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.

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.