The East Devon Way is the secret half-sibling of the South West Coast Path. This 38-mile path starts in Exmouth and winds its way though the East Devon countryside, over hills, across fields and through the quaintest of villages to finish in Lyme Regis on the Jurassic Coast.
I don’t find it too difficult to plan a bike ride, but I do find it difficult to have faith in my planning skills. I’m terrible for underestimating the steepness and length of hills – last Sunday I spent 20 minutes of a 3 hour ride going up one, incredibly long, steep hill – and I’m equally awful at remembering to let my stomach have a say in the preparation.
Every time I go out for a jaunt and forget something, I think, ‘the moment I get home I will write a damn checklist!’
This is a trail likely familiar to most two-wheeling residents. It actually stretches from Exmouth on the east coast of the estuary, all the way to Dawlish on the west coast. Exeter lies in the middle of the trail, upriver, allowing you to chose either direction and reach the sea with relative ease.
We roam the streets for the atmosphere alone. It’s frenetic and keeping a straight line is impossible. Every few seconds I’m dodging scooters, other tourists and even cars. Driving around here seems like an impossibility given that you could barely have three people walking abreast.
As Devon bike rides go, cycling the Grand Western Canal from Tiverton is an exceptionally beautiful one. 22 miles and flat, it’s a slice of paradise that I’d never known existed.
I became aware of the beaver thanks to the shutter sounds of far fancier cameras than mine. My eyes searched the water and there it was, a brown head, calm eyes and an elevated nose, working its way across the river.
The rain is falling like fairy dust. It’s drifting down from the smudged, white sky. The sparrows are chattering, clinging onto brickwork and rattling off calls. One swoops up into the nest right outside my open balcony door. I hear a burst of cheeping, hungry mouths that never seem to be sated.
Pen y Fan is a popular mountain for a reason, it’s not technical, you can do it in a few hours and it’s easy to reach. And yet many people hike it ill-prepared. It’s not a day for flip flops folks.
After sundown, the space turns into an intoxicating labyrinth sprung up from nowhere, filled with little stalls crammed with rice, noodles and fried everything.
I arrived in British Columbia in early autumn after having lived in the tropics and subtropics for a year. I’d left the UK the previous year and sailed south. I’d…
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