‘Tracking’ in Totnes 2012

What we called tracking, serious trackers would bow their heads in shame.  But who cares! We had such an amazing time.

Totnes is known for its bohemian style; could this be somewhat related to the story of the legendary and mythical founder of Britain, Brutus of Troy who stepped on to land and said ‘Here I stand and here I rest. And this town shall be called Totnes’. Well, such legends have a way of influencing how a culture forms. Anyway, we arrived in the magical Totnes somewhere around mid-morning. It was a beautiful day, the sun was out but still as it goes without saying it was pretty cool.

After walking around town and having lunch we went to see the Totnes castle. It seemed as if we were looking at Rapunzel’s tower. We saw a curtain wall up on the hill which was apparently the castle ruins we came to see. Climbing up a long stone stairway we walk into an empty area, surrounded by the wall. So we think ‘huh, is this it?’, the kid from the family who were right behind us shouts out ‘THIS IS IT?’. How nice to voice out whatever you feel when ever you feel it!. Well so much for seeing castles, but the view from up the wall was amazing. We could see the whole town and more. The sky was spectacular, not in the sense that it was all sun and blue sky. But it had really dark clouds by then which looked as if it would give away any minutes, and then right next to that was a very white cloud, which was followed by the clear blue sky. This was good indication of the weather for the rest of the day.

While exploring we had an ‘aha moment’. We imagined people living right there, but in the 14th century. People walking, working and laughing probably right where we stood in a faraway time. We imagined the number of lives, number of feelings, thoughts that must have passed by. For all we know, a very melodramatic murder took place right on the spot we stood. I suppose its true when my friends say that I have an unhealthy attachment to murderous stories.

After this we decided, very spontaneously to go to the Sharpham Estate. Now this is where magic begins. Forget the destination, enjoy the journey; this fits completely with the rest of the trip. This was a 2.5 mile walk, and we begin it through a narrow path with greenery on either side. Walking through nature, we met few of Mother Nature’s teasing. First it was amazingly bright with sunshine, and then it started drizzling, which was followed by hail. So this circle repeats a couple of times before, thank God, it settles with sunny. As we went ahead we saw amazing green lush over the hills where the sheep were grazing. On top of the hill we could see barren autumn trees. This made a lovely wallpaper picture. What we decided to do it climb the hills, to get the best view. Now I am a professed and confessed acrophobic, but how could I miss a chance like this. And the hills had the sheep, was I going to lose face to a bunch of sheep? No way. So squatting here and there, holding hands and shoulders, I manage to climb all the way up. Well, needless to say, it was very rewarding. We could see over the river, the green grazing pastures, red ploughed fields, beautiful marshlands and this was highlighted by the beautiful blue sky. This was the colors of nature, blue, green and brown. And all this was serenaded by the howling of the wind and the sound of Devons birds. We met horses, cows, and more sheep on the way. At a point we sort of got lost, but we managed to get back on track although it took a lot of walking back and forth. Finally, Sharpham estate, on the top of the world. It had a small but beautifully designed cafe’/restaurant that serves English cheese and wine. The wine is produced at the Sharpham vineyard and cheese at the Sharpham House. The milk for the cheese is taken from organically farmed cattle and made using rennet (enzyme from animal stomach).

There were flowering trees all over the farm along with farmland, ancient woodland, streams and ponds which made the place so naturally beautiful. This is a place where you can reconnect with the natural world and possibly reconnect with ourselves. We spent hours here, just exploring, and having a good time. Unfortunately, this like all other good times was coming to an end. We walked back into Totnes, where we went to have Indian food at a restaurant where the waiters were from Bangladesh and the Indian food was definitely not of Indian taste. Well British-Indian I suppose is the closest we can get in the UK.

It was a lovely experience, connecting with the nature, connecting with friends and creating stories that will last hopefully forever.

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