I’ve just had another couple of days in Devon, catching up with family and friends. Unfortunately I was unwell on Friday and Saturday, so I had to postpone travel until Sunday and could only use the return half of the advance train ticket I’d bought. The single journey out cost me as much again, so the journey had to be worth it. Of course, it was.
I managed to catch up with most of the party of friends I’d planned to see on Saturday by having a pub lunch with them in the Great Western in Exeter. The advantage of that is that it is located right next to St David’s Station, where I had to change trains anyway.
After that I got a later train, run by First Great Western, alongside the River Exe and through Dawlish where the line had been washed away during the storms earlier this year. Network Rail had certainly pulled out all the stops to get that fixed quickly, as trains have been running through there since April. But I still witnessed a lot of damage to the sea wall all the way from Dawlish Warren to Teignmouth. The promenade on top of it, which forms part of the south west coast path, was closed to the public and workmen were employed on it at intervals. The pic (by Lewis Clarke) shows it in happier times.
Still, we got to Torquay without incident and I was met by my lovely sister and brother-in-law who were my hosts for the next two nights. I spent Monday with someone I’ve been friends with since we went to infant school there. She now lives in Somerset and drives down to meet up, so that we can revisit some of our old haunts, while we talk incessantly. Usually we catch a bus to St Marychurch and walk along Babbacombe Downs and then choose a route back to the harbour. This week was no exception. We ate lunch on the Downs against a background of wonderful coastal views, and then trekked over Walls Hill and down to Meadfoot Beach via Ilsham Vale. This pic of a seat we passed on Walls Hill is by Derek Harper.
Of course we met lots of dogs as it is perfect dog walking country and Jade would have loved it, but she was at home with hubby. I found it harder going than I have before, another indication that I need to step up my general exercise regime. But I got my South Devon fix and had a great time with people I love. On Tuesday I came home and was welcomed at the station by an ecstatic dog along with hubby who drove for nearly an hour to meet me and save me a much longer journey by public transport.
Now my batteries are charged and I’m raring to get to grips with my June deadlines.