Day 014 : Appledore – Braunton

I follow the long, straight and flat old railway track called the Tarka Trail, the route taken by Tarka the Otter in a novel by Henry Williamson.

b_014_130_Appledore_Sailing_ClubFirst of all, I watch a group of young people from the local sailing club in Appledore taking their boats out onto the river.

They must be quite keen, because it’s early on a Sunday morning. My walk into Bideford was mainly overshadowed by the road bridge over the River Torridge. I walk under the stanchions and into Bideford, take a few pictures and cross the old bridge and pick up the Tarka Trail.

b_014_143_River_Torridge_Boat_CarcassAll along the river, you see boats and barges rotting away, never been seaworthy for a long time. I was looking at this timber framed boats and wandered where the timber came from, was it made to be a fishing boat or did it carry goods. Where in the world had it sailed, what tales could it tell.

b_014_148_Instow_Old_Station_PlatformGraham, who I mentioned yesterday, also said I’ve got to have a Hockings ice cream, they are the best in Devon. As I was walking out of Instow, low and behold, there on the side of the road was the distinctive yellow van of Hockings ice cream. Well, how could I refuse. Two boules of vanilla ice cream, smothered with clotted cream. It was absolutely delicious, so full marks to Hockings and thanks to Graham.

b_014_146_Instow_Tarka_TrailAll I can say about the stretch of the Tarka Trail from Bideford to Barnstaple and then back to Braunton is that it’s probably great for cyclist but for walkers it’s a path of endless straight, flat line walking. Dullsome, but great for clocking up the miles.

b_014_156_Fremington_QuayAfter a lengthy walk, I was glad to make my way into Braunton, and call it a day.