By: Blonde Two
If you remember, Blonde One and I went out on an adventure in a series of rather unpleasant hail storms on Friday. There was method in our madness, I had planned a new route for our Ten Tors youngsters and wanted to check out a couple of legs of it for myself. The hail gave a grand opportunity to find out what that particular section of the moor was like in poor conditions – the conclusions were as expected, it was pretty tricky underfoot across the open moor and not really much better on the path.
This was when we could be sure which path we were on. Dartmoor maps have a plethora of tracks, bridleways and paths marked on them and as you write routes you imagine yourself wandering happily up their flattened contours, whistling to yourself and sharing Jelly Babies. In Dartmoor reality, two things usually happen; either you find that the paths have been lost in the depths of time, forever melded into the bogs and peat, or you eventually realise that the beautiful, solid track you are confidently marching up is going in completely the wrong direction.
Both of these “path-finding (or, indeed, path-misplacing) errors” can be easily solved by following a piece of basic advice – “use your compass!” The Blondes did eventually remember this, but maybe doing so at the start of the walk might have demonstrated a better sense of timing.