By: Blonde Two
You know how it has been raining, and raining, and raining? Well it has been doing it even more on Dartmoor than everywhere else. Everything is wet, the rivers are running faster, the bogs are boggier and the mud is much muddier. Venturing out without at least three layers of waterproofing has been a no-no for weeks.
Which is probably why the Two Blondes (many layers discarded into over loaded rucksacks) were rather surprised to see a friendly looking bonfire as they approached Long Barrow from Ball Gate on Saturday. The day was all wrong but so very right. No rain, blue skies, birds singing, a real hint of Spring. My buffalo jacket had been weighing my pack down since five minutes into the walk and Blonde One was regretting her merino base layer.
We weren’t sure what to think as we arrived at Long Barrow for our coffee stop. Surely Dartmoor was too wet to burn (I suspect a bit of help from Norm’s favourite – the diesel soaked rag). As we took silly photos, perused our maps and enjoyed our cheesecake (heavier in the stomach than in the pack), it became clear that these happy looking bonfire people were scrub clearing. We said hello as we walked on past and it turns out that they were a party from the National Park Authority. They invited us to join in (had they heard how much I love bonfires?) but we had a hill to climb and a view to see so we carried on.