On the road again - 2 - Dartmoor, part 2 - Sharpitor
Updated: Jan 16
I headed back to the B road, then turned right to continue up onto the moor proper. Again, there are many places to park on the moor. As the road levels out, a couple of large parking areas appear on the left. I chose the first and larger one. I pulled over and that was us for another couple of days. Here, it is worth pointing out that apparently there are bylaws that restrict ‘camping’. However, again, I have never been bothered by anyone and besides, it’s supposed to be common land.
This parking area can get busy as it is used as a start/finish point for various walks and romps across the moors. Sharpitor is ahead as you cross the road. There are incredible views across the moors. Plymouth Sound can be seen in the southwest and the church of Mary Tavy can be seen to the northwest. I went for the odd wander, exploring the tors to the north. I never go too far though. Dartmoor is dangerous! Wander too far without the right equipment at your peril. People are known to get lost and die. There are pools of quicksand and the whole area is much like a desert; everything looks the same. If you don’t know how to work out your east from your north, take a compass or don’t venture!
The ponies here tend to wander closer as they are more used to humans being around. Sheep and cattle are also left to graze the moors.
I was treated to a panoramic sunset on the first evening.
I had arranged to meet Irish John (www.johngallaghermusic.com) who was then living on the outskirts of Exeter. I also needed to get some groceries. So we headed on across the moors, travelling through Princeton, famous for its prison. Arthur Conan Doyle wrote The Hound of the Baskervilles whilst staying in a hotel in the town. Further on, between Two Bridges and Postbridge, we traversed the section of road that is famous for the Hairy Hands. The Hairy Hands are a pair of ghostly hands that grab hold of the handlebars of a bike or the steering wheel of a motorised vehicle and forces It off the road. There are a good few reports from survivors. There have also been some deaths. It has never happened to me - yet.
I met up with John at a supermarket close to where he lives. Unfortunately, there was no better option. Still, the large car park easily afforded room to park my combo and we were able to get a cup of tea and a good chat in. I also made use of the store.