Cycling back to civilisation

Whizzing down the hills, green country fields flashed past. A breeze flowed through my hair. My heart rate was returning to normal.

I was cycling the route 27 back to Barnstaple from the sleepy beach town Ilfracombe. Knowing what was in store having done the journey in reverse, I left Ocean Backpackers hostel at 8 am.

To my surprise the cycle back was easier than I thought it might be. I remembered a fair amount of hills on the way out and I very much enjoyed these downhills on my return.

Feeling confident that I knew my way, I day dreamed and enjoyed the scenery.

Before I knew it I was cycling up a giant hill on the coastline. Strange. It didn’t look familiar. I would have definitely remembered a steep hill and cycling along the ocean.

I stopped to take a picture and check my map. Turns out I had taken a slight detour. That was okay. I had plenty of time. Plus it was a stunning ride along the the sea.

I ended up taking the longer coastal route back to Barnstaple opposed to the direct 27 route. I was never heading in the wrong direction per say.

It meant I got to pass quaint towns such as Saunton and Croyde.

Thatched roofs lined the streets. Locals strolled along footpaths enjoying the pleasant June day.

In Braunton I needed to find the Tarka Trail to take me back to Barnstaple. In the process, I got talking to an elderly couple going the opposite way to me. The day before they had cycled 28 miles. I told them they were amazing. The pair were on electric bikes which apparently had out of power the day before.

We bidded farewell and I got to Barnstaple with plenty of time to explore before meeting the Back Up Trust. I mooched along the high-street and enjoyed a coffee.

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