Mid January sees the traditional weekend trip to Dartmoor, for kayaking and drinking. This year water levels were low, but not so low that we couldn't paddle. I've not done anywhere near enough kayaking recently, so a nice trip down the Loop was just what I needed to remind me what I've been missing!
On Sunday the levels were no different, so options were: paddle the Loop again, or go for a walk. I chose walking.
We started at Dartmeet and headed upstream, crossing the East Dart at the Laughter Hole stepping stones. Not the friendliest stepping stones I've ever used - quite a big step in between some of them!
looking back having safely made it across
From here we continued to Bellever, with a convenient toilet stop at the Forestry Commission site. Then onwards and upwards to the Tor. Obviously I bagged the trig point, and we were lucky as the clouds/fog cleared for 5 minutes so we could admire a bit more scenery.
I love how 'pancakey' rocks on Dartmoor can be
As we walked down from the tor the clouds reappeared. Our route back took a minor detour when at some point a big obvious path took a slightly different angle to the one on the map. Easily done! We noticed we were heading directly towards a wood, rather than skirting the edge of it - and it was a simple 'fix' to get back on track. However this did get me thinking - this is why you learn how to use a map and compass and walk on a bearing, no matter how obvious the footpath might be!
We returned to Dartmeet along the B3357, then a short way down the Hexworthy road and back across the fields, because walking on the road is rubbish. In total, around 14km. Very enjoyable