A Dartmoor Bimble: Day 4

For day 1 see here.
Thursday 29th October

I was glad to wake realising I was half way up Huntingdon Hill. It has been a very windy and wet night and the rain continued so after breakfast I waited to see if there was a break in the weather to strike camp so it was about 9am before I finally headed out but the wind was still up and the rain restarted. Walking up the hill into a strong headwind I was glad of my walking poles as I really needed the extra stability. By the time I got to the top my hat had blown off and at some point my pack cover had blown off too. Oh.. and it was muddy!

I read a lot of arguments online about boots versus shoes and I happily use both but where and when I am walking determines what I wear. On Dartmoor it is ALWAYS boots and ALWAYS gaiters. Part way up the hill and following the Two Moors Way route on my map, I sink into a bog to mid-calf. Again I am grateful for my walking poles to make getting out an easy task. Whilst the rain continues I prop myself up against the wall by Huntington Cross for a snack.

Given it was now around noon I decided to aim for the 5:04pm train from Ivybridge as my backup and the 3:03pm train as my target. I retrace my steps back to the Clapper Bridge, again the mud and rain make the walking vrey interesting, especially the steep slope up from the Clapper Bridge. At the top I followed the faint path and passed the Two Moors Way marker and I was soon back on the old road heading towards Ivybridge.
Of course, being out of the valley I was back in the wind and driving rain with the path flooded for a couple of miles. Until now I had not seen anyone, but I saw a lone walker appear from the mist ahead of me. We stopped for a quick chat and we updated each other on what each of us had ahead. I had the better journey, and I was glad I was not heading towards Huntingdon Hill.

With the weather clearing and Hartford Moor in the distance, it looked like I would make the 3:03pm train so for the first time this trip I pick up my pace but I was conscious that walking down a significant slope can have its dangers.

I arrived at the station with just enough time to get out of my waterproofs before the train arrives.

Here’s to the next one!

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