BOOTS still crusty with Glastonbury mud, we’re tramping through meadows of wildflowers shimmering and sizzling with grasshoppers’ calls.
Umpteen buzzy things bumble into us and we have to dodge the cow pats – crackly on top, like creme brulees. Daisies, buttercups and clover are strewn with wild abandon. We argue over sightings of orchids and cowslips.
The cows are curious, and gently follow us. At the top of a plateau, we find a series of terraced natural pools, beaming and winking back at the sun. A fisherman perches in splendid isolation. Round the corner is a milking parlour, and bellowing bovines are led back to pasture.
We’re somewhere between Lower Kingcombe and Hooke, in the shadow of the Rampisham masts, listening stations that spy on conversations being held on the other side of the world. We sit in a field and have a six o’clock supper of home-made quiche.
Oddly, our route starts taking us under electric fences, through nettle-filled ditches, past towering foxgloves, waist-deep in ferns, slapping at horseflies, squelching through bogs and ooh! there’s a frog! Who goes first? Hop, hop, and it’s gone.
We’re fighting through forest at this point and suddenly, we realise the masts must be scrambling our sat nav signal. Is it time to fish the paper map out the rucksack?
Sheep are shorn and silent. Hedges are brambly, flowering with honeysuckle. Hay meadows are studded with plastic-wrapped haystacks. It’s a perfect summer’s evening. The shadows lengthen. We come back to the big pile of horse manure in the road that marks the car park. We go home.