Tuesday, July 27

Dartmoor Southern Walkabout: Fri July 16th (Settling in)



It had looked to be a reasonable wildcamp spot with protection from the persistent wind.

Even so, deep down below the pit walls, finding that 'special spot' still took twenty minutes.

So it goes some days.


By now the good weather in the valley had turned to gloomy cloudspread. Rain threatened.


Tent quickly pitched I managed to find enough of an erratically wandering telephone signal to check in with home and let them know my grid ref (For some reason the strongest signal was on the bridge, despite higher spots nearby)



To be honest what I'd marked down on earlier trips to be a sheltered spot, easy water access, and panoramic views on this evening felt like a gloomy place.

Perhaps it was the worsening weather. Maybe it was me.


Down at the lake's edge as I bent down for my bedtime ablutions. The water surprisingly warm thanks to earlier sunshine. Clearly a spot which in better weather would be a pleasant suntrap.

(So probably my frame of mind was the cause today then)

Turning back to the tent a small movement on the ground caught my attention. What I had thought to be a small sheep dropping transformed into a small black frog (or toad?), about the size of a fingernail. Body mass cunningly disguised as poo. Small spindly legs, little thicker than grass stalks.


Weird little buggers. And possibly something highly evolved for this location?

Soon scores of the little fellows were hopping about meaning that the rest of my stay required great precision as to where my feet should be placed.

My ballerina style tippy-toe gait, an unusual one for a wildcamping trip, essential in my attempts to leave the local tenants lives largely undisturbed.

I crept early into my sleeping bag. The usual lullaby of Dartmoor skylarks silent tonight, replaced with the persistent bleats of lambs seeking their freshly barbered mothers.

Ah well. At least I was back where I belonged.

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Comments:
The conditions can have a big effect on perceptions of a pitch spot, but it's always satisfying to get in and relax in the evening - a tent in the wilds is indeed where we belong!.
I had another look at the mapping after seeing this, there is still plenty of new territory to justify another backpack from up here - on my trip I only got as far south as Ryder's Hill.
 
Hi there, have you thought of putting your walks and places of interest on There and Where?
 
Hi there, guess you've enjoyed your camping here. If I were the one there in your place, I would love it a lot and I would say that the peaceful environment will keep me hanging out in there for a while. :)
 
Hi there, guess you've enjoyed your camping here. If I were the one there in your place, I would love it a lot and I would say that the peaceful environment will keep me hanging out in there for a while. :)
 
Your Dartmoor Southern Walkabout sounds you're alone. The scenes shown in the picture are somewhat perfect but showing a little of dimness. When it's a sunny day, for sure this is one great capture :)
 
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