Saturday, June 25

 DAY 3 Thu 16/6/22

Amazing, for once the weather on Great Mist Tor had remained the same as the previous evening. Still sunny and hot.

A gentle start to the day, and a quick chat with the Range Warden checking on me before taking up his position for that day's military firing. The spot I'd chosen not only keeping me clear of the wind, but apparently his sight of me the previous evening.

I'll be using that spot again.

As I descended back to the car I could see another tent hiding behind Little Mis Tor.

Onto the tricky journey, along narrow lanes, to Fernworthy Forest (GR 660 840)

Most of my routes have taken me along the western side of the forest, but I'm aware of this area's reputation for impromptu raves, and never felt it safe for overnight parking. I stopped at one of the car parking pull ins to chat with some commercial dog walkers, always expert in an area's vagaries. They confirmed a recent rave, and pointed me to a more secluded place to leave the car overnight.

Loaded up I made my way to the clear track at GR 660 839 to cut through the forest, having made sure I'd noted down the car's precise location - all too easy in woodland to lose track of a destination. And at the end of a long walk a bit of a kick in the pants.

The track was a bugger. Uphill all the way with little shade until descending towards the clapper bridge (GR 639 843) where I'd first wildcamped in this area. Seemingly idyllic, but prone to constant visitors, acting as a focal point to cross the stream/rest up. But today I had the place to myself. This spot always has a feeling of sadness about it. Possibly due to the abandoned ruins of Teignhead Farm clearly in view.

A couple of minutes spent using a new mini scope I'd picked up after a recommendation from Bob over at Backpackinglite. Small, lightweight and easily slipped into a hip belt pocket for quickly reading the route ahead for tracks\traps way off in the distance.  After trying binos, and even a small traditional telescope, this one is great for shake-free one handed operation and proved its use many times on this trip. A kit keeper for the future.


[edit: I've since heard from Bob and he tells me the distributor no longer imports it - so if you do get a chance to acquire one, I'd thoroughly recommend it]

A clear way up Manga Hill opposite, staying to the right of the brook, then onto Watern Tor (GR 628 869) I had originally intended to overnight here, but my chat earlier in the week with the Lints Tor guy indicated a herd of cows wandering the ridge, bringing with them a swarm of midges. And ticks.

Watern Tor

I'd expected excellent views, but really Watern looks down over the moor with little features to really grab the attention. I did bump into a Dartmoor 365 wanderer, but he seemed more interested rushing around tor bagging, rather than enjoying the moorland. Sort of missing the point, I pondered.

Watern Tor

Watern Tor

But noting he'd crossed the foot of the valley to the east (and it was a pig!) the telescope was out again used to spot a simple track contouring to the Boundary stone (GR 639 888), behind Rippator/Rival Tor and east to Scorhill Tor (GR 658 871)

Again, a possible overnight spot, but again it didn't take my fancy. Pretty featureless really. Down past the stones circle to the glorious double clapper bridges (Wallabrook Bridge\Teign-a ver GR 654 871) A brief rest here watching a dipper gathering nesting materials, slightly perturbed to see a visitor. Although with the occasional runner\dog walker passing, as I took on water for the night, I'd expect the wildlife to have been better accustomed to human activity. 

A lovely spot, with plenty to explore once pitched up for the night, so that has now been added to my ever expanding list of potential overnighters.

I made the way up to Kestor Rock (GR 665 862) After the day's wandering it seemed steep, but turned out to be an easy & quick pull. No airs and graces with this tor, hiding peaks behind the apparent destination. I cleared sheep crap from a spot close to the tor (a good move as it later turned out) I pitched and got a brew on.

It seems a busy spot, being so near Chagford. The good weather bringing out both the dog\evening walkers and two groups of wildcampers taking advantage of the excellent weather.

The views were great, in the distance Exmoor hills clearly visible. That's 3 nights in a row of excellent views across Dartmoor - this never happens to me here!

Making my way back down from the tor top (well you have to climb it don't you!) I found someone's touching memorial memento.I could appreciate the spirit and message behind the gesture.

The evening quietened down. 

Well sort of. 

rider galloped in seemingly having trouble controlling a horse. No idea why she felt the need to continually circle my fellow campers tent, the horse clearly unsettled. Eventually she cantered off having made some sort of point.

The horses here (and the sheep, and the copious amounts of their droppings) were a little too used to people. A few times during the evening and early hours I could hear\feel running horses near the tent. Happily my spot next to the Tor meant I wasn't particularly concerned, I've come across horse night time activity before. But for those others camping in more open areas it may have been a more restless night.

A decent spot. But one for a quick day walk next time, definitely not an overnighter. 

Especially when those double clapper bridges are so close by.

Kestor Rock views

Labels: ,

All site material © John Hee - ask before you snatch