By: Blonde Two
I haven’t told you the whole of the Two Blondes Tuesday night Dartmoor adventure yet so here we go.
We left the car at Bonehill Rocks and set off at about five to find a right angle in a wall (as you do) our beautifully lined up path however was rudely interrupted by one of Dartmoor famous quaking bogs. These bogs are interesting creatures if you are sitting on the sofa reading about them but are a bit more worrying if you are standing on them feeling your whole world moving. Imagine standing on a bouncy castle but knowing that there is at least half a metre of muddy slime just below a very fragile surface and you will kind of get the idea. Blonde One has been in one up to her thighs in the last few months so I know that it is my turn next.
Our bog extrication and subsequent realignment meant that we were a bit off target for the wall which we missed on the first go past. When our detective work did eventually lead us there, it proved to be an ex-wall – or a two foot mound of earth covered in grass. Like I have said before – navigation on Dartmoor is never quite what you are expecting it to be. Expect a wall – it will be a mound, expect a stream – it will be a bog and as for tors, well tors can pop up out of no-where.
From the mound/wall corner we navigated to a path and from there up to Bell Tor where there were no bells to be found but we did find some lovely views over Widecombe and a rather soggy Dartmoor letterbox. Chinkwell Tor was next after a bit of tor spotting and resection practice (point compass at tor, set bearing, realign on map to show where you are). As we already knew where we were, this didn’t take long.
We were going to have a cuppa on top of Chinkwell Tor but by then we had spotted Slade’s Well on the map and couldn’t resist trying to find it. To make things trickier, we decided to do this without the compass, just using the contour lines to set our position. We think that we found it but on returning home, I discovered via the magic of the internet, that there is a boundary stone nearby – so maybe we were wrong.
By now it was almost too dark to read the map properly but we opted for no torches (brave blondes – pat on the back) and went on to find a wall (easy) a Bronze Age hut circle (trickier) and the other side of the quaking bog (ooops). I looked this up on the internet as well and there are “official” bogs called Beltor Mires and Beltor Bog. I think we found both Maybe next time we should gather more of this vital information before we set off – but that would be too sensible, we are Blondes after all and we love the adventure!