Monday, June 15, 2009

Walk to Ladram Bay

I am now able to walk further across the local countryside due to the arrival of the free Sidmouth Hopper bus again, which takes passengers up Peak Hill and Salcombe Hill free of charge. What a marvellous service. This means that instead of wearing myself out on the first hill out of town I can now wear myself out on further hills, giving me more wandering scope and pottering possibilities.

My first walk this year using the hopper service was a nice easy walk to Ladram Bay which is a walk that I do anyway but is made easier with the bus service. This walk is on the South West Coast Path so it is a main walking route for people walking around the coast and so is busier than places that I usually walk to.

With the weather being unpredictable in England I was glad that I took a hat with me as I was soon walking in a very strong cold wind across the appropriately named Windgate from where you can see a large portion of Devon. There are lots of charmingly named villages and hamlets around here such as North Star which is just down the road to Otterton and a place that would be lovely to have as an address.

As I love meandering I sidetrack myself down this old route between Otterton and Sidmouth which was walked daily by the Otterton monks until the dissolution of the monasteries.

Higher Peak is the site of an ancient hill fort and its top was uncovered by trees until about seventy years ago. I think it would be better without trees here as the view would be fantastic and the trees that are planted here are just bog standard conifers that seem to be there just to spoil the view. Higher Peak is an odd place. Usually I feel very comfortable in all the woods around here but Higher Peak always gives me a slightly sinister atmosphere , as if those trees are hiding something unpleasant. It could just be the strange sensation of walking through a quiet wood and suddenly being confronted with a 500 foot drop. It certainly gives me the willies.

Ladram Bay has some nice stacks of Jurassic rock though the walk ends in a large caravan park which though is lovely for holiday makers is a bit of a let down for me as the shop there sells almost no vegetarian food at all. Really I should make my own sandwiches but I like to treat myself with a nice pasty if I can find one. Ladram Bay has none to offer unfortuneatly and I am again left wondering why the UK hates vegetarians so much. In pubs here you get the traditional Sunday roast, most of which is actually vegetarian but pubs will almost never let you have a vegetarian Sunday roast as cooking you a vege burger or nut roast is too difficult for them, insisting instead that you must have a lasagne. The trouble is that I wanted to give up eating meat, not become an Italian, however lovely they are.


nobody said...

Hee Hee. Onya John. And you think you got it tough mate? I briefly went out with a girl who wasn't just vegetarian, nor was she just vegan, she was vegan with the entire nightshade family excluded as well. Even if we went to a totally vegan restaurant there was nothing on the menu she could eat. Talk about a tough gig! Lovely girl though.

Otherwise mate, you're not really a proper Englishman are you? As if the jolly jack tars of Patrick O'Brien could break into a verse of Roast Potatoes Of Old England. It's just not right is it?

Me demeaning your Englishness aside mate, lovely photes!

nobody said...

Oh, by the way, I actually ordered The Complete Ripping Yarns from the library for no other reason than to see if it explained what a 'palfrey' was. Sadly it doesn't. But in the script for Tomkinson's School Days, the stick that the palfrey is delivered with is called a 'knobkerry'. This is an actual thing it seems. But if you want a laugh, put 'palfrey knobkerry' into google and have a look at the perfect gibberish that results. It's truly weird.

john said...

Cheers Nobody

Yes there are a number of things that count against my proper Englishness, vegetarianism being one of the main ones and also my complete lack of interest in sport of any kind, especially football which is a complete national obsession and something I've never really seen the point of. Playing sport is fine, I have no problem with that but why the need to talk about it? I listen to Radio 5 here sometimes and they interview sportsmen and women and by God they are the most boring people in the world. Each to their own I suppose.

I quite like the idea of singing about potatoes though.

"My gift for her, was a pomme de terre, but all those chips, went to her hips" etc.

I had wondered what happened to the palfrey. A knobkerry eh? I better go and have a look.

john said...

Cheers Nobody, its me again. Not even bothering to acknowledge your vegan friend, I don't know-its just me me me. Was there a reason that she couldn't eat nightshade family? or was she like me, a fussy eater? it sounds very tricky to go out for a meal with her for sure.

The maid here knows all about knobkerrys somehow apparantly and she reckons its like a shillelagh but I expect you know that by now.

nobody said...

She knows a thing or two that Debb'n maid.

