Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mind the bog

If you're looking for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge questions you'll find them here.
Of course you want to read this post before you go grab those questions, right?

D is for Dartmoor

In April of 2007 Daughter1 was spending the Easter break with her roommate in Memphis and Daughter2 was spending the Easter break in Bulgaria on a Service Project trip with her Young Life group so hubs and I made some travel plans too. We rented a cottage in the Dartmoor National Park which is situated in the southwestern part of England. Our cottage rental confirmation included driving directions which at first had us worried. They said something along the lines of '...turn right just past the big rocks.'


We needn't have worried.
As we came over the rise I said, 'I'm guessing that white house is our cottage.'

I guessed right.

I've never been to the moon but there was something about the landscape here that felt lunar. Normally the moors are soggy, or as our guidebook put it, '...use caution so as not to sink in the peat bogs.' Now that would be a problem. Fortunately not a single raindrop fell during our trip and we hiked to our hearts content.

I cannot really explain how amazing it feels to stand in the middle of a moor and to look around as far as the eye can see without spying another single solitary soul.

Well, besides hubs and the pup I mean.

We hiked for hours and miles and hours and miles and while we did run into a few hikers scattered here and there for the most part we had the whole world to ourselves.

At least it felt like we did.

We started the day at this little bridge and were pleasantly surprised to come across running water out on the moor....a stream snaking its way from who knows where to who knows where.

Like an oasis in the desert.
We were more than ready to take off our boots and have a picnic lunch when we stumbled across both stream and waterfall.


How odd.

Hubs and I have noticed in our travels that people living back in medieval times moved a whole lotta rock. I say its because there wasn't any television and they had to fill the time somehow. Hubs says he doesn't think that's quite right. Whatever the reason there are rock fences running from one end of nowhere to another. We did read that these fences marked farms and fields which makes sense since we saw more than a few sheep that weekend.

Our pup wanted to play...

The sheep did not.
There are also wild horses with shaggy manes living on the moors.

The scraggly yellow plants are called gorse and they grow wild too.

We both loved the weekend we spent hiking and relaxing in Dartmoor. I've never been anywhere else quite like it and its easy to see where Arthur Conan Doyle gained his inspiration for The Hound of The Baskervilles.

We made a stop enroute to Dartmoor which I'll write about later in the alphabet but for now I'll end this post where our hikes ended...

at the pub.

No matter where you roam in England, you will almost always end up at a pub.

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  1. What a beautiful place! I love that surprises (even a pub) awaited you around every corner!

  2. Breathtaking! That's a place I'd love to visit for sure!

  3. You've been every where!! When we meet for lunch tell me how you ended up here!

  4. How peaceful that trip looks....amazing scenery!

  5. What an interesting place. I've never seen anything like it. Thank you so much for sharing. Blessings, SusanD

  6. OH wow, beautiful photos. It's interesting how different the landscape is from here in the US.

  7. Looks fabulous!!! Color me jealous!!!!!

  8. Yet another interesting-- and educational-- post--with great photographs to go along with it! Thanks for sharing.

  9. What memories you have from your travels. Your A to Z challenge will be known as Joyce's travelogues! ;-) I can't wait!

  10. I highly doubt that I will ever hike a moor, so I love this first hand account!

  11. What an interesting landscape. It reminds me a little of South Dakota. Desolate yet very beautiful.

  12. what beautiful memories and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities
    thanks for sharing it w/ us

  13. I never made it to Dartmore when we lived in England, but it will be on my list if we ever get to go back, it looks wonderful.

    You comment about the rocks, made me laugh a little, I have often thought the same thing. They must have spent 1/2 their lives lugging rocks.

  14. I know Dartmoor very well, I was brought up in Bristol UK and very often went to Dartmoor for holidays. Did you know that the song "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" was written based on a bridge in Dartmoor? I saw familiar sights in your photo's, thanks for the memories.

  15. The other day my daughter said she hopes she has some money when she's older so she can travel. She'd love to visit England and Ireland among other places. Some of those places look like they have a way of transporting you back in time to a whole other world...I think that's the idea she likes most about it!

  16. "No matter where you roam in England, you will almost always end up at a pub." SO TRUE.

    Lovely post, and the pictures are really pretty. I laughed at the dog-wanting-to-play one. Poor sheep!

  17. I love the pictures. England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland...are all dear to my spirit. Everytime I visit one I leave a little piece of my heart.

  18. I laughed at the end of your post Joyce, yes in England most things do either end up at a pub or revolve around finding one!!

    I am English through and through and I'm so glad you loved our little part of the world whilst you were here. Dartmoor is such a wonderful place and it is so evocative. I'm thinking Jamaica Inn with all their hiding of smuggled rum in those peat bogs....oooh I've got shivers!

  19. I left a comment earlier. What happened to it? Hmmm. Anyway, very romantic looking place.I'm sure I'd love it.