Thursday, 21 July 2011


After yesterday's poor weather and feeling low myself, today was much better. Having gone to bed at 9pm I had a good night's sleep and awoke early, fresh and fit. I was on the road before 07.00.

The first port of call was Hope Cove, a real 'find'. I love visiting a place I haven't been to before, and this little harbour, at 07.45 on a beautiful calm morning, was idyllic. Next was Salcombe, where I had arranged to meet next-door neighbours Richard and Suzanne Mason, who were enjoying a brief holiday at nearby Thurleston. They treated me to a coffee and bacon sarnie before I found the steps to the passenger ferry.

In the few minutes on the little boat, I spoke to a woman and her two children, who asked where I was going. When the boat reached the other side, at East Portlemouth, the ferryman helped me to take my panniers etc up the ramp. Quietly, he said to me, "I pedalled to Hawaii". What??!! How can you do that, I said. He then told me that he literally pedalled a boat (rather larger than a standard 'pedalo') across the Atlantic, cycled across the States, then in the same boat, which had been transported across the USA, on to Hawaii. That certainly 'trumped' my comparatively little ride.

It was interesting returning to Dartmouth; I was last there in 1965 as a raw Cadet at the Britannia Royal Naval College. My, how the place has changed, now thronged with tourists and boats. Brixham, though, was a disappointment. The harbour itself was fine, but the harbourside was tacky, almost as bad as Newquay.

I arrived at the house of fellow Geograph-er Derek Harper and his wife Rosemary, in Torquay, where I was warmly welcomed. Derek had prepared an excellent lasagne and Rosemary washed a load of my 'smellies'. So I now have clean clothes to wear for the next week or so.

Finally, another moan about drivers. Often, I stop and wait for drivers to pass me, usually on narrow roads. On average, about 75% acknowledge with a wave. But for those in 'swanky' cars, such as 4x4s or big Mercs, the average is more like 25%. They clearly don't think it necessary. It does make me angry though.

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