I stepped off the bus in Noss Mayo at 9.45 the next morning. The weather was grey and misty once more, though it didn't rain until nightfall. The journey from Plymouth had taken 55 minutes, but the bus had gone 'all round the houses' to get there. I admired the pretty settlements of Noss Mayo and Newton Ferrers clustering on either side of the Yealm estuary. Then a fairly level, grassy path led me to Gara Point and Stoke Point and through another holiday park. I passed a prominent rocky tor on my left called St Anchorite's Rock.
Approaching the next estuary, Erme Mouth, the going became more strenuous. I knew that the ferry over the river Erme had suspended service for the autumn, so I'd arranged for a taxi to meet me by Mothecombe slipway at 2.30. I arrived with 10 minutes to spare. 20 minutes later and there was still no taxi. I wondered if it was waiting for me in the hamlet of Mothecombe one quarter of a mile up the hill. Sure enough, there it was. The driver was Eastern European and quite lost. Normally his routes confined him to the city limits of Plymouth. Now he was out in the wilds for the first time.
We set off along narrow, winding, steep-banked lanes in the direction of Kingston on the other side of the Erme, where I'd reserved a room for the night at the Dolphin Inn. The driver could not get his sat nav to recognise this isolated village, so I fished out my OS map and guided him. Eventually we arrived, though the fare was more than originally quoted because we'd taken a few wrong turnings. The Dolphin was friendly and inviting, full of posh, golf-playing, London types, but run by two brothers from the North of England. I ordered a steak for dinner — I felt like I deserved it as I had not eaten since breakfast — and it was very good.
|View from the coastal path between the estuaries of the Yealm and the Erme.|
|Note the acorn marker, symbol of England's National Trails.|
|Impressive rock and cliff scenery.|
|The sandy Erme estuary, much wider than the Yealm.|
|The Dolphin at Kingston: 'Fine Traditional Ales, Quality Bar Food, Olde Worlde Charm.'|