Sunday, 24 April 2016

Day 15: Salcombe to Brixham

6th April 2016
First bus of the day at Salcombe
There was no alternative but to retrace my steps from Salcombe on the 606 back to Kingsbridge, but at least the bus left at 0930 allowing maximum use of my bus pass. The bus was already on the stand at 0920 and passengers were allowed to board and wait on the bus until it was nearly departure time and the card reader on the ticket machine would accept their passes.  This has happened a couple of times in Devon and Cornwall, but certainly isn't allowed back home in Lancaster where in similar circumstances passengers must wait OFF the bus!

Back at Kingsbridge I re-joined Stagecoach service 3 to complete the route through to Dartmouth. Yesterday's bus had left Plymouth on-time and arrived eight minutes late. Today's bus was early at Kingsbridge, left six minutes late and still arrived in Dartmouth nine minutes early. Something tells me that this timetable needs looking at!

Once again, despite being on an A road all the way we encountered some narrow, single-track sections including one in a village where oncoming traffic had to reverse around a blind bend to let us pass!  The route crosses Slapton Sands where during World War II a disaster occurred when American troops rehearsing for D-Day were attacked by German torpedo boats. The Americans were unprotected and hundreds died - a fact that was hushed up at the time.  Slapton was swiftly followed by the little seaside village or, er...Blackpool!

From Dartmouth I had hoped to do a "Round Robin" trip up the river to Totnes by boat, bus
Three ferries at Dartmouth: Two boats on the
Lower Ferry service and one Passenger Ferry
to Paignton and then steam train to Kingswear. But the timetable varies each day according to the tides and roadworks in Totnes meant that the buses were being delayed and the trip wouldn't be possible. Instead I took one of the four passenger ferries across the River Dart to Kingsweir. I chose the main passenger ferry from the town centre, although the "Lower Ferry", which is mainly for vehicles looked more interesting as it consisted on large vehicle-carrying pontoons maneuvered by tugs! 

Lydham Manor

I still got my steam train ride, although it was now a round trip to Paignton hauled in both directions by "Lydham Manor" build by British Railways in 1950 which meant it was the same age as I am - although I have to say it looked in better condition!

Kingsweir "Banjo" bus terminus

Back in Kingsweir I made my way to the "Banjo" terminus, so-named because of the shape of the road for my last bus of the day on to Brixham.

I'd chosen Brixham as my destination for the day even though I had time to carry on to  more obvious "resort"  such as Paignton or Torquay and I wasn't disappointed as it is still very much a working fishing port, something I did my best to support in the evening with a meal of locally-caught Gurnard (and Chips!)
Fishing boats in Brixham Harbour

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