Oh bugger I didn't notice the last bit didn't post, I forget how OM limit the number of character- plus image size WHY do they still do that?
We knew that in about 3 miles we would pick up a bridle way, but we started to doubt the quality of it as we got to about 50m from where it should be, just because it couldn’t be seen, there was something surreal about 4, slightly overweight middle aged men celebrating finding a proper dry path. MBF and Robin had arranged for one of their mates to join us and he walked out from Lane End with his, incredibly well behaved collie. A few texts were exchange to locate each other and one said he was on Willsworthy Common, but apparently he could see us. If it had been there he was mistaken, as we were on Wapsworthy Common, it seems he didn’t have glasses on an just saw a word starting with W then common on the map and that was enough. Note to self, don’t let him navigate
About a mile from the car, I went into “ I’m on a mission” mode. I knew I had fresh water in the car and was looking forward to flushing out the peat ! By the time I had opened the car, opened a bottle and guzzled half if it, taken my boots off the others arrived. Being the kind generous soul that I am I shared out the other bottles of water, which seemed to be appreciated for the same reason as me. The weather had been kind to us even if the Moor was very damp, and as most of us had never met before we got on exceptionally well and we all had a similar sense of humour, which is slightly worrying!! I look forward to enjoying their company again
Final part Setting up camp didn’t take long, one person decided to discard the tarp for the night and just use the bivvy bag. I was starting to realise that water had got into my boot from crossing the East Dart earlier. I was looking forward to dry socks but not until I was ready to take my boots off for the evening. It didn’t seem to take long before the sun was going down, and various meals and puddings were tucked into and the evening air started to cool. Jackets and hats went on, the one by one we retreated into our respective tents, keeping the doors open and still chatting. I can only liken the conversation to being on a conference call, you could all hear each other but not see anyone, other than Bivvy Boy -Robin can be referred to as Boy as he hadn’t yet hit the milestone the rest if us had. My boots came off, and I looked for my nice dry socks. Oh Bollocks, I didn’t have them, so hung them over my “clothes line across the inner and hoped the wet one might dry a little. By 9 it was much cooler than you would expect for August, even in Scotland and it seemed and the site went quiet. The night got cooler and at 2 am I woke up and had a peak outside, Bloody hell it was fresh, but the benefit was a sky that was clearer than the night before and the Milky Way was in its full glory. It was at this stage I was kicking myself for not packing the “bad boy” camera as I really want to take so pictures of the Milky Way, there was a tiny bit of light pollution from Princetown and no moon, so perfect conditions. That will teach me for being indecisive on gear. I didn’t stop out for long but it was worth it, Morning came with the dawn chorus of 3 men rattling the canvas/bivvy bag
and the sun crept over the top to bring a lovely morning, but still cool, about 4 to 5 degrees is totally unacceptable in the South West ! I tested my wet sock and it was marginally better, oh joy was I looking forward to putting that on later, so I popped them outside on my poles and put my boots on my bare feet. One by one the others woke, but it seemed that 2 of them had be given a good dose of pixie dust as the slept well beyond time I would ever hope to sleep to, even at home. Eventually, we were all fed and watered and started to pack up. Only to hear the same person who lost his cooking pot bag, say “ Where are my socks” In hindsight I should have nicked them for my own use. So another call was about to be put to Dartmoor Rescue, but at the very last moment before he was about to put his socks that had been left out all night on, he found them, but couldn’t understand how they got there. Its great to know someone is better organised than me
on went my wet sock, and it wasn’t as bad as I expected We then had a quick debate whether to contour around the first hill or just bite the bullet and head for the Tussock Grass, well it seemed we hadn’t had enough on the first day so Tussock it was. We knew that in about 3