Saturday, 12 June 2010

days 9 - 15 and the end of the Two Moors Way

We left early next morning and continued back onto the moors passing Widecombe In The Moor, picking up another old tramway that would take us across Hamel Down and the views again were stunning and the weather was yet again, on our side, when other parts of the country were having torrential downpours, in the distance we could see angry clouds pouring water on the houses below, quite a phenomimanl site to witness.
The last time I was on Dartmoor was when I was a police trainee taking part in ten tors and the weather was atrocious, you couldn`t see more than 10feet infront of you!

Although looking menacing, the storm clouds never encroached on us, they seemed to drift away!

The top of Hamel Tor and Willow trying to read the sign!
From here we descended down to Grimspound, an old Roman Fort, though virtually disappeared what remained were the outlines of the accomodation and other areas.

We had been told about an old inn that served very good food and was quite literally in the middle of the moor.
We deviated from our walk to try the pub food and we were not disappointed!
Warren House Inn has been situated on the B3212 for centuries (the road came after!) and the meals were excellent, several coach parties did arrive when we were leaving!

Still showing the way!
The two moors way was easy to pick up and we continued over Water Hill and decided that we would camp on Chagford Common for the night and with only horses and sheep for company everything passed off uneventful!
The next morning the radio went on as I was making breakfast and listening to Terry Wogan and the latest Janet and John story! Still chuckling away the 8 o`clock news came on and announced the death of Michael Jackson. Hmmmmm, of all the places I had to be! Where were you?
As I ate my breakfast and Willow rolled around in the long grass and something resembling mud but smelling awful, I made a point that she would in no way be in my tent tonight with that smell! We again could see the rolling angry clouds dampening the way ahead. Will I get to see a downpour?

Watching the clouds and waiting to see if we would get anything, but nothing arrived but glorious sunshine!
I was sad to be leaving Dartmoor, it had been a great adventure and learnt alot more along the way from the people we had met, but now we were headed north and onto Exmoor, but first we had to negotiate several tricky roads and today would be quite a long day to our next campsite at Higher Fingle.
The route was pleasant enough going through farmers fields and passing Chagford and heading down Piddledown Common with Castle Drogo on the left.
Castle Drogo is not an old castle but had been purpose built!
Through Drewsteignton and then Higher Fingle and what a relief! my joints were beginning to take a battering though Willow kept me going and egged me on when I needed it!
Day 11, After a good nights sleep we picked up the route again and new that it would be another long day.
Not disheartened the route had shown us different areas to go and old towns and villages that must be explored and I have not been disappointed by any of the journey, indeed each day has been different and your never sure what to expect!
We walked on through farmers fields and Morchard Bishop and Thelbridge Cross before staying at Yeatheridge Campsite which provided us with free accommodation, of which I was truly grateful.
RAIN!!! Our first day of rain (it had rained on the evening time occassionally!) in about 2 months! Lovely.......
Onwards we went and the heavens opened, we got to Witheridge and disaster struck! I had quite literally ran out of money! ok only for a couple of days! It wasn`t a disaster, people cope without money all the time and I had survived on very little throughout this journey, but a couple I had met at the campsite gave me £20, they had been trying to locate me to give me the money to help with the journey - someone is looking after us, thankyou whoever you are.
They always say that someone takes care of you upon your journey of life, I now know that is true, I didn`t ask for the money, but the help arrived when I needed it. Thankyou.
With the rain unrelenting we perservered with way heading towards Creacombe and Knowstone.
It was late afternoon before the rain stopped and we were drenched, but still in good spirits though now very sore and looking for somewhere to stay. We found it! West Anstey Common and freecamped the night.
The next day I was ever more determined to reach Exmoor and we were up and about with the larks!
Still heading North I had a rough Idea that we had only 40 mile to go - I can do that in 2 days 20 mile a day, but it was not to be it took 3 full days but worth the weight in Gold!
And by the end of it we had achieved a journey that would leave me wanting more and another journey began........

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