Wednesday, 14 December 2011

When the going gets tough...

...the tough head for Dartmoor's boundaries. Thus avoiding the worst of the weather and Winter's shortest days. WITC retreated to the valley of the Becka Brook for our latest walk. Beginning close to the brook's head at Hemsworthy Gate, we walked North passing the Seven Lords Lands cairn, Emsworthy Rocks and Smallacombe.

The fog was coming and going. We could catch fleeting glimpses of Haytor Rocks, and as it cleared, we also spotted the figures atop it's summit and imagined their excitement to finally enjoy the view.
We scraped through the wet bracken on the Northern slopes of Black Hill, and descended an ancient Byway to Leighon, before crossing the Becka Brook and took the footpath towards Southcott. A Winnie the Pooh fan obviously lives round here, since we passed a house named "Where the Woozle Wasn't"!

At Hayne Cross we climbed back up to the moor at Hayne Down. This hill of outcrops, logan stones and Bowermans Nose. We always have success finding boxes up here. The weather was closing in, and Haytor Rocks was no longer visible. So we turned for home.

Taking the road to Swallerton Gate, and traversing the sodden Hound Tor to the Hundatora medieval village. Despite the damp conditions on a school day, Hound Tor was still alive with families clambering over the rockpiles, shouting and laughing - a giant granite climbing frame.
Passing Greator Rocks and recalling our visit here last year in similarly dismal conditions (see post: Retrieved, 10th August 2010), and today's visit was almost as swift. We descended to the Becka Brook, just a quiet babbling stream up here, below Holwell Tor. Splashing across the ford and disturbing a pack of obviously disgruntled twitchers, we struck off for Saddle Tor hoping to finish the day on a high. The low light beat us to it though, and we were forced to abandon the walk before the summit. 12 miles through the lanes and tracks of the Eastern moor has never felt so good. 13 boxes found.

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