North Dorset Country

Sturminster-Newton Travel Blog

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By the Abbey of Sherborne

October 8


(Blandford Forum and Newton)

Dave left to his university (he also went to get my bicycle at my old flat during the week end) and on my side I left by bus to Poole to return my uniform during the day, change my address and finalise everything with my employer. Then I took the bus again to Blandford Forum, which is a bit of a long ride and John would pick me there... I took the time to walk a bit around the town. But Blandford revealed more being a average countryside town with a church some nice average building and that's about it. I was more amazed by seeing an old milestone than anything else. I did some pictures of the main square still in the meantime while waiting.

I finally made my way to Sturminster-Newton and John's place by the evening.

By the road in Bishop's Caundle in North Dorset
We enjoyed a meal and talked a bit about all the future plans, his house and many other random subjects. It was just as I expected, smooth, nice and joyful time. I felt totally at ease and was amazed by the will, open-mind and lay-back attitude he carries.

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October 9

The next morning, John was gone working and I woke up under a pouring rain day. That made me wonder pretty much what I would be doing, still leave toward Plymouth... or wait another day? I watched the forecast, assessed the weather and by late noon I made my decision of leaving and go to adventure as my mood was there and I didn't feel like abusing by staying in doing nothing either.

I walked down the road and started hitching, it was damp but not raining so I had a window.

A general view of Blandford Forum
Finally a car with some Ukrainian people took me several miles further north until a tiny hamlet of Bishops Caundle, really tiny but so typical. I did look at the old stone buildings and church and the landscape view opening on the hilly surrounding... but quickly I had to continue my journing and hitched further and made my way to Sherborne. Another historic town connected by train, having some old historic castles (out of town which I didn't see), an old abbey and school convent.

I must say about Sherborne, it was another major  typical english town... quite giving an impression of a Harry Potter Scene actually! No major traffic into town, nice shops and relaxed surrounding. I did everything (what I could) in a bit of rush and walked accross town until I could continue further (direction Yeovil in Somerset) for my next stop.

The cattle market in Yeovil (South Somerset), such a remain of another time
.. a local bus passed next to me at the same time and I ended up hoppin into it instead of waiting along what seemed not be such a friendly hitching road.

Yeovil was not pretty, not pretty at all... so there was no reason to waste any time there but struggled to make my way out of town from the bus terminus and especially to find a good hitching spot. That town is a major roundabout corner (but I would suppose it is a place that was majorly bombed during the way), I started to hitch and it took a while, but someone took me and went out of its way to bring me at a better spot that was along the way I was trying to go... direction Exeter instead of Dorchester where was the natural path from where I was standing.

I got left just by another countryside hamlet, with its brownish stone building and hitched further until a slovakian took me some miles further into the countryside again and then another men too me more north than expected but I did reach the M5 corner.
Along the street in Sherborne
Though hitching from there was hell! It took me a while to find a spot by the on-ramp where all the cars goes fast without place to stop. Someone did stop and with no time I was in Exeter and expecting I could find a Services that would help continue my way further as dusk would be arriving really quick. Instead I was in the same environment than the previous one.

I still tried but by darkness I gave up and tried to make my way to Exeter downtown which I had no idea where it was to find a transport to Plymouth. I walked along the road and lift my thumb on what was obviously more an industrial surrounding but one of the first car stopped and brought me to a more lively place where I could walk into town from, which I did and willing to hurry to make sure I would manage to catch a train that night, as it was getting after 8pm I hitched again. A student took me over and brought me to Exeter St Davids Station where I could continue further. I was his first hitch-hiker ever... in an urban environment! There is hope for the future!
So  that was great and I managed to get a train within minutes. I sat on it and contacted Bart to let him know about my ETA, he would pick me up at the station so I simply relaxed ... and wasn't too worried as the train ticket was quite inexpensive... about 5 pounds.
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By the Abbey of Sherborne
By the Abbey of Sherborne
By the road in Bishops Caundle in…
By the road in Bishop's Caundle i…
A general view of Blandford Forum
A general view of Blandford Forum
The cattle market in Yeovil (South…
The cattle market in Yeovil (Sout…
Along the street in Sherborne
Along the street in Sherborne
Sturminster-Newton
photo by: maplefanta