By: Blonde Two
If you caught Bear Grylls on Dartmoor with Gareth Southgate this week, you will know (because he said so several times) that Dartmoor can be a wild and exciting place. However, as Bear and Gareth proved, you really don’t have to go too far off the beaten path (or in their case, farm track) to enjoy some of what Dartmoor has to offer. Blonde One and I set off for a Dartmoor walk this week, we didn’t take any ropes, dead birds, hex burners, England managers or Chief Scouts but we did take our rucksacks, our flasks and (in my case) a marmalade sandwich. We were off to do a bit of Dartmoor 365 square collecting (2 for B1 and 3 for me) but not, for once, in the wilds of mid-Dartmoor, we were exploring the Devon green lanes around the small, but beautifully formed (and very friendly) village of Ilsington.
You might think that a local lanes walk wouldn’t have as much excitement to offer as say… Foggintor Quarry, and it is true, Blonde One and I didn’t run headfirst down any cliffs, jump into any green water or eat any of the afore-mentioned dead birds, but we did have rather an exciting time as well as appreciating some of the smaller things that you can notice on a walk when you are not worrying about falling from a great height.
We crossed the Zambezi River and avoided Ilsington’s cold-water crocodiles.
We foraged for (well looked at) wild fungus.
We utilised our finely-honed tracking skills, following natural signs as we came upon them.
We considered dining on wild and exotic fruits (but decided to stick to the marmalade sandwich).
We peered into the middle of dangerous, but seasonal hedges.
We forged for hot chocolate and mince pies at Dartmoor’s very lovely Ullacombe Farm Shop.
I have to say that I am pleased we had embarked on a Blonde Dartmoor adventure rather than a Bear Grylls Dartmoor adventure. I take my hat off to Gareth Southgate for dealing with so many high places and ropes and to Bear because he does so much to support the Scouts (and he sent our lovely Street2Peak youngsters a video message earlier this year).
By the way… when you see us Blondes back on TV in the new year, you won’t even need to ask the question, we did stay all night on Dartmoor… it was October and we definitely were wild camping!