The night at the BnB was comfortable, I downed a large takeaway and thoroughly enjoyed the guilt free meal, alas the comfort was not to last.
Having not taken enough water on board during the day, I gave myself an upset tummy and it sent me running to the loo on a few occasions. My room resembled a rather smelly drying cupboard now with shoes and socks adorning the radiator, the smell of my socks which after having been in bog all day certainly smelled as much. Out the window they went to air.
My nights sleep was fitful, I woke periodically and have found that after a wild camp or camp out I struggle to sleep in a normal bed and often have a poor sleep. I was afforded a longer kip this morning, breakfast was taken with other visitors and fueled on a full english Rob once again provided much-needed assistance and collected me for the journey to the start of Exmoor.
We rove through country lanes and quiet sleepy villages having a good natter as we went, we remarked on dreams to live in more rural refines but money and work always get in the way of those dreams. We arrived at North Moulton a little after 10am on Sunday, a sleepy village just coming into life I loaded my bag onto my back and with a final farewell set off towards the border of Exmoor and park number 2.
I had no particular destination in mind for the end of today, having re-mapped my route and it was coming up at around the 29 mile mark, with the family due to meet me the following day I was in no rush to get into Minehead today.
The road from North Moulton climb and climb and climb and continued to climb for around 5 miles, a long straight upwards drag which sapped both my happy centre and strength from the off set, I passed by quite farms and cottages as I continued to gain altitude. North Moulton Ridge came and went with views that stretched back over towards Oakhampton. Thankfully the drivers were kind today and passed me by in a sensible manner.
No sooner had I gained about as much height as I could I was dropping down towards Landacre Bridge, I had wanted to skip this part and drop down towards the River Barle, but as I took the hard surface track off the main road and towards Sherton Hutch, I could not see anyway across the river, it was a pain as I could see people wandering along the Two Moors Way not more than 2 miles away.
Frustrated I had no choice but to carry on down and over the bridge, again I climb for around a mile up quiet country lanes marvelling at the height of the banks and moss covered tree roots. I was soon joining the Two Moors Way and off I went on my merry way, happy to be off the roads and onto some trails. I set forth on a canter and covered the ground well, with it being dry and hard packed it was fairly easy-going, here I ran past my first lot of walkers for the day, we passed just near to Cow Castle Hill Fort, a magnificent fort set on a prominent hill in the midst of a valley, the myth tells the tale that fairies built this site to protect themselves against the earth.
Photo and video completed off I went following the well trodden path, the couple behind me seemed to be more like terminators and as I slowed on hills they appeared behind me slowly catching me up, not wanting to lose to walkers I dug deep and trotted on across fields and stiles before descending through more moss strewn woodland into Simons Bath, with a fancy pub I decided against exposing drinkers and partakers of food to my unique odor and carried on. I was without phone signal for a significant amount of time and spotting a pay phone decided to make a call home to let Kerry know I was ok, rather frustratingly the phone was a no cash one and there was no other way to pay for a call, to couple this BT had placed a sign to remove the phone as it was not being used often. The logic of these people amaze me sometimes, no way to actually use the phone and so they will remove it. go figure.
After another short climb along the main road, I cut across Little Ashcombe and was able to find the first signal for hours, a quick safety call home confirming current location and I was off. You tend to settle into a constant motion of routine when long distance walking or running, for me every 5-6 miles I will try to eat something and drink a little, this seems to work for me and ensures that my body is constantly fueled.
A rather sharp descent towards Warren farm and then up again and I was now in another long-distance foot path. Macmillans way runs for some 290 miles and links Boston to Abbotsbury in Dorset, for me I was just taking in a short part.
Once on the moor the weather became more unsettled, a constant wind was battering me from the South and would periodically change direction to hit me head on. I was 17 miles into this run now and with time ticking on I needed to find a stop. A quick safety call home confirmed my stop for the night. A small patch of woodland sat on its own quietly in the moor, luckily for me it was surrounded by a ditch system that blocked much of the wind. I found a flat spot and collected water, enjoying the experience of woodlands camping while devouring my grub. I set my tent up on a fairly level patch of grass and went about the usual camp routine of unpacking and setting up the nights bed, the wind continued to blow steadily for the rest of the evening.