Saturday, 19 November 2016

Dartmoor in the rain around Venford.

A day for walking enthusiasts only. The weather forecast was foreboding (rain, wind, thunderstorms) which would put off all but the determined (or daft). And I guess our merry band was a combination of both in equal measure: determined and daft. In the event the conditions weren't as bad as anticipated and the scenery more than made up for the inconveniences the elements threw at us. All that and a very nice tea with cakes at the Holne Community Café at the end. The second consecutive walk when I wouldn't risk my DSLR so a few photographs from my mobile phone (in a plastic sandwich bag) will have to do.
The starting point for our walk (around 6.2 miles) was the Venford Reservoir just north of Holne. The route was straightforward: over the common and into the Dart Valley, then due west contouring above the river and then due east contouring along a leat back to our starting point. The outward leg was in the protection of the valley and, for the inward leg, we had the wind and rain at our backs.
Venford reservoir with its waters as low as I'd ever seen them. I suspect that it's not going to take that long before it's full again.
I think I'll call this one 'wind shaped tree seen through a smudgy lens'. 
Our group trudging off into the rainy mist. It was windy at this point, just before we dropped down into the Dart valley.
Looking over the Dart valley.
Still looking over the Dart valley, with a few more trees. We had hoped that our visit would coincide with lots of autumn colours but, sadly, we were probably a couple of weeks too late to see them at their best.
However making up for the lack of foliage colour were the greens and browns of the moss, ferns and fallen leaves. Attractive in a more understated way than the blousy reds and yellows that we might otherwise have seen.
There's nothing quite like a lunch break in the rain. Soggy sandwich, anyone? And everyone was in much better spirits than this photograph might imply.
Negotiating a clapper bridge across one of the streams feeding into the Dart. Our route at this point followed an ancient trackway from one farmstead to another.
Sums up the day really. Water, mud, rocks and cow pats. Wonderful stuff.

No comments: