Starting where I left off, on Monday I made it to Liskeard and found a rather nice field to camp in that apparently is owned by the council.
A great sunset, the sound of sheep and cows in nearby fields, an opportunity to relax…apart from the boys playing football who wanted to know, “Why is there a teepee in our field?” and were very curious to investigate. Oh, and the dog being walked who also took a disliking to me being there. On the whole though, it was great and they were only minor interruptions.
Evening service, “Vagabond style”.
On Tuesday I continued walking (I don’t think I really need to write this, but just in case there were any doubts about my daily routine) and stopped in at Callington because I was running low on precious zinc oxide tape and wanted to get some from the Chemist there.
I was stopped by the police for the second time of the trip, this time because there were reports of a guy with a Samurai sword (at least it was culturally relevant this time).
As I got into Callington I was greeted by a Native American war-cry from some workers in a yard nearby, and a car drove past with two guys in hi-vis jackets who said, “Hello, how are you?” In the voice of Apu from the Simpsons. I’m not telling you this to write Callington off. Straight after that a lady came running up to me to bring me an oat flapjack. Her friend had met me the other day further down the road. She had seen a programme about the Tendai “Marathon Monks” who do the Sennichi Kaihogyo (a practise of walking across Mt Hiei to pray at various different shrines for 1000 days), and asked how come I was allowed to wear trainers… (they wear traditional Japanese straw sandals called waraji and get through a few pairs a day – slightly impractical in the UK).
Further down the road a mother with her son and daughter asked what it was all about, and the boy gave me his tangerine, the girl gave me her apple.
I stopped in at the chemist, but they didn’t have any zinc oxide tape – I’d have to get some more at my next stop.
I had money to buy an all-day vegetarian breakfast which was so good! It felt like my body had been re-charged. I saved the toast for a snack later on.
Having got fuel in the system, I headed on towards Gunnislake. My feet seem to be in better condition the last few days, having acclimatised and toughened up.
Around 6:30pm, as I was walking through St. Ann’s Chapel I got chatting to a mother with her two kids, who loved having a go on my drum. She called her neighbour (Wendy) who she knew would like to talk to me.
Having chatted, the first lady’s husband came out, and when he heard I was planning to camp in the nearby park he offered me the fold-out bed in his VW transporter van – thanks Nick! Very comfy, and much warmer than camping without a sleeping bag. I went to sleep as soon as I had finished sorting out my feet, even though it was probably only about 7:30pm. Their neighbour Wendy came later on in the evening with some dinner for me!
The next day (we’re on Wednesday now) I made my way to Tavistock, taking the backroads through little farm lanes. I’ve discovered sheep, pigs, cows and horses all like the sound of the drum…dogs, and especially sheep dogs guarding their farm on the other hand, are not so keen!
I arrived early in the day in Tavistock, and sat in the church gardens to get out of the sun. At 3pm I was able to check in to an Airbnb and wash all of my clothes (apart from my outer grey robe) for the first time! I had hesitated to ask to wash my clothes when being generously put up by people (usually late in the day) who weren’t expecting me.
Thursday morning I met up with someone for tea (Hi Vanessa!) before setting off into Dartmoor. It was very hot, but so beautiful and I really wish I had taken pictures of the sheep, and ponies roaming about.
Last night (Thursday) I stayed in Postbridge, right in the centre of Dartmoor, and today I head north towards M’hamstead and Dunsford to come out near Exeter. The weather is cooler today but it’s the first day there has been rain.
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