Monday, 28 January 2008

Dartmoor Daemons


I’m back from the most wonderful weekend walking on Dartmoor and catching up with my dear friend Av. Her husband has just gone off skiing so we had a great opportunity to spend some time together sorting the world out – as you do.

The above picture isn’t exactly where we went but gives you a rough idea of the sheer breathtaking expanse of Dartmoor, where the ground is bouncy with moorland turf, the air is so clear that your lungs sing, and we walked for miles without getting tired.

Dartmoor is on a grand scale, full of surprises. As we walked from Vennford Reservoir towards Sharp Tor, we looked over a ridge and saw a secret valley, full of grey and twisted trees. Far below us, a river rampaged over rocks, diving in and around the sinister foliage. Beyond that was a long low path where a bicyclist pedalled busily, his dog following behind.

We met other dog walkers; elderly fat black labradors, a deaf but still game terrier who came nuzzling up for a cuddle. Lone walkers striding forth with their maps, couples kitted up in walking gear. And us, walking and talking, sharing our thoughts and fears, our dreams and our joys.

The only thing I really missed was my Moll, who would have loved Dartmoor. (It would have been difficult taking her on the train, then bus, then train so I left her here with Himself – it also meant that he had to get out and exercise her.)

But as we walked, Moll was beside me, then running in front, dancing over the bristly turf, diving into the stream and paddling along the muddy paths.

Remember the daemons in The Golden Compass? Moll was definitely there in spirit.

16 comments:

Rebecca Taunton said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend FP. And I'm so glad that the weather was so good for you (Dartmoor can look so bleak in the rain!).

I love Dartmoor, sometimes it makes me feel as though I've been transported into the pages of a Tolkein novel!

Lovely picture, btw.

RT

Flowerpot said...

It was wonderful - we were very lucky and yes I know what you mean about a Tolkein novel!

Lane said...

What a beautiful place. Nothing like a long walk in the wilds to put the world to right:-)

Ellee Seymour said...

I'd love to walk Dartmoor, I shall have to add it to my list of places to walk.

Flowerpot said...

Lane - it is so beautiful words are utterly inadequate.

ellee - yes you must. It's a wonderful place - but beware of bogs, disused mines and the Dartmoor fog.

laurie said...

wow, how gorgeous.

and what a lovely sentence:

....where the ground is bouncy with moorland turf, the air is so clear that your lungs sing, and we walked for miles without getting tired.

Flowerpot said...

laurie - you and your dogs would have loved it!

Akelamalu said...

What a shame you couldn't take Moll with you. Still as you say she was there in spirit. :)

Miss Understood said...

I don't think I've been to that part of Dartmoor before. I go regularly though...it's one of my favourite places.

Flowerpot said...

Ak - it was a shame but we're going up to Devon in a few weeks so Moll will have her Dartmoor run then.

MissU - where are your favourite places? It's so huge you can go over and over and see new things cant you?

Totty Teabag said...

Flowerpot did you catch the last Natural World; Earth Pilgrim - A Year on Dartmoor? Those trees you saw in the valley could be the very ones that Satish Kumar referred to! I hadn't realised before that the Dart in Dartmoor was the oak tree.

Beth said...

Sounds fantastic - I've never been but must go - how is it to get there with public transport?

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I adore Dartmoor. Did you see any ponies? I love the ponies.

Flowerpot said...

Totty - no I didn;t see that - what a shame I missed it. I didn't know about the oak tree either. thanks for that.

Flowerpot said...

beth - difficult to get to by public transport I would imagine but tehre are probably buses from Tavistock or Buckfastleigh or Ashburton. YOu could ring one of the tourist information offices and they'd be able to help I would think.

Flowerpot said...

Zinnia - there weren't any ponies where we walked but we saw some later - I agree they're wonderful but are dying out now which is very sad.