As cormorants sit on sinking ships the mist rises lightly off the sea. The bright autumn sunshine, angled low over the sea catches the lip of each tiny wave and sends reflections bouncing around the inside of the carriage.
Birds wheel up, the only clouds in the sky, silhouettes against the sun. Winter waders are starting to make their return.
The air pressure changes as we enter a tunnel, ears and eyes sending urgent messages about the change, about the depth of the darkness. It is as if we have plunged beneath the silky surface of the water and are waiting, holding an in breath, to re-emerge. And then, as instantaneously as the flip of a switch, the sunlight floods back in amplified by the reflection off the sea it is overwhelmingly bright and we seek solace behind our eyelids.
But don’t close them too long, you wouldn’t want to miss this morning on the 07:50 to Exeter.
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I have had some appalling train journeys in my life, but the Newton Abbot to Exeter section of the GWR route is not one of them. If you want a fast, regular service between two major destination hubs, free WiFi and a modern, stylish carriage this probably isn’t for you. But unlike so many things in life – it’s what’s outside that counts.