The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday 1 November 2009

A Day on Dartmoor

A lengthy bumslide was certainly a quick way to descend Great Link Tor but it wasn't my intended method. What it did achieve was the deeply unpleasant experience of continuing onwards to Kitty Tor with sopping trousers slapping against my legs and a soggy sleeve where I had managed to scoop up some quantity of water. Mick was mercilessly unsympathetic.

Fortunately the mishap didn't occur too early in the walk. We had already walked from Meldon Reservoir and up Sourton Tor before pausing briefly to watch a running event pass by.

As my photo from the top of Kitty Tor showed, visibility up there wasn't great, but it was better than we got for our next objective.

Being woefully lacking in fitness our plans for the day weren't fixed and from Kitty Tor we thought it likely that we would take the easy option of tracks back in the direction whence we had come. A surprising (to me anyway) level of energy remained when we reached Kitty Tor, however, so we took the more interesting route to yomp pathlessly over to Branscombe's Loaf.

A significant amount of murkiness persisted which made the yomp all the more interesting (compass in hand, "to that tussock", "which tussock?", "that darker one" pointing in the direction of any number of tussocks of various shades).

Our navigation proved good (in contrast to earlier in the day when a brain-fart (or plain rustiness) saw me struggling to remember how to take a bearing) and after wading through much bog (oh how magic my GoreTex socks are!) we found ourselves back below the cloud, exactly where we needed to be.

Past a large herd of tiny ponies and normal-sized coos we went, then steeply down to join a path that would lead us to the path around the reservoir.

"How long does it take to walk around" a heavily necklaced woman asked as we skirted the south-east side of the reservoir. "You have just walked around, haven't you?" Well, technically we had but I don't think that our route was the one they intended. We gave them the benefit of information read from our map and they merrily continued.

Thanks to having taken a detour in the morning to buy an emergency map case (having failed to pick one up from home), we ensured that the threatened rain would hold off, and so it did.

A mighty fine walk it was too. Women in heels and necklaces, old chaps in shirts and ties, runners in skimpy shorts; sunshine, mist and murk; paths, bogs and yomping - and freakishly warm for the time of year. What more could one ask for?
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  1. Memo to self: must go to Dartmoor again. I keep being lured by the mountains, but Dartmoor is a fine place and wild camping is legal!

  2. Yuk and commiserations on the bum slide and wet sleeve :(

    Sounds like a good day, though.

    I'm now thinking of selling my new phone on Ebay, btw, and getting a Blackberry instead... *g*

  3. Robin - it was only our second time on Dartmoor, plus one skirting of the edge, and once again I was in awe of what a fantastic place it is. Really must go back with the tent next time to make good use of the lawful wild-camping.

    PW - It was a really excellent day (and usefully proved that I am a tiny bit fitter than I thought).

    Thinking of switching to a Blackberry, are you? Did you not get on with your new phone then? It looked so good on paper. Was it just the email problem, or was it lacking in other areas?