Our family is going to ride 100 miles from Ilfracombe to Plymouth along the Devon Coast to Coast route, and I thought it would be a great idea to do it for charity as well as for fun. We'll do 20 miles every day for five days, which is a lot for my little legs !
Breadline Africa is a charity that helps people in Africa who are struggling and who are very poor. They don't just give them aid; they run projects to help reduce poverty and allow people to look after themselves.
Why not go and find out a bit about them at breadlineafrica.org
Day 1 - Ilfracombe to Westward Ho !
We had to get up early for the drive up to Ilfracombe, and after setting up the bikes and having some chips in the pub we didn't start until 12.30pm. It was freezing cold in the strong Northerly wind, but at least it was behind us. The first hills were very steep but I managed them OK. It was fun zooming down the other side to Woolacombe, but my feet were like ice cubes at the end of it. Daddy lent me his socks to warm them up again. Then there were more hills up to the top just before Braunton, where we joined the Tarka trail which was flat all the way. We did 32 miles in all ! Looking forward to an easier day tomorrow.
Day 2 Westward Ho! to East Yarde
A nice easy day after all our hard work yesterday - only 13 miles along the flat Tarka Trail. After the up and down roads from the hostel back to the railway carriage cafe in Bideford, we stopped so Mummy could have her morning latte coffee and chat. In no time at all we had reached our stop for the night - an old wooden shack with some yurts in the garden. Ours had a big woodburning stove in it which was great until it filled the yurt with so much smoke we couldn't see ! We had a tasty hot dinner; I had chicken Korma and my brother ate chicken tikka masala. I managed to get to sleep soon after, despite all of the smoke !
Day 3 East Yarde to Okehampton
By the morning the fire in the Yurt was long gone, so I woke up early feeling very chilly and looking forward to the big breakfast in the bunkhouse. It was a bit drizzly, but we were soon under way on the last bit of the nice and easy Tarka Trail, and ready for some more hills. I think I'm getting quite good at them ! Lunch was in a field above Hatherleigh with great views and some cheeky and very brave sheep which Adam had to chase away. More climbs up to Jacobstowe, by which time my bottom was getting a bit sore; Daddy's remedy was for us to swap saddles which made it much better. The Youth Hostel in Okehampton is at the old station at the top of a very long hill, so it was nice to have arrived after 23 miles, ready for our rest day.
Day 4 - Rest Day
Morning: Gorge Scrambling. Wet suits and lots of very cold water. Brrrr !!
Afternoon: Archery and Ripsticking in the car park.
All set for an early start on Monday, which is forecast to be very wet...
Day 5 - Okehampton to Tavistock
Wet wet wet !!! The forecast was right, so even though we set off early to try and beat the worst of it, it didn't stop raining all day. No pictures - our cameras stayed safely in their dry bags ! We started with the flat Granite Way, going over the famous Meldon viaduct and then stopping in a pub in Lydford for a hot chocolate and a chance to dry out for a while. After that the hills started again, followed by muddy tracks and a bit of main road, before we finally descended into Tavistock and the bunkhouse in the pub, where we all had a good nap ! 22 miles this time.
Day 6 - Tavistock to Plymouth
Sunshine again - at least in between the showers ! Yet another big hill out of Tavistock, and then all the way down to the bottom again. No road out - just a very wet rocky track so steep that even Daddy had to push ! We followed the lovely Plym valley trail through the forests and into Plymouth, finishing in the sunshine on the Hoe after exactly 20 miles.
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