Hike Southbound through Britain with Daryl May
Click for Northbound hike
DS57 Thorverton
DS57 Cottage on hill
Days S53 - S65                                                             English West Country
Day S57 - Sampford Peverell to Shobrooke
Day S56                            The recordbreakers                               Day S58
  Southbound Home
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Scottish Highlands
Central Scotland
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North of England
English Midlands
    English West Country

Northbound Home
Monday, April 21,  2008

Time of departure: 8.00 am
Time of arrival: 4.30 pm
Place departed: Sampford Peverell, Devon
Place arrived: Shobrooke, Devon

Miles: 18
Cum miles: 840.2
Percent complete: 86.5

Bed sign The Beeches B&B, Shobrooke ***
Cost for bed and breakfast: 25 ($50)
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DS57 Shobrooke veg sales
DS57 Shobrooke dung sale
The recordbreakers? Well, I'm certainly not one.

But Don Gray shared some of his research with me. These are some of the more notable end-to-end journeys:
  • A 78-year-old man did it in 42 walking days
  • Ian Botham, the former England cricketer, took 34 days
  • On a solo bicycle: 44 hours 4 minutes 20 seconds
  • On a tandem bicycle: 51 hours 19 minutes 23 seconds
  • A 7-year-old is the youngest cyclist (taking 22 days)
  • On a 49 cc moped: six Imp gallons (7 US gallons) of fuel
  • A 61-year-old man used a pensioner's bus pass to travel free, and took 7 days 6 hours 10 minutes
  • A 42-year-old female holds the running record in 12 days 16 hours. [But I believe I've heard of a man who took 9 days.]
  • A Phantom jet fighter took 46 minutes 44 seconds
These figures compare with a typical walk taking 60 to 85 days, depending on the route and many other factors. Most routes fall in the 900 to 1300 miles range.

It drizzled most of today, drying in mid-afternoon. I had an uneventful day - first on B-roads to Cullompton, and then on country lanes to Shobrooke. The latter portion has many hills, which is what hiking in Devon and Cornwall is known for. The hills aren't individually very high, but they are incessant and they can be steep. Don Grey had advised me to go south to Exeter and then west to cross Dartmoor. Instead, I'm shaving miles on a southwesterly route, but perhaps not shaving effort.

At Cullompton I visited a Somerfield supermarket, and bought sardines, cheese and a baguette, and a liter of orange juice which I wanted to drink soon since I was thirsty and it was heavy. I drank it in the shopping cart storage area since that offered shelter while it was raining, and made use of the Somerfield trash can. Hikers can't hop into a car and zoom home to a refrigerator-equipped kitchen with a roof overhead. You have to be a street-person to know what the streets are all about.

Thorverton is one of those places which end-to-end routes seem to run through more than most other places. Near here, there's a much-photographed piece of countryside, which appears on hiking blogs. Someone (Alan Sloman?) has put the several photos on his site for comparison. It's such a pretty bit of country that I was planning to detour a couple of miles to take my own photo. But the rain would make the photo a poor one, and it certainly dampened my enthusiasm for the detour.

Yesterday, I got an email from Dave and Sylvia Howes, who had made my John o' Groats arrival a memorable one last year. They advised me that the upcoming bank holiday (on May 5) would put pressure on West Country accommodation from May 1 to 6. This is something that I hadn't really thought about. It will be hard for me to finish before then, and it's also hard to book more than a couple of days ahead. For now, I'm just going to hope for the best.

Shobrooke is a neat village in a valley in the middle of nowhere, and has no mobile phone service. Uploading my daily journal was delayed until the morrow.
DS57 Bus shelter
Day S56                                          2007 and 2008 Daryl May                                          Day S58