Following what has now become an annual tradition,Ernie led this final walk of the year through the lanes and footpaths around Ashburton. ending up at the Victoria Inn, Ashburton.
The mud this year was even worse than in previous years and both Barbie and Jenni took a tumble, fortunately with no lasting damage.
After an excellent lunch, Ernie did his best to gently embarrass some of our members by recounting some of their misdemeanours throughout the year, finally awarding the “Stirring Prize” to Jo for her apparent naivety concerning the purpose of duck boards.
Heather then presented Ernie with his very own wooden spoon, hand crafted by Tim, in recognition Ernie’s own efforts over the years.
Ernie thanked Joy for taking on the task of organising the walks for next year, and Dennis graciously offered his assistance to Joy on the secretarial side.
Finally Maureen, Heather, Tim & Dave donned Christmas hats to entertain us with a rousing rendition of a topical song involving Grockles in Devon. (Regretfully I have no video record available for this memorable musical event)
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If we thought the last walk was muddy, this one taught us what a muddy walk really was as Heather & Tim led us over the fields and through the woods around Ogwell.
An encounter with a large herd of cows struck terror into certain members of the group though to be fair, the cows were just as nervous of us and were desperately trying to get out of our way.
Wonderful autumn colours again and a pleasant lunch at the Jolly Sailor, Ogwell
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Ernie organised the walk and warned us before we started that we were in for a muddy journey.
To encourage us he announced that he would be donating a prize for the muddiest boots at the end of the walk.
While we wrestled with the logic of this incentive we enjoyed a 4 mile walk along the river valley from the NT Parke office.
A crisp and sunny morning ensured we all enjoyed the autumn colours
This walk replaced the originally planned walk from Berry Pomeroy Castle which was cancelled due to it being excessively wet underfoot.
Fortunately the leaders, Ann & Colin, had this carefully researched backup ready to roll and what an enjoyable walk it turned out to be.
The weather was cloudy for the most part but this didn’t detract from the fine views over Lyme Bay
and into Torbay.
After an easy walk from Babbacombe to Anstey’s Cove, along the Bishops Walk to Thatcher Rock we returned via Ilsham Valley to Babbacombe Downs for a most enjoyable lunch at the Babbacombe Inn.
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Planned by Dennis though led by Joy, this was a splendid 5 mile walk on a dull summer’s day with rain forecast.
We left the South Hams village of Loddiswell and walked past Ham Butts and Reads Farm to meet the River Avon.
We followed the river upstream for a while then crossed the river using a very interesting bridge in order to follow the old railway track downstream on the opposite bank to the Avon Mill garden centre where we stopped for coffee.
Continuing our walk via Newmill Bridge we reached the Loddiswell Inn where we had an outstanding lunch for which we were charged £6.99 for a two course meal of excellent quality.
The forecast rain duly appeared as we left the pub – much too late to spoil our day.
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