LEJOG12: Exford (Westermill Farm) to Luxborough

Today was tended to a much easier day. For one thing I had company to meet in evening, and the best kind at that (i.e. gf), so everything was about getting to my 5pm destination).

It all started out well. I managed to get off on time while doing everything I normally would and also having a chat with the owner and having my photo taken eating my breakfast for their website.

However, I was slightly hobbling as I fulfilled my chores and as soon as I got on the road it all started to go a but downhill, or rather uphill that it is. This was because the start of the day involved regaining my previously achieved height via a very steep road. My blisters were killing me and I hobbled very very slowly up the lane. I only managed it thanks to my poles, otherwise I think my legs might have collapsed. At this point I was thinking that my mum had been right; I had over done it and potentially jeopardized the entire trip by not being careful and prepared enough. I would have cursed myself for being stupid and my mum for being right were it not for the fact that I had a schedule to keep and nothing, not even intense pain, would keep me from it.

And after a while the route levelled out, my heels warmed up and stopped hurting so much, and my timing was spot on. Nothing motivates me as much as keeping on, if not ahead of, schedule. It kinds feels like I’m winning.

I started to cross another moor, this time made up out of dark heather rather than yellow grass and lined by another of those fantastic witches’ hands walls. I flew across it and reached the highest point, Dunkery Beacon, where the wind whipped around me while I surveyed the surroundings (and got my photo taken by a kind fellow walker). To be honest the visibility wasn’t great, but it felt fantastic to be back in this pocket of rawness.

And pocket it was, because fertile fields and an idyllic little enchanted wood were less than an hour away downhill (obviously!). All the while I was being propelled by pub-netism, that strong force similar to gravity generated by pubs that helps drag you towards them. This one was called the Rest And Be Thankful Inn at Wheddon Cross, and I needed to get that before 2pm cos I hadn’t been able to stock up on supplies that morning due to the isolation of my location.

I got there and had a lovely bacon and brie baguette and pint of ale. I also had a brief play on the Internet. Like most pubs I’ve encountered on this journey wifi was supplied;its almost more accessible in the countryside than mobile reception (or so I thought until a two days later when I realized my phone was up the spout).

The remainder of the journey involved tramping up some very sparse and basic fields to get to Lype Hill, the highest point of the Brendon Hills. I’d love to say that my namesakes were unique, interesting and beguiling. They were not, they were boring. And I was cold cos the wind was whipping around me once again, but this time I didn’t have the comfort of a spectatcular view to keep me engaged.

The afternoon wasn’t all bad tho. On the way down I did go through a lane with witches hands on either side leaning together which made a canopy/tunnel (I think there’s a picture below) which was truly magical, even in the overcast gloom of the afternoon. These are the little gems that really do make the boring hours worthwhile.

Then I had to peg it down a country road, full speed with my poles rapidly going ‘dumf dumf dumf’, to get me to the pub where a cab was due to pick me up at 5pm and take me to my Campsite‎. It was hard but I made it with six minutes to spare. And it was worth it for the hug I got at the end of the day.

PS Phone probs still persisting-until they are resolved I will continue to write and upload where I have wifi, but unfortunately the mobile part of my mobile phone (pretty essential part) seems to have stacked it. This means there might me delays in posting and replying to comments but don’t let that stop you, the comments are so brilliant and really help get me thru the harder bits of the day.

6 Responses to “LEJOG12: Exford (Westermill Farm) to Luxborough”

  1. 1 Mum April 26, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Hi Brendan
    Really glad the blog is back on – I’ve missed it the last couple of days.
    I am very happy to be proved wrong!

    When you can give Carmel and Dave a ring as they will give you a bed and look after your pack for you for a couple of nights next week.

  2. 3 Sam Williams April 27, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Glad to see you are still alive. I thought you might have got lost on Exmoor, abandoned your hi-tech gadgets (and pants) in frustration and reverted to life as a hunter/gatherer. Or been eaten by the beast of Exmoor. Or got stuck in a nice pub.

    I for one would like to hear more about your blisters. Are they the red blood ones or the white watery variety? And are you bursting them or just leaving them, or are they bursting themselves in your socks? and some pictures would be, er, nice…

    Sounds tough – hope the blisters heal soon and you get used to the gruelling itinerary.

    • 4 brendanbolger April 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm

      Left one is white and has popped of it’s own accord, right one is red and still there. I’m not popping them cos it sounds excruciating and I’d be worried about it getting infected, no matter how much white spirit I put on them.

  3. 5 andy B April 27, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Well done so far! I know Luxborough and the area – some great parts. I’ve also nudged good friends in Brent Knoll and Bristol area. I hope one of them can offer you a stop over. all the best andy x

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