Saturday, 18 March 2017

Misty Moor

Dartmoor touches me like no other landscape I know, in any season, in any weather, the magic is so tangible, the landscape crackles with energy.  There's just something about the place. Maybe it's primal aspects of the rugged landscape with its exposed moors, high tors and deeply wooded river valleys, often cloaked in mists. Maybe its that where ever you walk, you walk in the footsteps of the moors past inhabitants, like an archaeological onion the moor has layer upon layer of history. Low cloud and swirling mist, heavy with moisture, shrouded the Moor today, and as damp as that was, it couldn't dampen our spirits or our desire to explore. First to Merrivale, a complexed landscape of natural rocks and human activity and occupation, of isolated Bronze Age stones settings, rows, kists, circles and menhirs. Constructed during a very different climatic period of drier warmer days and clear sky nights, their current isolated setting in a deteriorating climate lends them an additional air of forlorn mystery. Then it was off to Wistman's Wood. Tucked into the side of the West Dart River valley, it's all that remains of a much more extensive woodland, remnant of our Atlantic rainforest. It's gnarled Oaks emerging from moss covered boulders have a fantasy air about them, home to mythical beasts and fairy folk. Below them the West Dart was in full flow, bubbling and splashing as it sought to escape the Moor.  Returning to the car we made our way across the Moor, stopping periodically to take in a site or a view, before our final stop at Hay Tor and its adjacent quarry.  We arrived at Hay Tor during a break in the clouds, bathed in warming sun, although by the time we reached the Tor the cloud had returned and with strong gusting winds which made any ascent of the Tor too treacherous to contemplate.  I love the Moor, I feel so connected to it, I felt it my first time there and that feeling has only grown over the years of visits and camps.

No comments:

Post a Comment