Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sept 4 - Ups and Downs: Moretonhampstead to Bridport

Today's route

After the rigours of Dartmoor yesterday, today's route was supposed to be an easy ride. Well, that didn't work out! The climb out from Moretonhampstead set the tone for the day. It was strenuous but not as tough as Dartmoor itself. After many climbs we eventually made it to Exeter.

Crossing cities is usually quite slow. Lots of stops are needed to check the route. In the event we found the way out through Topsham, Woodbury and Otterton heading for Sidmouth. Once we left Exeter, we had to toil up climb after climb. Finally, we made it to Sidmouth and took a break for lunch on the front.

Next stop was Seaton and once again there was a series of tough climbs before we dropped down to the sea front. The worst of all was the climb out from Branscombe where finally I resorted to getting off and pushing! We did get the benefit of some local knowledge from a cyclist we met. Although he couldn't route us around all the hills, he was able to help us avoid the worst of them.

Seaton itself has an electric tram system running from Colyford to Seaton. Quite why it's there is a bit of a mystery, since the only thing to see on the journey is the mud flats of the river Axe.

On we went to Lyme Regis, over yet more steep and difficult climbs. In Lyme Regis, the view from the Cobb along the Jurrasic Coast and Chesil Beach is superb. We could also see Portland and Weymouth, real signs of an area very familiar to us.

We thought that the final major climb of the day would be the one out of Lyme Regis. Actually the A35 towards Bridport has a series of challenging climbs to be conquered before we finally reached our overnight stop in West Bay, near Bridport. It was a real relief to finish the day. By the way, the weather was nothing short of glorious. If anything it was a little too warm for the amount of climbing we had to do.

Today's picture is a view back towards Dartmoor from above Moretonhampstead.

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