Otherwise this girl was a total hippy. Last I heard she was in Mexico for the moon festival. And before that it was Brazil for the Santa Daime ayahuasca thing. Apparently some variant of naturopath told her she shouldn't eat anything nightshade. I wonder if she still does it, it being such a severe diet and all. Do you remember Lua over on the haiku blog? Anyway that was her.

And don't talk to me about sport mate. I live in Australia, ha ha. And with a sports nut old man, at that. Otherwise, yep, God spare me the interviews.

john said...

Yes I remember her, sounds like she gets around a bit.

I think the dogshit fairy and the tooth fairy must be related.

I was walking along the beach the other day looking for a carrier bag as there are usually lots of them washed up as I wanted one to pick up some of the lovely plastic bottles that the good folk had left. So I see a bag off in the distance and as I get closer I notice it is tied in the traditional dogshit bag style. I ponker it lightly with my foot and hear the music that all ears are tuned to, the sound of money. I look around to see if a swimmer has left the bag but nobody is around so I open the bag up and find £3.15p. Thanks dogshit fairy!

Penny said...

why the nightshade family?
any reason?

loved the foxgloves, for a quick minute I thought they were lupins, but then did a double take,and yup, digitalis.

heart medication.

beautiful pics john I am never disappointed when I come here, and thank goodness for that.
I have been caught up in a situation as of late that has left me deeply disappointed, disillusioned and angry.

to summarize: trusted person ripping off granny!

Penny said...

and the dogshit fairy comes through, yeah!

nobody said...

Er no, Pen. Nightshade in this case is a funny one - it refers to any food that grows at night. This includes potatoes, tomatoes, all stone fruit, and, I don't know, every other goddamn thing. Once you cut out the first two eating becomes hellish.

Otherwise John, three quid! The beers are on me! Or on you, as the case may be.

Penny said...

nobody,still a silly goose, I know what the nightshade family is, I just don't get why?

I know for a long time people thought that the nightshade family of plants, in it's entirety, were poisonous. Likely having to do with the fact thay many plants in the nightshade family are seriously poisonous.
Like deadly nightshade (belladona)

But the rest of the nightshade family includes, my much loved tomatoes and eggplants!
Yum, yum, yum

ever slice eggplant, put it to drain, then brush generously with olive oil and garlic and bbq it??
That is good eating.
Then you can if so inclined sprinkle with a little parmesan or romano cheese, and of course, black pepper
Even yummier
That said, choosing not to eat plants from the nightshade family leaves lots of good food in the dust, sad.

nobody said...

Oh yeah, eggplant. That's another one. As to why - beats me! English was her second language, and what with having spent so much time overseas, I'm no longer upset if I don't understand a given conversation topic. And sure enough, this was one of them. As far as I was concerned, it just was.

su said...

Nightshade family is considered toxic by certain tribes.Originally named deadly nightshade family.
Also not allowed whilst treating candida.
How about we all meet up one day to walk in that lush, green land. Up to Nobody - it will surely increase the dominion of your smile.

john said...

Hello again! You are all welcome, there are good walks here and if you can't make it somehow I think of you all when I walk and there will be some photo's too, so cheers m'dears.

A bit of a break from work for me for the week, so a good solstice party followed by some recording of guitar tunes and a bit of evening sailing with my brother, trying out his new sails. 17ft clinker built gaff rigged its good to be out on the water for a bit.

It's all happening out there still by the look of it. Cheers for now.

nobody said...

Hey Su, You ARE the business, mate. All of this stuff I flounce about cluelessly on, you already have down pat. Hmm... perhaps you ought not to be blogging, what with actually knowing what you're talking about. And besides, you make guys like me look bad and we can't have that!

Who me smiling? Ha ha ha ha.

nobody said...

And gaff-rigged John? You don't see it too often but it's a really pretty sight, a gaff-rigged boat.

It's a pity you haven't gotten into O'Brian because then you could bignote yourself asking your brother if he wouldn't be better off with Bentinck shrouds, or some light hawsers to the masthead with preventer backstays.

I have no idea what any of these things actually are of course. Oh wait! Su...

john said...

Aye, Su is the business allright though she has a lot of things to sort out at the moment, I hope she's getting on ok with all that.

I'll tell me brother about the alternatives nobody but I expect he won't know what you're talking about either, I'll have to get him the books!

Best of luck Su, I hope you got through that storm ok.