Monday, November 21, 2016

Dartmoor Mini Adventure Day 2 - Beating Storm Angus November 2016

I woke a little chilly and badly needing a wee! Not a good way to start the day, but it was sub zero and I was on Dartmoor!

So once I had sorted myself out and made a note to bring in my (bottle to pee in bottle) for the next night I got myself up and had some breakfast!

The sun was shining, but was hidden by the trees, breakfast had to be down at the bike which was situated in the car park below the camping field.

I'm glad I had put the cover on last night! Once I had shook all the ice off I set up the kitchen, brewed up and made my breakfast which came straight out of a can! It consisted of baked beans, some meat in the shape of a sausage and some potatoes. Nothing much to look at but with some black pepper tasty and filling, but above all hot!

Today I was going to explore some wild camping spots, and generally just ride around. I knew that my time today would be limited due to the fact that Storm Angus was on it's way and was supposed to hit my location by 1400hrs.

I set off to hunt down the locations that I had ear marked, but to be honest I had all ready decided that I would spend another night at the Plume of Feathers camp site. It had every thing I needed, especially if I were to get into trouble with this storm.

I rode past the track that I had to turn off on, but it looked well rutted anyway, so just decided to carry on and enjoy the scenery. 

If I was in the camper van, there are literally loads of places where you could pull over and stay for the night, I've done it in the old Pajero, and if you were on foot, you could find some great spots, but with the bike, that's a bit different, so reckon I will stick with the camp sites.

There are some great views to be had from on top of the Moors.

After riding around a bit and getting lost I decided to head out to find some fuel, the nearest place according to Google Maps was Ashburton.

It was a great ride out through some spectacular scenery, with some hair raising hills and descents, covered in stone debris and leaves. So glad I now have three wheels on my wagon!

On my way back from refuelling, (the tank holds 19 litres and I carry a 10 litre jerry can) I could see in the distance some rather angry black clouds. There was no way I could out run them so as soon as I caught it up and took shelter in some toilets conveniently placed next to the river Dart.

As soon as it stopped I took these pictures but by the time I had geared back up again, the heavens opened up for real and it chucked it down! Back into the toilets!

As soon as it let off, I headed off, I only had 12 miles to get back to Princetown, but it threw it down a few more times.

Having a bad beard day!

Princetown is not only known for being the centre of the Moor, but also for it's prison. Construction started in 1805 and is still in use today. To say it looks grim is an understatement.

If there was ever a good incentive not to get into trouble - looking at this place should convince you to stay straight!

I got back to the pub, just after 1400hrs and decided I needed a sandwich and a brew.

They do a rather good steak baguette and don't mind you dripping all over the place and creating puddles either!

As my riding for the day was over, it was just too wet, I covered the bike up and at 1530 settled down for an extended period in my tent!

I was still full from my late lunch but a few brews took place from the confines of my tent!

For this trip I had bought a new sleeping mat, my vango self inflating was only 3/4 length so I thought as it's winter I should get something with insulating.

The Thermarest Ridgerest Classics insulating qualities are second to none, it was brilliant, you could actually feel your own body heat coming back off the matt, but I still lack comfort, being a fat bloke doesn't help in this matter so I may have to splash some cash!

Keeping an eye on the weather, it was as predicted - torrential rain, there was no chance of me going out in that. The only thing that was missing now was the high wind.

I kept checking the tent for water ingress but found none! The Vango Banshee 200 truly is an awesome tent.

I was woken around 0300hrs by the lightening, it was if someone had set a flash gun off right in front of my eyes! - seconds later an almighty crash shook the ground! A few choice words were said, as old habits that are still to die kicked in and I was looking for cover!

Not long after this the rain finally eased off, but only to be replaced by Gail force winds hell bent on blowing me from one side of the Moor to the other!

This lasted for a couple of hours, once more my little tent took everything that was thrown at it.

Finally everything eased off and for the first time in over 15 hrs things were silent.

The journey continues............................

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