Saturday, 4 August 2018

LEJOG Days 12 & 13 - South Molton to Wiveliscombe

Wimbleball Dam
LEJOG Day 12 - South Molton to Wimbleball Lake 36.2k - Cumulative 364.2k

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.

Wimbleball Lake 
I set off walking slowly from South Molton feeling a little drained from my weekend but soon fell into the routine of putting one foot in front of the other as I followed a lovely bridlepath through woods. This eventually became the usual plod along narrow country lanes before a long section of some miles across unenclosed moorland. It is was on this section where I experienced the wettest weather so far and from my fairly elevated position, I watched as the bouts of rain rolled in across the hills towards me forcing me inside the hood of my raincoat. After what seemed an eternity following the road across the Moor,  I descended to the campsite in the attractive village of Dulverton only to be informed that they did not accept tents! I now faced a walk of around five or six miles to a campsite at Wimbleball Lake. It was along this section that my digestive system decided to start rebelling again and the walk to the campsite was punctuated by numerous urgent visits into the bushes. I reached the campsite and checked in and after a few more visits to the toilet just collapsed into my sleeping bag,  not daring get to eat anything.

Approaching Wiveliscombe

LEJOG Day 13 - Wimbleball Lake to Wiveliscombe  16.2k - cumulative 380.4k

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.

Cottage in Wiveliscombe
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.


  1. Hi Gary,
    Hope that you get back to full strength soon. Hope to see you somewhere in the midlands.
    Stuart & Ann

    1. Hi Stuart & Ann, it looks like we are going to have to wait until next spring before meeting up in the UK but I hope to see you both in Tenerife before then

  2. Well done Gary great walk today Cheddar to Bishop Compton

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi Mike, great to have your company on the walk from Cheddar. Thank you also for your help and hospitality