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Published: October 13th 2021
Sunrise at Hound Tor
Unexpected early morning sunrise.
According to the weather forecasts, it was due to be foggy again, so we were anticipating going back to Wistman's Woods to try and get there before the fog started to clear again. The forecast was wrong, so it was a change of plan, again, and instead we all jumped into the minibus and went to Hound Tor, which sounded ominous, given the local association.
One big difference between photography in Rannoch Moor and in Dartmoor is the amount of walking involved. In Rannoch Moor we pretty much jumped out of the minibus and started taking pictures. Dartmoor involves a lot more walking, which in some cases is quite steep and strewn with jagged and slippery rocks. How steep and how rocky depends on how far you are prepared to go for your photographs.
These workshops need a walking rating - we suggested it and apparently this would be a "medium" rating.
One thing I did notice from the very top of Hound Tor was how peaceful it was, with just a bit of noise from a rather vocal cow in the distance.
The sunrise was beautiful, with a bit of mist in the background and the
Up at the top of Holworth Rocks.
golden light covering the rocks, as we had hoped for at the church on the previous day.
Ironically it was foggy when we got back to the hotel. We decided against doing that walk again, so we had breakfast and then headed out for our next destination - Holworth Rocks (near Saddle Tor).
Again, it was a case of waiting for the right light and then firing off as many photographs as we could before the clouds rolled in and spoilt it. Another thing that you notice about Dartmoor, whilst you are laying the ground trying to get the best angle for your photographs is the amount of poo absolutely everywhere: sheep poo, cow poo, horse poo, heaven knows what else poo. You almost forget that it is there after a while until you step, or even worse, lay in it!
We then walked to a nearby Emsworthy mire Barn, with its red-roof and surrounded by moss covered stone walls, which is surprisingly photogenic.
On our way to our next destination, we drove past the Warren Inn, where my satnav had previously taken me. It looked very busy with lots of cars parked all around, although
Emsworthy Mire Barn
The photogenic red-roof barn near Holworth Rocks.
I'm not sure how many people actually wanted to be somewhere else.
It also took us back past the hotel, so we stopped there for a quick toilet break. Parked right by my room was a tanker that I think must have been emptying the septic tanks or something equally grim. The smell was horrendous. I loved the caption on the side of it though, "This Tank is full of Political Promises".
That next destination was Bowerman's Nose, which also involved a walk and a climb. This is one of Dartmoor's most iconic granite tors, but, sadly, we waited a while for the right light, which, this time, never came.
We had planned to drive back the way that we came, but the road was covered in animals and the satnav said to go a different way so did as it said. Unfortunately, the road was narrow even by Dartmoor standards and we were struggling to get the minibus through. There was a massive bump as the wheel a rock - no puncture but some damage to the alloy.
Next we went to a stone cross called the Windy Post. The pictures I had seen had
Full of shit basically.
this really dramatic waterfall in front of the cross. In reality it was about a foot high - but some strategic placement of the cameras resolved that.
Back at the car-park it was apparent from the marks on the road that someone had been doing donuts with their cars. Not what you expect in the depths of Dartmoor.
For sunset we went back to Combestone Tor, however, yet again the conditions were not right so we decided to head elsewhere. Whilst driving to wherever that 'elsewhere' was going to be, the sun started to break through the clouds, so we stopped by the side of the road. It wasn't really the setting that I had wanted for a Dartmoor sunset, but it was definitely to be enjoyed whilst, for once, not focusing on the photographs. We still all took a few though.
There had been a bit of an argument with the hotel earlier as they wanted us to go for dinner at the same time as the sunset. We were back earlier than we had expected, but still not as early as they originally wanted us though.
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