Wednesday, May 25, 2005

East Devon Weekend

We spent the weekend camping in East Devon - our third trip there this year. Summer still hasn't arrived, which explains why we've quoted an old saying above. More rain and wind than we would care to suffer from under canvas but in between the showers we got in a couple of walks along the "Triassic Coast"

Actually the official name for this coastline is the Jurassic Coast, but as there is no Jurassic in the area, we've renamed our favorite stretch of the heritage coast. The coastal towns of Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth are surrounded by red cliffs, ranging from coarse pebble beds to fine clays with gypsum, all deposited in an arid desert environment. The photo above is of Sidmouth from near Ladrum Bay. The combes of Salcombe and Weston are just about visible to the right of the town, separated by cliffs that are around 500 feet high.

This photo shows the mouth of the River Otter, immediately east of Budleigh Salterton. The river was in full flood following several days of rain and a band of red sediments can be seen flowing out to sea. The mouth of the river is located between a red cliff and a huge pebble bar. The next photo shows the view to the west from on top of the red cliff. The pebbles are all derived fom the cliffs in the distance, carried by currents in front of the Otter valley, forming a large area of salt marsh that is now a nature reserve. We were both surprised to see a white egret feeding in the river - a reminder of Texas!