My biggest Dartmoor challenge EVER - Blog 20

April 27, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

A big challenge deserves a big target, if you would like to support the Dartmoor Search and Rescue team Tavistock visit the link below. Thank you for your support.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mybiggestdartmoorchallengeever

Target - Raise £20,000 to help fund the new operations vehicle.

A 400 km hike across 170 tors and rocks on the Dartmoor OS OL28 map raising funds to replace their failing operations vehicle.

 

Training day 8 – Another Postbridge Loop

It’s already starting to get a little tricky picking new routes that enable a circular of 30km and cover some of the route the challenge will take! So today, I take a small section and add in some distance for good measure.

Following the footpath at Postbridge on the East side of the bridge through the fields to river is a nice easy start. Up to Hartland tor and then pretty much a straight line all the way to Sittaford tor. There was virtually no one around and Sittaford quickly becomes visible on the horizon.

But, have you ever started walking toward something and despite being able to see it, it never seems to get any closer. The walk just goes on forever! Roughly one and a half hours I think, enough to send you slightly, well start talking to yourself. That’s never going to make any sense!

It was broken up briefly bumping into a couple on the other side of the track and chatting about their night on the moor and my challenge. Nice to see some visitors down enjoying the moor.

Anyway, after what seemed like an eternity I arrived, blowing a right wind I huddled behind the wall and took an early coffee break. Good decision!

Then down to the Grey Weathers circles and left over the wall to follow the boundary of Fernworthy forest all the way round to the Three Boys standing stone. A bit odd as there is only one, maybe the other boys ran off. The walk to the standing stone was another relatively straight forward walk but by the look of the ground, in wet weather I would say this area gets pretty saturated and could be difficult to walk?

Then a group of four tors/rocks. Kestor rocks, Middle tor, Frenchbeer tor and Thornworthy tor. I my view, all easy to access if you come across from Fernworthy car park and all very interesting and pretty substantial tors. Great views and formations to photograph!

Frenchbeer was a good place to stop for lunch and this time I had remembered to put that extra water in!

I tried the beef hotpot at home and that I thought was pretty good so the beef stroganoff and rice had its work cut out to match it.

It probably helps to put the right amount of water in the bag, I ended up with a bit of a soup! It worked though, had a reasonable taste but thought the rice could have absorbed a little more water to soften it up. Maybe leave for a little more than twenty minutes I had left it. The good thing is, they do stay hot until you finish them, and putting them into a handmade warmer made from radiator reflective foil it will work very well at the end of a cold and wet day. I’m going to call out Robin Moon here, great advice on the warmer!

Now it’s time to drop down to Fernworthy reservoir and out through the car park. Now I was convinced I knew where I was going, until I crossed the footbridge and headed up toward the car park for the road. I really don’t remember the path taking so long to get to the picnic area and was on the verge of turning round. Gut instinct said it had to be in front of me, how on earth can you have any doubt just outside a car park! Luckily, I carried on and around the corner was the car park of course, with a rather large coffee wagon with the biggest generator! Not sure about the environmental impact it was having.


 

Past the Metherall Brook I picked up the Two Moors Way, to the stone row, it seemed a long old slog up to it. It’s a pretty good stone row and just for a second the Billy Connelly antics of dancing around a stone circle went through my head! I was very tempted to show now and again I can get just a little bit silly! But not naked. Be warned, there may be a future video clip having a slightly nutty moment!

Now, while I was heading for the road I wasn’t too bothered about where I came out. I was a little surprised though to be so far down the road. Roughly in the middle of Bennet’s Cross and the Dartmoor Inn pub. I knew that as I identified the track leading down to the Vitifer mine leat. Regardless of the route I knew I would hit the water at some point and need to turn right!

From here it was a easy walk to Sousan’s Farm, on a track with more blooming stones all over the place. I wouldn’t mind if they were the Dartmoor type but they look like those builder stones to create paths and roads and I just find them horrible to walk on. Moan over!

 

A right turn at the farm and through the woods until I popped out on the road leading to Runnage Farm. At this point I was going to take the footpath through Pizwell to Postbridge but thought I may be a bit short on distance so followed the road to the main road through Postbridge back to the car. I even found a boundary stone with my initials on it, I think I'll check a few records, just in case I own some of the moor!

I was aiming for around 25km so was pretty pleased when I checked the GPS and saw 26.5km. Once again, the last hour saw some strange walking techniques as the heel became very needy again. Not sure how this will play out right now but as long as I can get the daily distance in and be good enough for the following day, I’ll take that for now.

 

What remains good news are my average speeds. Average over the day with stopping 2.9km, average walking speed 5km and a max of 7km, all over 9 hours of walking.

I love a good stat!

 


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