Saturday, 21 May 2011


I tried to think of a flowery title for this section, but 'Instow' has very much become one of the nicest words I could think up. It's the polar opposite of Barnstaple, and as I was soon to discover, an absolute oasis floating in a sea of waste. It's the one bottle of beer, hidden amidst a shipment of cough syrup - put simply, I love Instow and will be back.

I stumbled into town, late in the day and entered the first pub I found, The 'Instow Arms'. Judging by my luck so far, what do you think I found? Frankly, it has to be in the running for the 'Best pub I've ever been into in my life and let's be honest, I spend a lot of my time in the pub' award. It could, perhaps, do with a new title, but I think the 'BPEBLBHIPLTP' awards could be big one day.

That's right, it was great. The bar staff were chatty, the locals friendly and the beer, cold, fresh and fantastic. I'm running out of synonym's for 'good' at this point, but seen as 'Instow' appears to be synonymous with 'Friendly', I've decided to coin it as a new slang term. Eg.

'I see you were chatting to that girl in the pub last night?'
'Heh, yep.'
'How did it go?'
'Well. She was a bit Instow, if you know what I mean?'

One man I got chatting to runs a coasteering company nearby, and I've promised to try and drum him up some business. Lovely fellow, knows when to buy a guy a drink and his operation looks pretty tip top. If anybody is interested in coasteering or surfing in the South west, give me a buzz and I'll send you his email address. Luckily, he knew a local B&B to be had, as there were no campsite's for a long way around - a problem I'd be facing up to soon enough, so I popped around the corner and enquired in the 'Wayfarer Inn' quite possibly the runner up for newly founded 'BPEBLBHIPLTP' awards. The proprietress, Vera, wasn't around when I entered, but the good natured barman booked me in and showed me up to my room - very comfy it was too, and lord knows I could do with a decent bed for the night. Worryingly, my right knee which I'd hurt some time ago in a climbing kerfuffle on Snowdon has been aching a little, particularly on the downward slopes. If I do it major damage, that could put the whole walk in jeopardy - let's see how it holds up.

But war wounds aside I settled in there for the evening and had a tasty meal, one or two (or four or five) good pints of Cornwall beer and received grateful donations to the cause from both the helpful young barman and a young lady who I presume was the chef. Surely tomorrow can only be a good day? If the rest of this coast takes after Instow, I'd say so...

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