother just after Teru returned home from her round the world walk. Carrying you in my heart forever Teru.

Ok, I’m off…. Come join me soon! xxx