After checking in at the The George hotel in South Molton, and attending to the usual hygiene and laundry chores, I decided to eat at the restaurant next door as the hotel didn't serve meals in the evening. Having enjoyed a nice, if slightly expensive meal, I returned to the hotel to watch some rubbish TV before dozing off some time later. After an hour or so, I woke up feeling strange and realised that I urgently needed the toilet. The rest of the night was spent between the bed and bathroom as a I suffered an awful bout of sickness and diarrhoea. I spent the next two days holed up in my room at the hotel feeling dreadful but decided that I would continue the walk on the Monday. I suspected that my wild camp by the River Taw was the cause of the sickness as, while filtering water from the river, I had on a couple of occasions inadvertently put the neck of the bottle carrying the unfiltered water to my mouth.
The following morning I was packed up and away by 7.30, despite having to dry the tent, which was wet from overnight rain. It was a clear, sunny morning and soon, I was stood on the top of the huge dam at the bottom end of Wimbleball Lake. Despite being man-made, the lake was very attractive in the early sunshine and I paused to take photos and apply a plaster to a hotspot on my foot. Having followed a bridlepath for some distance, the trail headed off into trees before descending to a village where, as usual, I followed the now tried and trusted routine of trudging the quiet country lanes. Normally, I loathe walking on tarmac but having eschewed the SWCP for the interior, I had come to realise, unfortunately too late, why walkers like to stick with well walked and signposted long distance trails when hiking long distances. The many local paths utilised by the Lands End Trail had proved time consuming and frustrating to follow and caused me to regret leaving the SWCP at Padstow.
It was on this section where the effects of my illness began to take their toll and my energy levels dropped making me feel tired and irritated. Suddenly, an opening in the trees presented me with a beautifully framed view to the village of Wiveliscombe below and I stumbled downhill and gratefully slumped into a seat outside a cafe in the square. I had now walked ten miles, and even though it was still only mid-morning, I decided I didn't want to walk any further and found a room in a pub in the village and spent the rest of the day resting.
|Cottage in Wiveliscombe|