Stewart and I were given a lift over to Lynmouth this morning. The weather was pretty wet but there was a promise of the sun coming out later in the day for our first walking pilgrimage from Lynton over the Holdstone Down on Exmoor. We stopped for a cuppa in Lynmouth and chatted to some nice people who lived in Brendon.
We decided to take the cliff railway up to Lynton as we really like this naturally powered way to get up the hill. Lovely views across the sea and we saw a surfer out in the grey swell. We passed the scenic cricket pitch in The Valley of the Rocks and took the path round by the cliffs with a stunning view out to sea again. I had so start picking sheep sorrel as there is SO much and at this time of year the leaves are big and perfect to add a wild vibration and a lemony tangy taste to salads. Then we met up with the capricorn goats, they are rather a smelly but beautiful troop.
We passed Lee Abbey, looking very well maintained and had a stop by the cafe, closed, so that Stewart could take his under trousers off, the rain had stopped and we had a great walk along to Woody Bay, picking blackberries and more sheep sorrel. We met up with a couple from Israel, he is working for a drugs company and is also developing herbal remedies for Cancer. He was fascinated by the sheep sorrel and it’s prolific growth along the path. I said it is is a great remedy, one of the constituents of ‘Essiac or Cassie’ Tea but that it needed to be used in the context of a healthy diet and change of lifestyle. He said ‘No, we don’t educate people we just create products that can help people’. I pointed out how important education is….
So many medicinal and edible plants along the water fall path towards Heddon’s Valley but I learned a really good lesson. When we reached the water fall I saw what I thought was the thin leaved water cress, which I pick in a couple of places in Combe Martin, I picked a piece, ate it and it wasn’t watercress! there are plants which grow in similar places and look like each other but they aren’t the same. It is like a little joke that the Nature Spirits play. I will be looking up this other ‘similar’ plant.
We enjoyed the walk all the way down to Hunter’s Inn and stopped for Soup and Tea, I sneaked some sheep’s sorrel into the tomato soup and it tasted really good… Then we set off up to Holdstone Down, the views and the colours below us made it worth the steep climb up but Stewart’s boots which he’d been complaining about for a couple of miles were rubbing his toes and by the time we got up to the base of Holdstone Down he decided that he might ruin his feet if he continued.
I remembered a lady, who I thought was called Marie, that I’ve met walking her dog up there a couple of times and she’s said do come and have some tea. I saw the car was in their drive so I said to Stewart maybe if we ask them they’ll give us a lift down to the village. Not only that they gave us a cuppa and we had a funny time watching their dog Henry trying to climb into a pillow case. Actually her name was Mary and she brought us back down to the village but she said she didn’t even like driving down Buzzacott or Shute Lane, that made Stewart feel better for not walking back. So we made it home by 6.30pm, which is what I’d predicted but not quite in this way and gave Stewart’s feet, especially the toes, a massage with calendula oil. We’d had a good day, said some prayers along the way and tested out our equipment for our longer pilgrimage from Glastonbury to Holdstone Down in a couple of weeks. Wahe Guru!