Saturday 22nd September 2018
What a difference a day makes! Yesterday blue skies, today grey, miserable and cold – and an abundance of rain.
Nevertheless, we were up and out early to drive to Exeter for the Parkrun. All eager to stretch out our weary legs after yesterday’s re-introduction to coastal hill walking. However, on arrival at the start point and waiting in the driving cold rain, I felt a desperate need to use the toilet, deciding I would not manage a 5k run without a ‘visit.’ So off I jogged & walked to the nearest public conveniences, having to cross over to the other side of the quay, a fair trek. Devastatingly, by the time I got back, the run had started without me – oh well, there’s always next week. Steve, despite knee problems, completed another tourism Parkrun.
We planned a reverse day today, so parked up at Teignmouth station and caught the train to Starcross from where we walked back through Dawlish Warren, Dawlish and Holcombe into Teignmouth.
We had yet to eat, so after our train journey, we ventured out onto the streets of Starcross to look for a bacon butty – alas, not a cafe in sight. It was almost 2 miles of trudging along a busy road (strange coastal path) before we stumbled across a bakery with extremely tasty offerings. The rain had been chucking it down and deep puddles formed in the roadside gutters. As cars sped past us we were engulfed in tidal waves, only adding to our misery. Steve (in true Victor Meldrew style) was adamant that they were doing it on purpose! So it was with great delight that we found temporary refuge in the warm bakery and tucked into some hearty fayre.
The coastal path finally took us to the ‘actual coast’ just past Dawlish – the sea was now in sight. In fact, from there for the rest of the walk we found ourselves walking on the sea wall. And boy, was there a drop at the side … and no railings. I made sure I tucked myself well into the inside wall and Steve gallantly walked by my side. The wall was wide at parts and more narrow at others, but you just had to focus on the task in hand. I had to stop thinking about those “batten down your hatches” forecasts that had been flying around and just keep going. As waves leapt over the sea wall it was also getting pretty wet under foot, in fact in places we were wading through water – so soggy feet and socks it was for the rest of the journey.
And literally six foot to our right, trains were whizzing by at great speeds – quite spectacular. It was in Dawlish a few years back that the sea wall and train track collapsed during winter storms – luckily today it all held together!
Between Dawlish and Teignmouth we did have to tackle a couple of sizeable hills – we were never going to get off scot-free the whole day! Gave us something else to grumble about!!
And finally two little drowned rats reached Teignmouth – just about 8 miles in 3 and a half hours.
Steve’s summary of the day …. “well as Coastal Walks go, not the most spectacular of days!”
But tomorrow, you know it, we’ll be back for more!