Ride 61 (walk and lead): Last Push for Home.

Tuesday, 11th August, Brentor to Horsebridge, 10 miles.

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With just 140 odd miles to go until we reach our final destination, I am keen for us to get back on the road.  Getting Tommy dressed is a ritual now and I enjoy a final coffee with Sophy before we head off back onto the moor, the chimes of the tiny bell she sent us on our way with reverberating around my head, lightening our steps.  With the view of the St Michael’s chapel on Brentor to our right,

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we say hello to some equines along the way,

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and head down a track on our right which will leave the moor finally behind us.

Through Lamerton, we make our way to a crossing point on the B 3362 at a place called Chipshop.  Janet, our host for this evening, later explains this oddity of a name, the place where the local miners who got paid in coins or ‘chips’ could exchange them for groceries.

Janet Tilston runs the local RDA Driving group and Tommy is installed in a field near their base at Combe.  It hasn’t been grazed since Janet Bradshaw stayed here last year with Lottie so there is lots of grass.  She was keen to put Tommy as far as possible away from the other ponies having read that Tommy sometimes jumps out of fields to get to his companions!  When I go to check him later, he is nowhere to be seen.  There is a sheer drop along one side of the field which is fenced off but I pray he hasn’t fallen down the drop or jumped out.  I call to him and up he pops from the corner of the field where he was probably trying to catch sight of the others and canters up to meet me.  What a relief.

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When I go to fetch him the following morning, he is already waiting for me by the gate.

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It has been lovely meeting Janet and she has looked after us both so well.  Just before we reached our destination in Cornwall, she sent me a wonderful email which I hope she won’t mind me reproducing an extract from here because it was so beautifully expressed.  Thank you Janet.

………..I am thinking of you today (rain is pouring down) and just wanted you to know that by tomorrow you will have fulfilled your ambition and I am sorry that I shall not be there to witness it nor the magic of watching Tommy’s meeting with his elegant fieldmate.
Your epic journey deserves to be recorded in a more lasting format than the current digital age it must have created great spiritual and pictorial richness and added an amazing dimension to your life which I hope you will be able to share as inspiration to lesser mortals like me who do not have the faith to make that transcendental leap.
I hope the weather is kind to you and Tommy and that the final stage of your journey reaches your expectation.
My thoughts will be with you both, take great care and celebrate the unswerving faith that Tommy has shown you throughout your journey together.
Janet
Last stop in Devon.

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