On Sunday 22nd July, me, mum and dad drove out to Noss Mayo, an absolutely beautiful village on the South side of the Yealm estuary in Devon, to meet up with Nicola Rooney for part of her charity walk along the South West Coastal Path. As she was walking from Plymouth to where we were, we walked out to meet her and then walked back again. It was a beautifully sunny day, and it was as good an excuse as any to get out and see the stunning Devon coastline.
First of all, we rocked up in Noss Mayo. It genuinely looks like a postcard. A postcard of Noss Mayo at least. When we got there we had to find our way to the ferry to take us over the Estuary so we could follow the path along to Wembury beach and on to meet Nicki.
When we got on the ferry, the ferryman ferried us across (funnily enough). He seemed a pleasant if slightly eccentric sort of fellow. Mum decided he was ‘a bit sarky’ and didn’t really take to him, but she also said ‘I think I won him over in the end’. What she won him over to, I don’t know. And I don’t know if I want to…
Anyway, we got across and followed the path along the coast, doing some sight seeing, flower spotting and cottage spying on the way. There were some gorgeous cottages along the route, all of which I will one day live in. At the same time. Or not. Depends on how my ‘taking over the world/Devon’ plan goes. I also saw some Scarlett Pimpernels. ‘They seek him here, they seek him there…’ Yes I did mention that just so I could throw that quote in.
We were a bit worried in the earlier half of the day as a rather oppressive looking wall of sea fog seemed to be blowing our way, however we were lucky enough for it not to reach us. We made our way along to Wembury, where we were relishing the thought of taking our shoes off and dabbling in the water for a little bit until we remembered there are Weaver fish at Wembury. No foot cooling for us it seemed. However we made do at stopping at a cafe and having a bacon and egg bap and a nice cold can of coke. Don’t think we were quite experiencing the amount of effort and toil that Nicki has been going through mind…
After our quick lunch stop, we carried on to meet Nicki, and sure enough we found her and her current group of walkers sitting down and having some lunch in view of the Mew Stone. Here mum gave Nicki her birthday card (Nicki’s birthday was on one of the days of her walk, what a trooper!) and oddly enough, it was a picture of the Mew Stone! Mum says she had no idea what it was, what a coincidence!
So then it was about face and back the way we came! Nicki and her crew kept up a good pace despite having been walking since 8 o’clock that morning. Also, the weather was lovely. The sun was out nice and warm, though it did mean we all got a bit a bit hot and sweaty. We looked HOT. Literally.
We trudged our way back to the ferry, going past all of my future homes again and some ponies, flipped the disc to attract the ferryman’s attention, and sat down on the now exposed beach to wait. Up to this point Nicki had walked 425 miles of her 630.
We got on the ferry, and Nicki asked the ferryman what he about knew the ferryman for the river Avon which she had to cross on the following day. The Noss Mayo ferryman replied ‘I know he’s a homosexual, has a dog and is always with a woman.’ (Please imagine this said in a broad west country accent). Nicki had been trying to get in touch with the ferryman for a week to ask whether he could extend the ferry hours for a bit of extra cash so that they could make the crossing and reach their next check point. However he hadn’t answered his phone and wouldn’t return her calls. The ferryman told us we could probably find him in one of the two pubs later in the evening.
We got off the ferry, and decided that we could walk around the headland to cut off some of their journey time the next day, and we got to see some stunning views! The sea was a beautiful turquoise, and there were a couple of yachts and very fancy boats that probably cost more than my parents house. I got excited at one point as I thought I’d seen a seal or a shark, but it was just a very animal-ish looking rock. But it’s days like that when I don’t see the point of going abroad, especially as it was all so beautiful.
We made our way back to the village (and we may have walked through someone’s garden by accident. Shuuuussshh!) and me and mum produced MOP HIDDLESTON from the car to help us fund raise. Quite why we thought anyone would be more likely to give Nicki money because we had a mop with Tom Hiddleston’s face stuck on it I don’t know, but we may have encountered a fan of his. But unfortunately the pub we went to wouldn’t let Nicki fund raise so Mop Hiddleston couldn’t be put to use.
We sat down and had a well deserved pint of cider. Well, we had one each. We didn’t just share one between us. Anyway, while we were eating, we noticed someone that might just be the ferryman mentioned earlier. My mum very politely asked him if he was, to which she got a reply ‘I’m not right now’ and he stalked off. We sat there stunned at how rude he was, and then proceeded to be a bit naughty as he was sat at a table where he had no choice but to see our group every time he looked up. According to Nicki he was very friendly the next day.
Tired, achy, and full (and perhaps a little drunk) we said our goodbyes, and wished Nicki the best of luck on her walking challenge and headed home. Fare to say I slept very well that night.
The website where you can read about the charity and how to donate: http://www.achancetogrow.co.uk/home