Driving a bit too fast down very narrow country lanes, my taxi turns a corner, comes face to face with a police car and screeches to a halt – we have stopped exactly where I want to get off – amazing.Down a grassy path lined with a whole array of wild flowers that I can’t name, I emerge back onto the coast path and am soon overlooking Stoke Beach. There is a caravan/chalet park spilling onto the beach and a sign to the ancient St.Peter’s church – I decide not to investigate as time is pressing.Up to my right I pass an empty building “ripe for refurbishment” but this is National Trust land so it is only the sheep who will benefit from the wonderful views over the bay.Turning a corner I catch sight of the Great Mew Stone off Gara Point and behind what must be the coast of Cornwall.The path continues to meander through swathes of buttercups and daises, the sun still out although dark clouds are massing. At one point the path passes below a beautiful low level house – this is Warren Cottage which is a listed building and was apparently used as a summerhouse for Lord Revelstoke, a local squire.Passing through a gate I spy a group of young cows/bullocks frolicking about off to my left. There is no way around them so gritting my teeth I quicken my pace and march confidently ahead. I know there is no way they can seriously harm me (I think) but it is a little disconcerting to be charged by a herd of cows albeit playfully. Some time later the path dips down off the cliffs and I enter a calm cool world of dappled light and bluebells – it is here I meet red earth again, the last time I remember seeing it was in Dawlish. To my left is the River Yealm, I am now approaching Nos Mayo where I intend to have a late lunch. At one point I pass a very well preserved sign for the Yealm Ferry which obviously used to be much bigger than the one i will be taking today – no room for a pony nowadays. The woodland opens up to reveal more small boats moored in the estuary – the path becomes a tarmac road lined with beautiful houses overlooking the water – this one caught my eye. Finally, as my feet are now starting to complain, I arrive at the Ship Inn in Nos Mayo – this photograph is taken from a table outside and looking across the river to Newton Ferrers. I abandon lunch and go for rhubarb crumble and custard which is heavenly. Fortified I walk back up to the road to the Yealm Ferry, the crossing takes 2-3 minutes and is the last crossing for the day. I will have to rely on the local bus to get back to my B&B which is just outside Nos Mayo. Alighting from the ferry I follow a well marked path from Warren Point, stopping to take photographs of the estuary from the other side. I catch glimpses of the water – a dazzling shade of turquoise and out to sea the Great Mew Stone guarding the entrance to the estuary. I walk towards Wembury, ignoring the path off to the village and continue on the one that will take me down to the beach from where I hope I can get a bus back to Nos Mayo. After a while the roof and tower of Wembury Church come into view – I wander in to take a look, pleased that it is open, so many are locked nowadays. There are a few families on the beach at Wembury enjoying the late afternoon sun and a small cafe. I have missed the last bus and there hasn’t been signal on my mobile for a while – I will need to call a taxi. I am directed towards a telephone box that doesn’t work so my only option is to walk to the village and find a pub. Asking a local I am told there are shops and a pub “just up the road”. I think he must have been visualising a car journey as 25 minutes later up a steep road I still haven’t seen any signs of the shops or the pub. Eventually the pub sign comes into view but the pub is closed. Forlornly I knock on the door and a cheery woman opens up with a smile. She then allows me to use the phone and buy a drink. We spend the 10 minutes before the taxi arrives discussing the dearth of mobile phone masts in the area and the consequences for farmers, taxi firms and holiday makers. It has been a long but lovely walk today.
Jawbone says: 12 miles