Tag Archives: Launceston

West Devon Smallholding, Day 1

Oh, today was lovely.

This despite, or possibly because of, the extended tour of West Devon I received today due to the vagueries of Devon’s public transportation system. While there were at least three different bus schedules online for the same route, I did think I had found the correct up-to-date one. It insisted I stay on the bus at Okehampton, and to note that the bus number would change from 6A to 6 as it left Okehampton for Holsworthy.

The bus did arrive in Exeter at the time I had noted. The driver sold me a ticket to my final destination without batting an eyelid. I breathed a sigh of relief.

The trip was lovely. We skirted glorious emerald fields.

West Devon

Dartmoor rose in the background.

West Devon

We arrived in Okehampton, paused, were off again.

I realised after mounting anxiety that something was wrong. Turns out I was not supposed to stay on the bus, I was supposed to change from the 6A to the 6 in Okehampton. But if I just stayed on long enough, the bus would eventually get back where I was going.

So we arrived in Launceston. I was here when I was thirteen with my mum. This whole area makes me think of her, and my gran in Lamerton and it feels a bit like my country. It makes me happy. I didn’t mind seeing the castle again — it’s not nearly as big as I remember it.

Launceston

I didn’t remember this, but Bruce Lee always makes me happy.

Launceston

Then we were off to Bude (opposite direction from my final destination). Still so beautiful.

West Devon

Just before Bude, and after a glimpse of the sea, we pulled into a lock up to change drivers, and my driver coming off a long shift was so apologetic he gave me a ride to Holsworthy. Only about 10 minutes late, so clearly I was meant to have waited in Okehampton for some time. In the rain. So although I missed my ride and had to wait a little longer with a little more anxiety, they came back for me and it all ended well.

This smallholding is amazing, I am going to learn so much here. I just worked a part of an afternoon after the tour. I am still taking in the thoughtfulness and design behind absolutely everything.

Geese, I learned, are no fun and their powers of guarding are real and to be respected. Goose vs fox? No contest, goose will win. Goose vs. me? Also no contest, luckily I can move faster.

We raked up the grass and nettles they had scythed (scything! Hurrah!) the day before, the three of us WWOOFERs each planted a shrub — mine was Szechuan Pepper. Awesome. Then piled the mulch high all around them and then it was time to be done. Tidy up. Tea.

Then I joined a little trip into Stratton for an environmental group meeting in the ancient pub (pub? Lefty meeting? of course I will…and well worth it, I enjoyed it immensely and learned some more — not least that Stratton is actually in Cornwall).

Stratton is amazing. This is the Tree Inn up the hill on the left, ancient inn, with parts of it dating from the 13th Century, parts of it built with timber rescued from wrecked galleons on the Cornish coast:

Stratton

Stratton

The last of the Cornish giants:

Stratton

Gibraltar Square! Lots of naval references here.

Stratton

We saw a cat make a flying leap and land with a thud on top of a car. Luckily the woman in the car at the time was its owner.

Amazing sunset from the great mound the church is built on (possibly the site–given its raised round shape–of pagan worship before they plunked the church down)

Stratton

Stratton

Petal-strewn cobbles

Stratton

And part of a cob wall without its plaster (cob! Real cob! This is what it looks like underneath, how exciting as all I know of it is theoretical)

Stratton

A final view.

Stratton

Home. Tired. Looking forward to sleep.

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