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"We try to connect the sensations of the body with the paths we cross"- Emmanuel Gault

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I did it again this year. Booked another walking week with Paul after the nice walking week I had last year. Might do it again next year.

- Lenie B, Switzerland

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My personal philosophy of walking

Dartmoor and wild camping on a wet June

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We are arranging a walking week on Dartmoor for all and sundry next year. June 2013. For those who don't know (and why don't you?) Dartmoor is a National Park across the Cornwall border in Devon and is a spectacular mainly granite moorland with 50% of its landscape above 300 metres. It has wonderful ancient woodlands, archaeological remains from the Bronze Age, moss covered boulders in river valleys and high tors amidst beautifully bleak high moorland where Dartmoor ponies run wild. And so much more.

It is really just too immense to capture in words and photos and much too much for this mortal's heart and imagination. Interested? Read on and get in touch and I will send a brochure.

I arrived for a walk having met the GM Andrew Jenkins of the Moorland Garden Hotel. Rain was imminent and one thing I know from the Moors is that any weather event is acutely intensified in its experience than elsewhere. To help explain, elsewhere it might be sunny but on Dartmoor it is SUNNY, rain, elswhere but on Dartmoor it is RAIN. It did not disappoint. The beauty of it is that one can see rain coming over the tors over the horizons that seem to be in, what do they call it in the cinema, panovision? Horizons are wider than elsewhere. That's what I mean by everything is heightened in ones experience of Dartmoor.

The rain just fell, and fell and was a great test of the waterproofs, which were great. The new rucksack didn't fair so well where rolled up and zipped up mini waterproofs inside plastic bags inside the rucksack proved to be as advertised in an inverse way.They didn't let any water...out!

However as the top photo proves, the change from rain to well sunnier or less cloudy times is manifestly more intense in its metamorphosis. It is also seemingly played out at a slower tempo as though it is personally for you to experience and appreciate just how this landscape has transformed and transfixed for aeons. One is stopped in ones tracks as the weather plays out its mutating scene.

I wild camped near Burrator reservoir at the base of Digger Tor and even the mundane Uncle Bens rice was a feast. I tell you Dartmoor heightens all your senses. A morning walk from 6.30am for four hours took me up Down Tor across the moor to Bronze Age standing stones, Dolmens and stone circles, through wooded valleys and moss covered granite clitter and up Sheeps Tor and past plantations with giant beech trees acting as wise and respected sentinels at the entrance to the Moor.

Here the magic ended. Feel free to get in touch about next years Dartmoor walking week.


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