Said the transvestite politician from Bideford.
'I'd rather freeze,' I mutter.
'No thanks, I'll just stick with the tent.'
Bideford was that sort of place. Eccentric, friendly and scary in equal measure. After the hospital I went back to the pub and talked at length about my crutches, the path, the fact that I was irritated by the guidebook and if there was anywhere to get food on a Sunday. Eventually, fed (ish) and with a quiet, out of the way place to sleep, I considered my options - that I wanted to keep walking was a definite. But what to do?
The night passed slowly. I didn't sleep a great deal and by three o'clock I was sat at the bus stop waiting for the coach to Taunton. I've often spotted beardy fellows sat in sleeping bags at bus stops and assumed they were homeless - perhaps they were simply weary hikers.
The coach home was uneventful (I finally got some sleep) and my connecting bus to Ashcott was the same. I got home and found mum ready to head out for her first session of cemo. Turns out I'd damaged my knee at just the right time - she'd need someone to help out for the next few days, even if it did take me twenty minutes to figure out a way to get up the stairs.
But when my knee heals, what then? Let me fast forward a few days, to the hike part two...