Day 04

Tue 8 Sep:  Clovelly to Lynmouth, via Appledore and Ilfracombe

A ridiculous 25% incline climb up from Clovelly harbour, not easy (for me) to pedal up with luggage, so thanks Chris & Silvia for looking after my bags at the top! Thanks also to Neil (Cox’n) for taking a break from strimming and meeting me on the way up the hill.

Onwards to Appledore ALB. A great (but long & hard-going) day. Thank you Martin(Cox’n) and Dan(Mech) for the tea & chat but most of all, for your advice and professional assistance in the most efficient route to Ilfracombe, via Instow beach.

The traffic-free Tarka Trail took me all the way to Braunton, via a very nostalgic glimpse through the fence at RAF Chivenor, scene of my very first RAF air experience flight back in 1968, in a de Havilland Chipmunk trainer. Today, this part of the airfield is, for just a few more days, the base for the Sea King helicopters of 22Sqdn Search and Rescue, close allies of the RNLI.

Ilfracombe new Shannon

Ilfracombe ALB hosted the next great experience – a guided tour of the RNLI Fleet’s newest vessel, the stunning new Shannon Class, along with what must be one of the world’s most hi-tech launch tractors! What an amazing collection of marine hardware.

Back up the big climb out of Ilfracombe, along the exhausting, very hilly North Devon coast, ending with a terrifying 25% descent into Lynmouth. No Lifeboat Station to visit, but a good choice of B&B venues with plenty of out-of-season vacancies.

Day 5