Monday, November 21, 2011

Charles and the Tarka Trail

Yesterday we took the dog out for a nice long walk. It was a bit longer than I thought. We looked in the 'Circular Walks on the Tarka Trail' booklet that my dad got me and decided to go to a place called Charles. We'd never heard of it let alone been there. It's a tiny little village out in the back of beyond between South Molton and Combe Martin. To get there you have to go up some very steep, very narrow country lanes. The book says the walk starts by the church, but as far as we could make out you can't get near the church in a car.
So we parked where we could and off we set - 2.2 miles, said the guide book. We found our way onto the Tarka Trail and down to the river. It was all very pretty - and muddy - but we expected that.
We tramped along for what seemed ages. The book said we should go up hill after a while. Surely we can't have missed the uphill bit, we thought, there are steep valley walls to one side and the river on the other. Eventually we got to it and found our way back onto the country lanes, whereupon we decided, as we had been walking for over an hour, that we ought to take the short cut back to the car. We made our way up a 20% gradient hill. The view was pretty good at the top but I'm afraid my legs were in too much agony for me to apprieciate it much.
It was at this point that we discovered the line in the guide book that none of us had read. Length of Tarka Trail: 2.2 miles, Length of walk: 4.7 miles!!! Oops!
The dog had a lovely time. There were hundreds of pheasants everywhere. She went mental. Look closely at the photo and spot the white dot in the distance. That's my dog disappearing from sight. Willow's best walk ever.
We had fun until the uphill slog back to the car. And daughter no.2 took some lovely photos for her art homework. I'll post them on North Devon Photo blog tomorrow.