Swans and Trains and Otters

Most of today has been spent touring around South Devon.

First we stopped off in Dawlish to take in the true extent of Brunel’s craziness in building a major railway line along the sea shore, and meet the famous flock of Australian black swans.

Next we headed on to Totnes to catch the South Devon Railway up the Dart Valley to Buckfastleigh. There were a couple of school parties riding the rails today. The first group we saw were all in costume as witches and wizards (including several of the teachers). A young man in Harry Potter glasses asked Kevin who he was dressed as. “I’m an American Tourist”, he answered. I guess I should have told them that I know a flying monkey (as all of the best Wicked Witches do).

At Buckfastleigh there is an otter and butterfly sanctuary. I was really impressed by the butterflies — their collection stood up well compared to the one I’m familiar with in Kuranda, Queensland. As for the otters, well, we died of cute, as one does. These two are Canadian otters, which are slightly bigger than the British variety, and apparently capable of taking down a seagull should one venture too close.