The River is full and the footpaths muddy. No surprise given the amount of rain over the last few days. At one point we take take a bridge across the river to avoid the ubiquitous dog walkers, missing the route back further on. Now were on the 'wrong side' of the river. It seems to bother me more than Sue...it's not the walk I'd planned! Still, we push on and end up in Sticklepath and South Zeal. From here the route steadily climbs to Ramsley Hill and some stunning views back towards Okehampton and, in the opposite direction, to the Moor.
We're staying here and the Trail is a short walk from the cottage and within 10mins we're in Okehampton. From here we follow the Okement River as far as Charlotte's Bridge (a tragic story) before turning north east for Stockley Hamlet, leaving the Trail behind. We zig-zag through the lanes as far as Brightly where we stumble upon Priory Cottage and both agree that we wouldn't mind living there.
A 11.6 mile walk in which I channel my inner Bear Grylls. It wasn't the intention but, once you're 8 miles in and the path disappears in the bog, then you're kind of committed. It's still early as we climb away from the car park by the Meldon Reservoir. It's mostly deserted apart from a few eager dog walkers and a couple equipped with full waterproofs and walking poles...perhaps, with hindsight, we should have taken the hint! The recent rain has left the ground muddy and we're not long into the walk before the rain returns. Still, as we splash along the disused railway lines over Coombe and Southerly Down, there's plenty to talk about and it doesn't dampen our spirits.
The steep climb up onto Ringmoor Down leaves us our of breath and besides, the roads are surprisingly busy. Lots of people are out for a half-term drive over the Moors, taking advantage of the fact the skies have cleared and the sun is now shining.
A windy walk on Dartmoor near Tavistock. We're staying in Tavistock and our walk today is a short drive up onto the moor at Whitchurch Down. Getting out of the car the wind tugs at the doors, as if to encourage us to get walking.