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Torquay Holiday - July 2016

Twenty one of us converged on the south coast for our summer Footprints holiday.

On the first evening five of us took a ride on the big wheel.

On Saturday we set off as one party to walk to Maidencombe. We had our first refreshment stop at Meadfoot beach. After a split, the 'A' party, led by William, later stopped at Anstey's Cove where there was paddling. The 'B' party, led by Peter, stopped for lunch at Babbacombe. They beat 'A' party to the pub at Maidencombe, having unknowingly overtaken them at Anstey's Cove.

We made good use of the various entertainments available in the hotel during our stay. On the second night some of us played Ten-pin bowling. Martyn and Claire hit the dance floor and demonstrated their Ceroc skills.

On Sunday we took the bus to Maidencombe, to walk to Dawlish. 'A' party was led by myself, and I admit we had a false start, allowing B party, led by Peter, to get a lead on us. 'A' party later split, with an 'A party plus' going ahead at speed. 'A party minus' had lunch at the Ness pub at Shaldon before re-uniting with the rest of their team on the beach for the ferry to Teignmouth. We walked along the seawall and from a distance it was not apparent how we might cross the rail track. Then Colin and Hilary appeared and showed us the way.

On Monday we all caught the bus to Totnes. We set off, led by Peter, to visit a hydro-electric power station part-owned by his nephew. We were given an interesting talk and could see how fish were able to swim past safely due to the Archimedes Screw. Then we walked the 10 miles back to Torquay along the Musgrove heritage trail. In the evening we had our usual game of Pictionary.

On Tuesday, our day off, various parties set off in different directions by boat, steam train and ferry. Some of us found our way to Dartmouth and Greenway, the former holiday home of Agatha Christie.

On Wednesday 'A' party, led by Greg, took the bus to Kingswear and walked to Brixham via Outer Froward Point, where we were shown round a coastguard station, and Scabbacombe Head, where we had lunch. This was the most rugged coastal walk of the week, with no café stops en-route. 'B' party, led by Peter, walked from the hotel to Brixham via Paignton and Goodrington sands, with two swim stops. The 'A' and 'B' parties met in Brixham for afternoon tea before returning on the ferry to Torquay.

On Thursday 'A' party, led by Greg, repeated the 'B' walk that Peter had led the previous day. At Goodrington sands we stopped to photograph the steam train going past. We had lunch and a swim at Elberry Cove, as well as three tea stops. We left Aline in Brixham shopping while the rest of us continued to Berry Head, thus completing a 35-mile section of the South West Coast Path between Kingswear and Dawlish over 4 days, with about 5,000' of ascent. B party, led by Brian, took the bus to Kingswear and walked northwards, along the River Dart, to the outskirts of Greenway, but instead of completing the intended walk took ferries back to Kingswear.

In the evening, by request ,Chris R demonstrated the lifting trick, as on a previous trip, but this time with limited success which was put down to the quality of the assistants. He also tried to perform a magic trick with even less success, but great amusement.

Thanks to Peter, all the walk leaders and everyone on the holiday for making it a superb trip.

Chris R, Chris B and Greg.

Photos