2nd. December 2014 | Meldon, near Okehampton, Devon
It is not possible to get from Newton Abbot to Bideford by train, only to Barnstaple followed by a 30 minute bus journey. Using public transport means a very long trip of about two hours each way, assuming you are lucky enough to enjoy short gaps between changes at Exeter and Barnstaple. Trains run on the single-line track between Exeter and Barnstaple no more than once an hour at best. I had an important meeting so a car was hired for me, providing a rare opportunity to stop off somewhere on the moor on the way back.
I took the fast and easy but very lengthy route to Bideford and decided to take my time on the return journey – the direct but tortuous route through Okehampton and Moretonhampstead. It may be tortuous and even quite nerve-racking in places but it is extremely scenic and well worth the hard driving effort. As an aside, the journey would not be too bad at all were it not for some motorists, who seem to think they are driving on a dual carriageway rather than a narrow and very bendy road that reduces to a single lane in places with many blind corners. I am sure a lot of potential accidents are avoided only by accident on this road, and particularly the stretch between Moretonhampstead and Bovey Tracey.
So, where should I stop? Well, the answer seemed rather obvious if I was to take full advantage of this rare opportunity. If I was really lucky I might have the pleasure of another hire car in six months or so.
Certain parts of the moor can be reached by bus from Newton Abbot but most of it is effectively off-limits without a car, which is quite sad really. There is a bus once a day to Okehampton, but miss it on the way back and you are really stuck!
The answer to my question readily presented itself: somewhere I could never get to on public transport. Meldon reservoir was, for me, the obvious choice. I actually wanted to visit the famous quarry, but did not really have time. It was winter and days were short.
I had my iPhone 6 Plus with me but also packed my Canon. Most of these pictures were taken with the Canon but two were taken on the iPhone; I wonder if you can tell which? I try to remember to take one or two photos on the iPhone for reference purposes – that way I know the correct date, time and location.
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