Day 16: 08 Apr 2014; Lynton to Porlock

Day 16: 08 Apr 2014; Lynton to Porlock
Walk descriptor LEJOG2014 Day 16
Date Tue 08 Apr 2014 Start to end time 08h 21m
Start point Lynton End point Porlock
Miles today 16.61 Cu miles 297.85
Ft today 5,274 Cu ft 57,119
Route miles left 1,174.06 Route ft left 140,530
Today’s weather Apart from a light shower at 7 am, dry all day. Cold westerly wind, near gale force at times. Plenty of sunshine. About 8C
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Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

“It was a cold night at the Channel View campsite last night. It was 900 ft up in the Exmoor national park, and there was a cold, strong, westerly wind blowing all night. But having learned from earlier mistakes, I retreated to my sleeping bag wearing almost every item of clothing I possessed – including two wool fleeces, wool socks, and walking trousers. So in the end I was warm enough, and slept well.

After a brief rain shower at about 7 am, it stayed dry all day, and the sun shone for quite a lot of the time. Although the strong, cold, wind persisted all day, it was a joy to be walking in dry weather. My rucksack began to dry out and by the end of the day, even my boots were showing signs of becoming dry.

The hills above Lynton are quite remarkable. Almost Alpine in nature in fact, and I kept expecting to see Julie Andrews and a family of von Trapps come gambolling over the horizon. Really good walking – excellent paths and brilliant scenery. Even the severe ups and downs were more than made up for by the stunning scenery. Like the Lake District meets the Atlantic Ocean. I walked from the campsite to the Tarka Trail (again) then dropped down to Watersmeet. This is a confluence of two rivers set in a deep wooded gorge and is very picturesque. There is a café there which would have been ideal for breakfast, except that it didn’t open until 10:30 and I was there an hour before that. I’ll definitely have to return sometime.

The rest of the walk was straightforward, through the woods, which I think were silver birch, high above Foreland Point and the Bristol Channel. There was still quite a lot of ascent and descent, but less than yesterday. But also like yesterday, there was nowhere to get a cup of tea or anything to eat (except for the closed café at Watersmeet) so I’d stocked up the day before on chocolate bars, which kept me going for the day.

I arrived early at the attractive coastal village of Porlock, which allowed me to pitch the tent quickly and get my gear dried out. The weather outlook is actually quite good for the next few days, so I’m reasonably optimistic that things may stay dry for a while now. A great day’s walking today, but tomorrow will be a significant day, as I reach Minehead and leave the Coast path behind. Heading off into the wilds of Somerset will bring a new dimension to the journey!”

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
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Joining the Tarka Trail above Watersmeet and feeling like a Polar explorer, it was so cold Exmoor pony grazing on hills above Foreland Point
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In the woods near Glenthorne. This could be the Lake District. Or Scotland. Or the Alps. But didn’t meet Devon stereotype! Fantastic example of Honey fungus, Armillaria Melea (I think – unless any fungologists out there can correct me!)
I have been subseaquently corrected – it is actually probably the rather less attractively-named Jelly Ear fungus
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Dead tree on salt marsh outside Porlock. Feels like Namibia! Inside my tent at Porlock tonight. Note use of inflated dry-sack as pillow..
Panorama of Watersmeet, junction of Farley water and East bLyn river, above Lynton
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
Solid line blue