Tuesday 16th October 2018
We are off on our travels again – this time we have found a campsite near Okehampton, Devon called Bundu. An unusual name but in just the right location for us to access a part of the path featured in episode 3 of Walking Britain’s Old Railways with Rob Bell.
We had no problems on our journey – stopped for lunch on the M5 at Sedgemore Services
and arrived on site about 4 o’clock. We got pitched with no issues and Nigel went for a quick explore of the site to check the amenities.
He told me that they were a bit basic but all that we needed – and that access to the cycleway would be very easy. The only downside is that we are pretty close to the A30 and the traffic noise can be a bit load at times.
We settled in – it doesn’t take us long to get our van homely and warm.
Dinner was sweet chilli chicken (using a ready cooked chicken we bought earlier) instead of our usual prawns – just for a change.
Wednesday 17th October 2018
After a leisurely start we were out on the 2G’s heading along the cycle way NCN27 toward Okehampton.
Until the Beeching cuts of the sixties it was part of the Okehampton to Plymouth railway line – but now it is a tarmacked pathway which is used by cyclists and walkers as well as us on our scooters.
It was looking terrific on this fine autumn morning – the leaves in varying colours are starting to fall and mingle with the ferns on the ground. There are rocky out crops in the cuttings with water filtering down to little pools at the side of the path. In places it looks positively prehistoric.
We met others on our way – everyone friendly and responding warmly to our cheery hellos – as we made our way to Meldon Reservoir. This was a bit of a scenic detour from the cycleway over a quite steep hill.
The reservoir was created by damming the West Okement River in 1972 (the last dam built on Dartmoor apparently).
It is a lovely spot – the water put me in mind of the lochs in Scotland. We trundled across the dam taking some good photos of the water and the valley beyond the dam – in the distance we could see the Meldon Viaduct – a magnificent Victorian engineering achievement.
There is no circular route so we pushed back the way we came, past the large class of school children on bicycles who had stopped on the edge of the dam for what appeared to be a snack break. Back on the ‘27’ we continued to the viaduct itself.
The views from it were fantastic and a few steps down at the end allowing a close up view of the workmanship of this 1874 creation.
Past the Buffet Car café (closed) and the old Meldon station – there is still track here and a notice board says trains run to Okehampton and sometimes beyond during summer weekends – a diesel heritage railway.
On a little further to see the remains of the quarry which supplied much of the hardcore used on the railway lines in southern England.
We had considered a picnic lunch but the weather had closed in – the low cloud clipping the hilltops and a light drizzle in the air so we opted to cut our trundle short, return to Voyager and have a warming bowl of soup with our sandwiches.
After a bit of a siesta Nigel got all the pics off the camera and phones – some pretty good ones if I do say so myself.
I had forgotten to get anything out of the freezer again so we decided it would be meatballs (pretty quick defrosting) in my home made tomato sauce with pasta for our meal – very nice.
Bit of research on the laptop for tomorrow and an evening of TV completed the first complete day of this break.