Tuesday, 14 April 2009

east devon way - day one

Trying to find the start of the East Devon Way set the tone for the rest of the days ramblings. We opted to follow the river out of Lyme Regis because it was heading in the general direction that the way was supposed to go. On a telegraph pole there was a badly damaged way mark that was really not much help once the path left the river.

Wild garlic

The path’s marks improved as we crossed the main road through Uplyme but only to go awry further along. Somehow the markers for a circular walk around Uplyme had adopted the same colour as the path we were trying to follow and had us waking off in the wrong direction. It was only when we started going back downhill did it dawn on us and we had to retrace our steps.

This must be the way

Climbing steadily up, the route crosses the hill above Musbury, where there is an iron age fort, the view opens up and reveals the east Devon coast with Seaton and the Axe estuary in the distance. The route descends to the River Axe and follows the flood plain on the west side of the river. The soil here is Devonian clay which meant that, although flat, the way was hard going. More diversions, electric fence dodging, and field edge skirting slowed progress. The sky that had all day threatened to add to the experience decided it was about time it did. But no sooner had the downpour started it was over and the sun finally started to break through.

After crossing the tram line we stopped for a rest and to take a view on the day. It was gone 4pm and Farway where we were expecting to get to that afternoon seemed too far away. A quick look at the map settled it. We’ll catch the tram to Seaton and walk to Axemouth and the campsite there.

Leaving Colyton

The tram takes you along the estuary wetlands and as we travelled along we spotted curlews, shellducks, gannets, cormorants and a couple of roe deer.

Trams crossing across the Axe

At the campsite I set about pitching the tent and sorting food for the evening whilst Penny popped to the village pub (at the entrance to the campsite) for a bottle of wine to go with our meal. We hadn't gotten as far as we wanted on the first day but we were in no hurry and the weather was being to improve.

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