“Are you guys sure about this?”
“But it’s pitch black and there’s not a single soul in a 2-3 mile radius!”
“Yeah, that’s just the ticket.”
That’s how the equipment-testing long weekend in Devon began. The goal was to organise a microadventure which includes relatively low amount of planning and doesn’t require us to reach for our wallet much. We were using blablacar, the car-sharing service to get down to Devon and back to London; rental bicycles, hitchhiking and walking to explore the area. Accommodation was sorted through camping and Couchsurfing.
We camped about 2 miles from Halberton, a couple who we found on blablacar dropped us off at 11pm. After a surprisingly quick and effortless tent-pitching we made some fruit tea and fell straight asleep. Not following the original plan, we woke up way after sunrise for the sound of a tractor going up and down the field: they were collecting haystacks. The land owner assured us we can use the haystack next to our tent for a while as breakfast table – so we did!
Once we had our coffee and porridge, we were on our way to pick up our tandem bicycle. The walk along the canal was quiet and really peaceful. Once we hopped on the rental tandem bike, we quickly realised that riding a not-top-quality tandem in the undulating Devon might not be the best idea ever – it was quite fun though! We merely did 50k that day, but we had a delicious and filling lunch anyways.
After the challenging first day of tandem bike riding we pitched tent again on a field between Halberton and Tiverton, cooking some pasta and, again, falling asleep straight away. The next day was spent on two separate bikes to make life a bit easier, and ended by hitchhiking to Tiverton – two old ladies picked us up with a serious question.
“You’re not one of those dangerous hitchhiking people, are you?!”
We had a quick afternoon snack and our Couchsurfing host picked us up in Tiverton so we rode to her house in Bampton. We received five star treatment: a glass of wine, rather enjoyable chat in the evening and a really cozy bed, plus bacon and eggs in the morning. To top that, they also offered us a ride to Exeter!
From there we took a bus to Exmouth, and after a long walk along the coast, our second blablacar “host” picked us up and we arrived back in London late in the evening. As a result, we knew that our camping gear is ready to go, and I must say, the testing process was quite enjoyable!