Exmoor Hiking 2011/01/30
Long days spent walking, lovely views and the sea breeze. Exmoor
Hiking The trip started with a full day’s work and then a long, long
coach ride to Taunton. A lovely two hour wait in the freezing cold for
the connection to Minehead. We started our Exmoor Hiking trip at 7am.
After a bit of town navigation we found the path leading up to the
hills. The sheep seemed to follow our every move as we walked past a big
field filled with them. The path led us into forest which was wrapped in
mist. Very atmospheric and very short visibility. The terrain was steep
and slippery. The woodland varying from pine to broadleaf. Above all my
favourite, the Silver Birch was very abundant in some places and I
collected some peeled bark for fire lighting.
Firstly we made our way to Dunkery
Beacon. Again very limited views due to the mist. We bagged the peak and
then it was onto Porlock for a well deserved pint (we had been walking
since 7am and had virtually no sleep on the coach out). Our trail led us
down a forested valley with a small stream at the bottom. On to Porlock
and the Royal Oak for refuge as everywhere was saturated from rain.
Night walking under a blanket of stars always puts things into
perspective. As much as I love my bivi I wished for a tent that night.
In short i think it may be time for an Akto...
The Next Day
Setting off for the cliff path back towards Minehead and it was very
windy. I was glad of my wind resistant soft shell, the Rab Baltoro
Alpine and consequently it served me well. Certainly the high pockets
made access with a rucksack a doddle. The hood has a good peak with
compression straps. I had to fully tighten every cord to keep the thing
on my head as it was extremely windy!
The coast path was very exposed and
signs warned us of massive erosion that made it impassable and
consequently there was a large scar out of the hillside where material
had fractured and rolled down the cliff.
Next trip, back to one of my favourite places in England, Dartmoor, in
just over a week’s time.