Monday, July 21

UKOB Dartmoor Trip - Friday

What was to have been a leisurely journey across the south coast during Friday turned into a stew of holiday traffic, with a couple of tractors thrown in to salt the recipe. The weather, as if in cahoots with the road tribulations turned its face away from the earlier sunshine and blue skies. No surprise then that my eventual arrival at Meldon Reservoir just south of Okehampton was met with a torrential downpour.

(Looking up Meldon Reservoir)
Naturally, all taken in stride for this seasoned 'packer. I sat in the car and waited. A pleasant half hour was spent checking the map; Changing into boots; And waiting for the rain to cease and the sky to turn blue;

(And that's what makes it a reservoir and not a puddle)
I'd probably be there still if I expected that sort of climatic epiphany last Friday. Wet? There was a huddle of ducks near the car park complaining about the conditions underfoot. Or should that be webbed feet?

Familiar with the route to the well known wildcamp spot at the southern end of the water (GR 555 907) I was able to spend the short walk along the resy taking a look around with no particular urgency in mind. But once on site getting the tent up quickly was order of the day. First brew on before 3 p.m. Result.

(Hey look - that litle green tent over there is mine!)

In between the showers I unwisely opted to slip off the Scarpa boots for my camp/travel footwear - North Face XCR Hedgehogs. I'd been considering their replacement earlier in the month, but other things had intervened.

Well that was tempting fate. As I explored the banks of the stream cascading (deluging) down from Black-a-Tor Copse I realised two things.

Firstly, back at the camp spot, a couple of my fellow bloggers (Alan and Martin) had just arrived. They were eyeing my open and apparently deserted Akto. Possibly wondering whether the Beast of Bodmin was holidaying in the area?

It was then my brain received the message that my feet were damp. I don't do wet feet - too many years of motorcyling trips. But the gore tex liner had chosen this point to throw in the towel, just as my feet squelched over water sodden ground. Farewell then Hedgehogs faithful companion for the last eighteen months, and to be replaced with the same again - what higher praise is there than that?

Mulling over a change of footwear I considered the ground around me (wet, very wet, or sodden) and opted to keep my dry stuff for the morrow and live with things for that evening. Quite how the Innov8 afficionados get on with having their feet in this state ALL the time is beyond me (lol); and perhaps the weekend on Dartmoor may have them thinking the same?

My compadres suitably set-up, next to arrived was Geoff, dapper as ever and cunningly disguised as Mary Poppins to fool the rain clouds (see yesterday's pix) An unsuccessful attempt as it turned out. Nice try Geoff.

Then Mick and Gayle, (although that should really be Gayle and Mick surely as she does most of the blogging?)

Finally, around 9pm, when I'd retired to my sleeping bag, the one dry spot that I could think of amongst the incessant rain, Darren, Duncan and Martin arrived to complete this week's Blogger crowd.

Or so we thought...
(A sunny day in paradise)

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Hi John,

Sorry to hear the weekend was a bit wet. Sounds like you made the most of it anyway! To think I was going to risk not buying dry bags for my Litespeed! I could be in for more of the same this weekend in the Lakes.

What was the dealio in terms of the pub then, did you guys set up and head back into town. It seems like a nice spot to wildcamp too.
Good weekend we had there. Good to chat and hear your tales. Till another time.. and have fun.
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