It has only been 6 weeks since I returned from Yellowstone but already I am missing the outdoors, so it's time for a weekend away I think. With all the camping gear now ultra organised in storage at home it makes packing a doddle. This trip the plan was to leave after work on Friday and get there well after dark for a 2 night stay. After terrible traffic and roadworks everywhere I turned, I arrived after midnight and started a small hike in to find a first pitch. Fortunately the weather was OK so a short hike in the dark by head torch wasn't an issue. Lot of sheep poo about so the head torch is definitely needed. I found what looked like a good pitch for the night and setup tent. I was trying out a fairly new tent still the Hilleberg Niak which had only been on 1 previous outing at Dartmoor as a test. It was a mild night and my dog settled quickly, none of the usual trying to burrow into the ground though the tent groundsheet.
In the morning I was pleasantly surprised to see I had chosen a flattish area on a hill overlooking a wood in full autumn colours.
Everything was warm and dry and the tent was fine, so it should be for a Hilleberg. So after some quick breakfast I packed up and set off on approximately an 8 mile hike up to Avon Dam Reservoir where I was to spend Saturday night.
The walk took us over Harford moor on the Two Moors Way and then round to Abbotts Way. Most of Two Moors way is well maintained and gravel track but there were a few off track boggy moments.
It was nice to see the wild Dartmoor ponies out in force, the dog wasn't quite sure what to make of them, she has seen horses many times but she always seems shocked each time.
I found Avon reservoir fairly easily and arrived about 4pm. How can anything be wrong with this view.
Saturday night was a cold night, I only had a 4 degree quilt with me and it was -4C. The dogs water bowl froze solid and there was a lot of ice inside the tent. I ended up wearing all my clothing and was still cold, especially my feet. Time for some down booties I think!
Breakfast was time for lucky dip, I so hate dehydrated meals, they are easy and light but the taste is such a hit or miss affair, some are edible, some disgusting. Unfortunately the all day breakfast was disgusting, binned it, even the dog refused it, can't blame her.
So the final day was the other half of the circular walk ending up on Piles Hill, about another 7 miles.
Another great weekend out in the open with the dog. She must have been tired, she slept for 5 hours in the car all the way home. Until the next camp ...