Day 9

Okehampton to Crediton – 19.5 miles (145.1 total)

The bubbly weather lady on the television news, at breakfast, forecast a cracking day… and, amazingly, she was right. My breakfast was excellent too, so, all in all, I was in high spirits as I sauntered up the inevitable hill, initially following the Exeter road out of Okehampton.

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John did not fancy today’s walk because it offered no ‘ escape routes ’, being too remote for bus or train options which would allow him a shortened day. Therefore, he did his own mini-walk then got the bus to Crediton.

I followed The Devonshire Heartland Way for a short while to begin with, quickly leaving it to wind its way northwards, while I headed north-east using country lanes all the way to Crediton. At the 9.5 mile stage, approximately halfway, I reached the village of Spreyton. The Tom Cobley Tavern was open so I took the opportunity to give my back a rest from carrying my heavy pack and get out of the hot sun for a time. Uncle Tom Cobley, of Widecombe Fair fame, set out from the village with his companions. I enjoyed a nice pint of Three Hares real ale before continuing my journey.

The only other major event to record is that today’s walk provided me with my first Kerching of LEJOG.

A Kerching, for us, is, when you link up your current route with another you have previously walked: in this case, The Two Moors Way, which I did with John, George and Trevor in 2002. You have to say ‘ Kerching ’ and congratulate each other. I said it and congratulated myself.

I arrived in Crediton at 4.30, meeting up with John for a couple of pints before he caught his train home to London. I hope to see him again in two weeks at Worcester.

Farewell John… for now.

That’s the hardest section over, for just now anyway, and I am ever so slightly more confident of perhaps reaching Bristol.