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South Zeal to Crediton

A lane in Devon
Walking down the lanes of Devon

Despite meandering around the northern borders of Dartmoor and occasionally straying into the moorland on the Tarka Trail, the End-to-End route steers clear of the national park, instead veering east-northeast to Crediton. I was thankful for the lack of a moor-exploring detour; moors can be pleasant in good weather, but in foul weather they're utterly, utterly dismal, as I discovered a few days ago. Dartmoor is famous for being a nasty place when the mists come down, which only adds to the misery.

Leaving Okehampton

I decided to take two rest days in Okehampton, not just because resting is a good idea for any injury, but because I had to wait until Monday for the Post Office to open, so I could mail my 7kg package of discarded trekking gear back to Peta in London. That done, I spent Monday avoiding the continuing rain by holing up inside the B&B and writing. But Tuesday soon came, and I had to tear myself away from Mike and Viv's convivial little place and hit the trail once more.

Spreyton is a pretty little village

Light Load

A patchwork of green and brown fields in Devon
Devon's colourful fields

I might have started today under a cloud, but the worries about my tendon proved to be unfounded; it didn't hurt once. As the walk unfolded I started cheering up, and I realised the incredible difference that a lighter pack makes. I had been coping fine with the heavy pack in terms of muscle stamina and doing the distance, but when you shed half the weight of your burden, it's amazing how much more pleasant it is to walk.

The Tom Cobley Tavern in Spreyton
The sign on the Tom Cobley Tavern in Spreyton


A cottage on a Devon lane
The lanes of Devon are home to lots of pretty little cottages

Yet again Peta's advice on B&Bs turned up a lovely place to stay. Great Park Farm, to the south of Crediton in the fields beyond the town centre, was a wonderfully quiet spot that guaranteed a good night's sleep, but the real killer was the en suite bathroom. I decided to push the boat out by coughing up an extra £2 for my own bathroom, and I couldn't believe what a result it was, because I had... a bath!