bunn (bunn) wrote,

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Expedition to the Bere Peninsula

Last weekend it occurred to me that I'd never really explored the Bere peninsula, which is an odd slab of land that lies between the big River Tamar and the little River Tavy.  Because both rivers are wiggly, the area is only joined to the rest of Devon by one fairly narrow strip of land.

 There's a story that the Tavy was one of the two suitors of Tamar, the other being the Torridge.  All three were transformed into rivers, and the Tavy and the Tamar go down to the sea together forever, but poor old Torridge woke up late, turned the wrong way, and ended up on the North coast, where he never saw either of them again.  This is a particularly odd myth since the Torridge doesn't flow direct into the sea but into the River Taw.  Possibly the spirit of the Taw was considered somehow less desirable as a suitor than the Tamar.    

Because the Tamar is so much bigger than her little suitor Tavy, I like to imagine Tamar as a big fat curvy lady from a  Beryl Cook 
painting - maybe this one:

First we wandered up the Tavy. The tide was very low so we were able to walk right along the edge of the estuary and look up at Maristow house on the other side.

There used to be a ford across the Tavy at this point, but according to a helpful man we met, it was bombed out during the war.  You can still get across if you are prepared to get very muddy, but we weren't.   It's interesting that even now, when someone says 'the war' you know exactly which war they mean... 

Mollydog plodded through the mud to begin with, but she wasn't keen on it.  So she started doing this: 

it was a bit late to keep her from getting muddy, and a lot of the mud splattered on her tail as she came down again, but she seemed to be having fun!  I took several photos of the leaping, and made some of them into a usericon.  Yes, I know I already have lots of Mollydog usericons... 

The railway bridge that goes from the tip of the peninsula to Plymouth over a sea of mud. 

Heading back towards Bere Ferrers we found a ford at Gnatham, and debated whether the sign was telling us it was suitable, or unsuitable for motors... 

Saw some shelducks:

and a big sandbank full of geese.  The geese seemed to have a football but they weren't playing with it when we went by:

Bere Ferrers is a tiny village, but it is blessed with a pub, and the pub was open!  We had assumed we'd need to sit in the garden, as both our boots and the dogs were somewhat muddy, but when Pp went in to enquire, he found that not only were they serving food, but they were quite happy for us to come inside to eat it.  Hurray!   The beer garden had a nice view of the sand bank and the geese - but after all, it is January, even if a very mild one. 

  Fortunately I had remembered to bring a dog towel for Mollydog to sit on, as she absolutely refuses to sit on hard floors.  Az is normally quite scared of pubs, for some reason that I don't understand - but he seemed to quite like this one.   They each had some of my roast potatoes. 


On the way back, we met an Oystercatcher and an Egret. 

We also saw some anonymous little brown wading jobbies that we did not recognise, if anyone wants a guess, this was the best photo I got of them. 

On our way home, we went the scenic route and drove along the road down the Tavy till we got to Big Mamma Tamar, and then drove back along her shores.  It looks like there are some nice walks down there too.  These little boats are all moored around Weir Quay, but a little further up is a village with the resounding name of Hole's Hole. 

Tags: devon, tamar valley, walks

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