Saturday, September 13, 2008


It's Saturday, 13 September, and we are in the town of Totnes, not far from where we're staying - (still in the caravan). We caught the steam train from Buckfastleigh to Totnes - a very nostalgic little trip. The sound of a steam train is unique - as is its gentle rocking motion. We've found that walking the High Street in Totnes is a positively alpine experience. We're pretty well at the top now, and I plan to just roll back down the hill!

I've tried to keep track of our travels over the last few days, but things do get muddled after a while. The last time I wrote, we were in Exeter - but I forgot to mention that we had also been at Slapton Ley. Pam will remember that place. Walking along the shore, I could picture her sitting there among the pebbles, getting splashed.

Since then, we've gone to Killerton Gardens, a National Trust site - I think that was Tuesday. The gardens weren't as impressive as Stourhead, but they were still beautiful, and the house was very interesting.

On Wednesday we went to Falmouth, in Cornwall, to see the Tall Ships Festival - but found there was no room for us. There wasn't a single parking space in town, so we kept going to Perranporth, a delightful coastal village, where we sat and watched the waves and ate Cornish ice cream.

Yesterday, we toured Buckland Abbey near Yelverton. That was my favourite trip to date. The property started out in the 12th Century as a Cistercian monastery. Henry VIII's soldiers destroyed most of it, and a lot of the stones went into the building of houses in the neighbourhood, but part of the monastery remained. Then a home was built alongside the remains of the monastery. Eventually Sir Francis Drake, who was born on a nearby farm, bought the house. He lived there with his first wife (between voyages), and after her death he remarried and lived there with his second wife. There's a very interesting museum, a place to have pasties and tea for lunch, and a studio where I did a brass rubbing.

Every evening, we stop in at the Packhorse, South Brent's local pub, where everybody knows our names - really. Over our nightly pint, we update all the locals on our travels. Great fun.

It's time to head back to the station now.

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