After checking into our B&B, we left for a walk around the town center, only to realise that it was really small. There’s only one small grocer serving the entire town, can you imagine? Everyone seems to know everyone else, smiles were all over, and warmth and friendliness were abound. I loved the vibes of this place. It was so quiet, so tranquil, and the air was so incredibly fresh.
We walked out of the town square into the wilderness, where green carpets of grass were spotted with the occasional shrub and sliced through by that one lonely river.
We strolled, for miles in the middle of the widest road in Chagford (I reckon, since the others were really tiny), and hardly came across any traffic. Oh the freedom, and the leisurely pace of it! We came across the occasional herd of grazing cows, the smallest post box I’ve ever seen, and witnessed skies that were every possible shade of blue. I walked most of the journey, with my arms outstretched and gosh, every fibre of my being felt alive with excitement and relaxed at the same time, I thought that was how a good massage should make me feel. It made me forget about the city and for once, I left all the stresses behind in the dust of the urban jungle.
M was very sweet to re-enact what he did for me years ago when we were strolling in Hyde Park. He picked a small yellow flower for me, caught me unaware and stuck it in my hair. That was a special moment; it reminded me of how far we have come, the footsteps that we have left behind in so many places and the journey that we will ink together in the most obscure lands in years to come.
When it was time to head back to the B&B, we did a very reluctant U-turn and bade goodbye to the grazing cows. Such a peaceful sight, if you could bear with the stench of cow dung and watch them for a bit.
As soon as we got back into civilisation, we continued to be amazed at this quaint little town. People were so trusting that they left home produce such as pickles and freshly laid chicken eggs outside their homes along the sidewalk for their neighbours to purchase. Not a single soul stole any of the stuff, everyone dutifully put pennies in the coin boxes and took what they paid for, and if they didn’t pay for anything, the goods were left untouched. I thought this might never happen in the city! And look at how cheap the eggs were going for!
The cottages are rather charming too. They are named after different types of herbs, spices and foods, and I thought the prettiest one in town was the Peppercorn Cottage. There is something about the embossed walls that spell medieval.
We walked for only about an hour, and covered most of it in Chagford (sans the inaccessible lands), and it was one of the loveliest and most relaxing strolls I have ever taken. Chagford isn’t the prettiest place I’ve been to, but in that one hour, I felt a little bit of nature, a little bit of love and nostalgia, and a little bit of humanity, kindness and honesty. It was … nice to be away from the hustle and bustle, and to recharge like that. If only we can seek immediate respite in the vicinity of the cities we live in, but if we chose to live in the cities, I guess, this is the one thing we can’t always have.
Next stop of Day One: Gidleigh Park