John Durham had rung me to say he wanted to meet us in Milton Abbot. It was a fair old whack from Plymouth, so I used my e-bike to capacity in an effort to "encourage" the others to get to elevenses by 11:30am and asked Mike if I could lead, since I had already worked out a route on my satnav. The pictures above show the route Mike would have taken, left to his own devices. Another time, perhaps ...
Well, I suppose there's a limit to just how hard you can push people, especially up the hill in Stoke Climsland, and the pace was frankly too fast. I stood corrected by the group and agreed to follow rather than to lead thenceforth, so that there would be some survivors by the time we got to Milton Abbot.
Finally frustrated, Larry headed solo for South Brent Tor shortly before Milton Abbot. He doesn't know what he missed.
Milton Abbot was a new destination and I was pleasantly surprised by the lanes north of Callington. We were even more surprised to find that John and Jennifer were still at the pub in the village, when we got there. In fact, they had arrived later than planned, too, just fifteen minutes before us. We stashed our bikes in the garden of a neighbouring house with the generous consent of the occupants. They were taking care - unknown to Andy - of a tiny and particularly venomous little dog, all white, cute, fluffy and innocent and just the thing Andy likes to smooth and share his abundant love for animals with. Defiantly rebuffing Andy's well-meant approaches, it set about him with a deadly fervour, which left Andy no longer understanding the world as it is and lucky to be left with a hand.
Expertly bandaged by the dog's carer, Andy joined us in the pub.
Cornwall (or was it Devon?) is definitely the place to be for a pub lunch with the landlord disappearing for really convenient periods of time and the customers left to handle the important things like beer and the till. Trevor, however, called time on out raucous libations in due time and John Durham led us to his abode in Tavistock.
Tea and biscuits at John and Jennifer's allowed us to approach the final part of our journey with due sobriety. Not the well-ridden Drake's Trail. Up the back road above John's house, out by the Half Moon Inn and down to Horrabridge by the back road. Our route back to the Bridge took us through Walkhampton,, Douseland and West Park by 5:30 pm.
Altogether a good day, fine weather, good company and a good laugh. 53 miles on the clock - thanks to my e-bike, I should add.
BTW - to keep the records straight. The pictures in the gallery were taken recently while Graham Black was touring on Minorca.