Day 2 | 25th June

Day 2 Map

Well, good morning to ya all!  Ok first things first. Breakfast geek time: Pinhead porridge is the way forward for some morning fuel.. This particular pack is a courtesy of Dr Findlay who happens to be a Nuclear Physicist & Clinical Scientist. Damn straight..

Bodmin Breakfast

Now, let’ see, where am I heading on my second day? Well, of fuelled up on nuclear porridge I set off towards Holsworthy, following another converted rail track. Soon enough I find myself on a fantastic viaduct bridge over River Deer..

Holsworthy Bridge 2

Holsworthy Bridge 1

The bridge used to carry rail carriages, now used for bear-crossings..

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Flying past Holsworthy I move on towards Black Torrington. On route I came across a fully functional water mill in a small town on River Torridge. Do not let the mossy texture fool you, that thing is spinning like there’s no tomorrow.

Dipper Mill

Soon after I find myself on another converted rail path, The Tarka Line, stretching 39 miles between Exeter and Barnstaple. Well, that suits me just fine, as that’s where I’m heading!

Tarka Rail Line

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Tarka Rail Line 3

First person (bear) view

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Tarka Rail Line 4

Another rail bridge

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Having failed to get any decent directions from the locals,

Tarka Rail Line 2

I decide it’s time for a wee power-up snack. I pull over at The Puffin Billy pub at the former railway station of Great Torrington, where they serve damn good baked potatoes and the biggest homemade flapjack I have ever seen.

Puffin Billy Lunch

All filled up I continue along the Tarka Line.

Tarka Rail Line 6

And another..

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Tarka Rail Line 7

As I’m cycling along the widening river Torridge, I look back for a moment. It’s only the second day, but Lizard Point already feels like miles away..  Which it is..

Tarka Rail Line 8

Looking back south, down River Torridge

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Having reached the Instow,

Tarka Rail Line 9 (Instow)

Instow Railway Station

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I dive into a railway tunnel,

Tarka Rail Line 5

which leads me to River Taw,

River Taw

and then into Barnstaple. Now, strangely at this point I feel I’m getting sunburnt which is not part of my master plan. Coming up to 5pm and having done about 50 miles, I decide not to repeat yesterdays heroic efforts and head for my next campsite.

Barnstaple

So my next pitch is at the Green Acres Caravan Park, just up from Bratton Flemming and a mile away from Exmoor Zoo (which I find appropriate for a bear). Upon my arrival, the owner of the park states that he is not licensed to allow tents on the site but none the less “takes pity on cyclists every now and then.” (precise words) . I am naturally grateful, though by this point I am happy to pitch anywhere, including the zoo grounds..

Green Acres Caravan Park

Can’t complain about the view..

Green Acres Caravan Park View

or the generosity of my neighbours who kindly offer me a fish and rice dinner from their supplies.

Green Acres Dinner

What I will complain about is my stupidity of breaking the seat clamp, during my end-of-the-day “bike maintenance”. That little accessory is the one that holds the seat up, so I’m sure you can appreciate my disappointment.. Fear not though! Sergey snaps into action and temporary measures are in place:

Saddle down : (

For those who know what I’m talking about, what we have here is a massive Rolling Clove Hitch, Choked Bowline, and a Truckers Hitch with an Alpine Butterfly, back ropes are triple purchased of course! –  3 years in college not wasted on this saddle!  The nearest bike shop 40miles away, but on my route. Hooray!

This evening’s emotional strain wears me out, so time for bed to recharge..

Next Day..

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