Log No 253. Sat 22nd Feb 2014 - Braunton to Barnstaple, 12 miles (3845 miles walked)When we got back to Ilfracombe yesterday we drove to a caravan park near Barnstaple but it was still closed for the winter. We continued on to the railway station so Mick could pick up his rail tickets, get an update on the rail problems and check what time he needed to be there in the morning so he could make the connection in Bristol.
After confirming an 07.08 start we drove along the A39 towards Bideford and found what we thought was a suitable place to park for the night, a picnic site with toilets.
It seemed okay apart from quite a bit of vehicular activity and we settled in for the night.
The activity continued well after we had retired and Mick said we would hear a car arrive then see a sequence of car headlights flashing, hear a car door open then footsteps then a car door close and a car drive off.
I leave it to your imagination as to what was going on!
Apart from that the overnight stay was fine and we got to the station in good time for his train, suffice to say I would not be staying there tonight.
I left the camper in Tesco's car par, I asked if it was okay to leave it there all day and the same on Sunday, he noted the car reg and said he would record it as a staff vehicle so I wouldn't get a ticket.
The flooded bridleway
Getting the bus back to Braunton for 08.00 I went along a bridleway until I was thwarted by floodwater and had to go through the field to pick up the coast path.
I couldn't get right close because the MOD was using the dunes as a firing range.
Footpath through the dunes
Like yesterday it was a mix of sunny intervals and showers but without the strong winds and it was a case of frequent waterproofs on / waterproofs off.
Footpath along the River Taw
The path went on the embankment along the River Taw then the River Caen into Braunton where it joined the route of an old railway line.
Going past the base at Chivenor I paused to watch an RAF helicopter practicing some maneuvers.
RAF Search & Rescue helicopter at Chivenor
The SWCP, or Tarka Trail as it is also called here, is also a cycleway and it was very busy with both walkers, runners and cyclists.
I crossed over the River Taw by the A361 road bridge and got back to the camper at midday after 12 flat miles.
The A361 bridge over the River Taw