LE2JOG: Day Five

Lands End to John O'Groats

Oh dear. I wrote about half a post only to then close the WordPress app and lose it. Doh!

Today was Day Five from Okehampton to Street – well actually it’s Glastonbury rather than Street (they are next door neighbours like Bedford and Kempston). From the door of our tent I can see Glastonbury Tor and behind me there is an amazing view over the valley (I did take a picture with my DSLR but can’t post it till I get home.)

Last night was a calmer night Weather wise but I think I picked the pitch with the most rocks underneath it (having said that the campsite lady suggested we went on the other side to normal as there was more shelter in case the weather was as bad as the night before).

Between us we managed to cook sausages, beans and new potatoes for tea, we were nearly finished and the heavens opened. Chris was holding the umbrella over the food but I had to crouch down underneath the umbrella to get any of the shelter – in the end I was quite soaked and not a happy bunny lol. We sat in the car again to eat dinner (the problem with it being wet and only having a two-man tent). While we had tea we talked about repacking the car so that we could get the tent out and the beds made with relative ease rather than having to unpack half the car to get to the one thing we needed. Following tea we put the plan to the test, while Chris did the washing up I got on with readjusting the car. It seems to be working better today. It took me less than an hour to get the tent up and the two beds set up. Now I just need to wait for Chris to arrive then I can start on tea. Anyway back to yesterday.

Following tea and reorganising the car we packed up anything we didn’t need in the morning – this included making sure anything we needed for breakfast was in the footwell off the passenger seat in the car so that we could get in the car, eat breakfast and leave. (I’ve decided that if there is a next time we need a Romahome. It’s like a caravan/motorhome but they come in smaller versions like the size of a large car rather than the size of a transit van)

Sleeping was a challenge again. The camping site was about a stones throw from the A30 – great for access not for sleep! We packed up and headed for bed almost straight after tea (7:30/8ish!!) I think this is a record for me given that I wasn’t ill lol. I sat reading while Chris finished some bits up – it seems that the work of a youth leader/web designer/project manager is never done lol. I read the passages for Day 5 and Day 6 of Soul Survivor’s Bible I managed to get into the sleeping bag but then for the life of me couldn’t get comfortable. I’d find a comfy position and close my eyes to try and doze

Part way through last night I’d decided that I’d had enough and if I was going to have to camp i was going to need a proper bed. I didn’t want a thick air bed that takes half an hour to blow up and then deflates in the night so in my original plan I was going to find a camp shop get a roll mat and hope that worked well enough. I had a look in the supermarket at Tiverton and they had the thick air beds – not a problem I’d look at Clarks Village at Street and if they didn’t have an air bed/roll mat that fits my criteria then I’d go looking for the supermarket in Street or Glastonbury – there was a plan!!

I woke up and was lying on my front with the sleeping bag hood over my face lol. It was nice and warm, funnily enough I didn’t want to get up – I was finally comfortable!!

I got up and got dressed, Chris was already wide awake and ready to get started. I walked across the site and Chris was already folding up the beds and taking the tent down. By the time I got back Chris was ready for breakfast (I know we were a long way from the loos but seriously that’s crazy lol).

Because I had to pick Chris up from the town centre and take him to the camp site yesterday I has to take him back to about the same place so that he could “start the clock” from there instead as from the campsite would have meant he’d duplicate miles. Following breakfast we drove into town so that Chris could get started. I popped into the supermarket where I asked one of the till ladies to sign Chris’s tick sheet. Her name was Irene and she was lovely and helpful.

After dropping Chris off I was heading out of Okehampton towards our lunch stop so I could find bits to do along the route. I realised I’d gone the wrong way so turned round to came back through Okehampton and stopped at a cash point before planning where to go next. I realised that I was just round the corner from Okehampton Castle so I drove up there to take a look. However it was only about 9:20am and the castle doesn’t open until 10am. I would have probably waited but the castle is mainly ruins and it seemed silly waiting when I could see most of the ruins over the 3 foot fence – the only thing stopping me climbing over the fence and ignoring the signs was that there was CCTV lol. (kidding I probably wouldn’t have climbed over the fence anyway for fear of getting in trouble!)

On the way into Okehampton there is a no entry road that pretty much just disappears from the side of the road. Having been to the castle and followed the one way road from there back to the main road, I found out that, that disappearing road actually led to the castle. I got rather excited about this fact but Chris just thought I was really sad lol.

From there I drove to Tiverton which was our lunch stop. On the way I’d planned to stop off at places that looked interesting but it gradually turned out there wasn’t really any. Dad had said about there being a steam railway museum – which okay sounds really boring and probably wouldn’t have been my first choice but I was willing to give it a go, it would fill some time and keep me out of trouble. However I left Okehampton on the wrong road which meant I then missed the turning for the railway museum.

I made it to Tiverton really early. I had a look to see what times the swimming pool was open and whether I could go (it was 50+ swimming or something like that so I couldn’t go) I found a supermarket, went to look for my new air bed, got some food bits we needed then sat in their car park reading the paper. (which I then ripped up and stuffed in my DMs – another suggestion from one of Dad’s emails.)

Chris met me for lunch at the supermarket – I evacuated my seat and went into the store to get him some lunch. Following lunch I continued towards Street and then to Clarks Village. According to my Mum we went one year when we were on holiday with my Aunt and Uncle – I sort of remembered it but given that it could have been up to 13 years ago it had changed a lot. I’d got to the car park and it’s pay and display. I’d got that annoying situation where you have enough. Obey for the parking if they took notes but because you need change for the machine you don’t have enough. I had enough for an hour but had really wanted to stay a little longer to explore properly. I went to two camping stores to compare the prices of air beds or alternatives, in the end I bought a self-inflating one like Chris’s (thankfully it’s a slightly different make so although it’s also bright orange you can tell the difference between the two. I headed back to the car and then followed the signs to Glastonbury and then to find the campsite.

The bit of land where this couple had the campsite had two driveways. One was specifically for the house and the other was for the campsite. Well I’d got my directions muddled and ended up going up the lane and to the house entrance. I think this annoyed the owner a little bit but he let me go up that way anyway.

I parked the car and then walked back towards the house as the owner came out to meet me and told me where to put the tent. He was lovely and helpful anyway even thought he seemed a bit grumpy on the phone.

I decided my spot for the tent – I got it set up and then got comfy – I had a blog post to write. Well I was doing alright and then managed to delete it, then I got half way through writing and had to go and wait for Chris at the end of the correct entrance so that he could find the site.

It was one of the smallest sites we’ve stayed at this week – it was almost like we were in their back garden rather than on a campsite. There was also a caravan and a motorhome. There was a car that seemed to not belong with either of these and there wasn’t a tent either it was only this morning (Day Six) when Chris pointed it out that the car actually had a turning front seats that could then be made into a bed of some sort. The car was kind of a motorhome of sorts.

For the stressful, energetic half of the trip read Chris’s posts here.

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