A day at Lydford Gorge

After a beautiful busride with magnificent views on vast Dartmoor planes and some Tors, the busdriver told me I could choose to get off at the Waterfall entrance or the main entrance of Lydford Gorge. “Let’s go for the Waterfall” I said. And so I arrived as the first visitor, in the office of the Wildlife Trust employee, who sold me a ticket and showed me his eagerness  in explaining the route through Lydford Gorge. He looked like as if he craved companionship. I excersized my toes a bit, in patience and in preparation for the climbing and walking over uneven and sometimes precarious surfaces along the paths.

Soon I was off through the gate descending in the magical world of Lydford Gorge. The sun was shining and the light reached down into the damp green jungle, English style. In the shadow I felt cold and in need of my vest and shawl. Once in the sun I was soon very warm. Leaving the shadow and entering a sunlit area was enjoyable for sure! The water in the stream was clear as crystal,  I saw fish “standing” in it, waiting for the food flowing in their stomach, without having to make any effort.

Many butterflies danced through sunrays and at the White Lady waterfall, a red robin sat on a signpost, washing itself and arranging its feathers energetically. It sat quiet after a while, looking at me as if saying “You’re in my territory today, don’t think for one moment that you’ve made it your home too, for I’m the ruler here”. It made me laugh for its lively expression of eyes and body posture. Than it flew off in a flash.

Image30694I crossed the bridge and entered the area of The Devil’s Cauldron, narrow high rocky cliffs, with a stony uneven path that is about 40 cm. wide, with ups and downs and a fast flowing stream deep down in the mix of light and shadow. The handrail was a useful thing and going slow was a must. That was the most adventurous and last part of the walk through Lydford Gorge and I soon entered the tearoom and picknick area, which was suddenly very silent, bright and dry, after that damp world in much shadow and the loud voice of the stream.

Lunch was very welcome, a true refreshment! With tea. For sure I needed that, still blissfully ignorant of the many hours I would have to wait for a bus towards home. Due to an accident with a cattle grid, the bus-times and the routes were changed. In order to catch a bus to Tavistock, I had to walk to Lydford village and take the bus to Okehampton, after which the bus would aim for Tavistock, I was told. And so, with still more than an hour to go, I found my way to the busstop, through the village. An oasis of quietude! Dozing off on a bench, in the sun, I finally saw my bus arriving. When I asked the busdriver “For Tavistock?” he said “No, I’m going to Okehampton” and so I stepped out again, not thinking smart with my melting brain.

Fortunately, the shuttle bus arrived and the busdriver, which had let me off that morning, at the Waterfall entrance, gestured to me that I had to jump on that bus, which was driving away by now. “That’s the bus to Okehampton, afterwards it goes to Tavistock, you need that bus”  he yelled at me. Oh my! My bus just left and turned around the corner! I  was at a loss for words. Just than, that same bus came driving backwards, making room to move for a touringcar. I’ve never run so fast, risking my life, to attract the attention of that busdriver.

He opened the door and I told him, that he should’ve told me that he went to Tavistock after arriving in Okehampton. He must have thought taking in a mad woman, the way he looked at me. The passengers sat grinning in their seats, amused by the spectacle, seeing me walking through the bus in fumes. But we made it alright, to Okehampton. The busdriver parked the bus, took his timetable and walked to the back of the bus where I sat. “I’ll take you to Tavistock at 17.30 pm” he said.

I looked at him in amazement. The time was 16.40 pm “Aren’t the buses constantly on the move between Plymouth and Okehampton?” I asked. The busdriver’s brain must have melted too, for he began to explain details on his timetable. I wasn’t able to follow him, due to the horror of realizing I had to wait another 50 minutes! “If I have to wait, I’ll wait” I said, shrudding my shoulders, breathing deeply to control my fumes.

The busdriver apologized for the inconvenience and in my numb state I vaguely wondered what in heavens name his part in this torturous journey was, if waiting 50 minutes was “part of the deal”. I so wished for him to leave me, I felt  my fuses on the point of blowing. I prepared myself mentally for a long wait in the bus as best as I could. Then, the busdriver turned around, walked back to his cabin while saying “Well, off we go now” and I asked “Aren’t we going to wait 50 minutes?” He said “No, I meant that I’m taking you to Tavistock, arriving at 17.30 pm. Oh…. Oh???

Flabberghasted I looked out of the window, seeing nothing for a while and we were soon on our way. About 24 times on that journey I’ve told myself “Relax, you’ll laugh very hard about it in a week or so.” As soon as I was home, I drank  a large glass of water, for I’d grown very thirsty. After a short while I felt human again. My brain grew back into 1 piece too I believe. The British logic and windmills of British minds are peculiar. Specially after Brexit…….  Good heavens, somewhat by accident and not fully concsious, sort of, we’ve left the EU! And now we’re going to have a woman as prime minister. What a ride!

 Copyright @2012 tHeArtofCare


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