The wind died down to a pleasant breeze and the sun finally came out to play. This also raised the temperature which meant long trousers and waterproofs were swapped for sunglasses, shorts and t-shirts and a few days at the beach, we hoped.
Woolacombe is well known for its mile long beach and the colourful huts that line it but not many know about the little beach tucked away below the cliffs. This is Barricane Beach. We’re not going to give its exact location, for those really interested it’s not that hard to find and those already in the know won’t want to share it too far and wide.
It’s reached from a steep walkway and is surrounded in your typical moon shape by a vertical cliff line which decreases as it goes out to sea, the diameter of which is no more than 30 metres. At the bottom of the walkway is a small wooden hut which encompasses a café and the legendary Sri Lankan curry, this is always served on china plates with the complimentary steel cutlery and usually eaten watching the sun go down dead centre in the mouth of the bay.
But before this delicious delight could take place laundry had to be done first so off we trekked to the washing machine and dryer. No one was using the machine so in it all went with powder on the top. It was quite a big top loader and easy enough to use for £3.00 a wash. Half an hour later the majority of it went into the dryer, this was torturous to wait for as each session was 70p and lasted around 20 minutes. Each time it came to the end of a cycle the clothes just weren’t dry enough so another 70p was reluctantly shoved in. Four cycles later the clothes were dry, folded and packed away in Pod.
The weather was hotting up nicely so the car was loaded up with beach towels, tent and sun cream. A very short drive brought us to Woolacombe bay but the chance of parking near to the beach was not an option, these spaces were for 4hrs maximum with no return and as we planned to spend most of the day there we headed for the main car park at £8.00 for the day.
We hauled the contents of the car into bags and trundled down the grassed path towards the steep walkway and Barricane Beach. As we reached the walkway we looked down, the sea was out and people were potted around sunbathing and playing on the waters edge, a few had taken surf boards into the sea and were attempting to catch any waves coming in.
The sea was coming in so we positioned ourselves towards the back of the bay, we had prime viewing of the beach all the way out to sea and were yet again treated to an example of the RNLI in action. Round and round they came, again and again practicing their rescue skills. No matter how many times they went past it was incredible to see.
Tummies were rumbling and the queue for food was starting to grow. Now was the time to eat, as the curry was freshly made once it had all gone that was it. Two orders were placed and we were issued with a ticket number. We didn’t have long to wait to hear our number shouted and we scuttled to collect our piping hot curry.
Two huge plates of food, one containing spiced rice, crisp salad and yogurt, curried aubergine, potato and pulse curry with poppadum’s and the other the same again minus the aubergine to be replaced by curried chicken. It wasn’t too hot on the curry spectrum, just right to have with a cold beer on a late summers evening.
We sat on our towels full of anticipation for a spectacular sunset but low and behold as the sun began to scroll across the bay low cloud began to move over and blocked the sun as it descended into the sea. Needless to say we didn’t sit around for much longer, we packed up our belongings took one last look at the cove and had a leisurely stroll back to the car.
The last day of Pods first 2 week outing was coming to an end but we had time for one last jaunt along the coast line. Walking we had covered Lee Bay to Putsborough so now it was time to look a little further beyond this. Not having a map really was a bane of this trip but we were not deterred, after speaking to fellow caravaners Baggy Point drew our interest so off we went.
Driving past Croyde Beach we followed the signs for Baggy Point and this brought us to the National Trust car park. Being members worked out well and saved us £5.00 on parking. The sun was in and out of the clouds like a fiddlers elbow but backpacks were donned and off we went.
We headed towards the coast and passed what initially looked like an odd shaped boulder, upon closer inspection we read the attached sign which informed us the boulder was in fact a large whale bone which had washed up in 1915. The Hyde family had the bone preserved and that along with Baggy Point itself was given to the National Trust.
As we reached Baggy Point we looked out to sea and moving ever so quickly in land was one black miserable looking cloud, it was, in true style, heading right for us. The closer it got we could see the rain falling and bouncing back up off the sea, so in what was now a well-rehearsed act we whipped our waterproofs out and on. With milliseconds to spare we pulled our hood cords tight to be hit with a torrential down pour and watched as this ONE cloud moved over us and away to Woolacombe. If we didn’t have the pictures to prove it no one would believe it.
Slightly damp but drying off as we went we continued to walk the coastal route round Whiting Hole towards Napps Cliff and Putsborough Sands. We passed a few rock climbers who were gearing up to scale the sheer drops, looking down we didn’t envy them the task as the rock face in areas was covered in guano.
Landing at the café we stopped for a hot cup of tea and the obligatory ice-cream. The sun was creeping in through the large single pane window and we were beginning to nod off in the deep based chairs, it seemed the best time to make a move back to the car.
Leaving the beach we headed towards Napps Cliff, just before Whiting Hole we decided on a different view so we headed across country and over Middleborough Hill. This took us into a field of about a dozen young bulls and the only thing separating us from them was a very teeny thin electric wire. We side-stepped our way along the stone wall and nipped over the sty quick style and back to the car.
Reviewing our two week trip in Devon Pod and the awning has surpassed every expectation and stood up to the high winds and 35mph + gusts, the rain (of course) and on the hot days when we returned after our long walks she was very cool to climb inside of and collapse. The weather has been mixed to say the least but we have enjoyed discovering Devon and seeing her in many different facets.
Assisted those who struggled with their awnings in high winds, chatted and exchanged stories with other caravaners, been introduced to some lovely people and along the way discovering the intricacies of blue and pink jobs (yes they do exist .. in some eyes). This Podding life is definitely for us and we can’t wait for our next adventure, big or small.