Saturday, 14 January 2017

Before the year was out - Part 1

2016 couldn't and didn't end without further Letterboxing walks. Alas, the time to blog about them at the time eluded me!

Firstly, I made the long overdue return trip to Bodmin Moor.  The 'Southerly' peaks of Trewortha Tor and Hawks Tor proved a stunning destination.  I turned it into a round trip including Kilmar Tor and Sharp Tor - which I visited on my last trip here in 2015.  Since the weather was grey and visibility poor, today at least I was grateful to be walking on Bodmin's lower slopes than up in Dartmoor mizzle.

If I learnt one thing on this day, it is that access to Hawks Tor is limited.  There are few official ways in to this conservation area/public access land.  I found one way in, though I had every intention of finding another one out.  This restricted access ensured that Hawks Tor was overgrown - even by Bodmin Moor standards. Deep, lush foliage twinned with tall gorse made the going rough and tough as I approached the crumbling, unvisited granite stacks atop the airy ridge.  Passing the overgrown quarries and walls sparked my imagination.  I half expected the legendary local Beast to leap from it's lair as I beat my path to the Letterbox (only one here).

I negotiated through the vegetation, and soon found myself on the way to the neighbouring Trewortha Tor.  The direct route however was blocked by a series of barbed wire fences, coiled razor wire and high wall.  This was not intended to deter errant sheep and deer.  This was here to trap, cut and decapitate walkers like me.  With no obvious way around, I had to accept that the only way out of Hawks Tor was also the only way in.

Trewortha Tor was unlike anything I'd yet encountered.  Never before have I seen so many logan stones, gravity defying rock piles, and surreal landscapes on one tor.  I was happy to spend a few hours exploring the Tor, and found several Letterboxes in the process.  Visitors book entries indicated that this part of Bodmin Moor is rarely Letterboxed.  On a dry, wind-less Saturday, I saw one other individual all day, and that was on Kilmar Tor, which was where I headed next.  This immense ridge filled my view, and made for an interesting climb to the summit trig.  

The sun started to break through, so the remainder of my walk was a bit warmer.  Although I had no further new Letterboxes to find.  

A fascinating day overall. An unknown distance walked, and 9 Letterboxes found.