A pair of dippers flash past the van door. How's that for a start to the day! Pay the warden and get the local info - although we have the walk into town sussed after last night's pub visit and going into town is a must - we want to ride the Cliff Railway. The world's longest solely water-powered funicular.
Another possibility in town is the matinee of the film "Fishermen's Friends". We mention this at reception and get the offer of a lift into town tonight if we want to take in the evening performance
So off we trot. The barman told us the road opposite would turn into a paved walkway and terminate in town at The Crown pub. What he neglected to tell us was that rope b and crampons were necessary for the first and last parts! The trotting rapidly turns into wheezing as we stop start or way up the slope.
Now my back is out, walking is a struggle, hill-climbing doubly so. It's a relief to descend the slope into town (although abseiling would have been a distinct possibility) and wander into the hospice shop at the foot of the hill. A contender for the world's largest charity shop, much of possible interest to me involved bending, a piece of body origami currently denied me, so we left with nought.
The funicular was as steep and long as anticipated and fun to tick off another one - the third in the UK for us, the sixth in Europe and the 7th in the world for me (Liz didn't get chance to ride any in Valparaiso)
Lynton at the top turns into Lymouth at the bottom. A small seaside town with little to see. I'm hobbling like a good 'un with this back so the detour to the Madrigal brewery to discover it closed didn't improve my humour. Still the Exmoor Visitor Centre have us somewhere or of the wind for a few minutes before the return trip on the funicular.
Decision time, will my back allow us the luxury of following the footpath that hugs the cliff along to The Valley Of The Rocks or should we just go back - we've just missed the film matinee. Sod it! there's always air ambulance if I seize up. A steep descent and we in the cliff path where, mirabulus Deus, my back starts to free up. At one stage I walked over 200 metres without a spasm. I'm not just waking, I'm striding out! The occasional spasm puts me back in my place but we'll make it. And a lonely walk it is too, the sun's come out, it's so warm coats come off - amazing given how cold we've been all morning.
A few tourists at The Valley Of The Rocks but it looks like all but us have driven. We feel good. Then my back puts my in my place by spasming about every 20m. It's a very Jack Douglas walk back into town!
I think we need a pint in The Crown before tackling that hill back to the campsite.
Tea in the van and I'm beginning to regret not keeping beer or wine in stock, and the pub's shut on a Monday. Just about to sit down to eat and the man offering us a lift checks if we'd like to go. Lovely gesture but we need food
Amazingly we've clocked over 1600 steps today - 7 miles, with a back that I thought might not even allow me the luxury of going into town. Finishing The I cryptic crossword puts the icing on the cake of a good day!