Herding cows on Dartmoor
While everyone else is digesting, soaking up the spirit of thankfulness, and getting ready to shop, we are on our way back to England. So, to catch you up in "real time" on our lives: we took the Queen Mary 2 in July, left England in August, spent three weeks in Spain, two weeks in France, and the last six weeks in Italy. In the middle, I also did a one week stint in Costa Rica. And, now, we're heading back to England to spend the winter in the Peak District and London.
The strange part about England is that, though these pictures were taken in August, the weather isn't all that different today in the end of November. The grass is still pretty green, clouds tumble above our heads, and I spend much of my time wondering when it will be sunny and warm again --- all pretty much a repetition of the weather we had in England in August (can you tell that I'm not a fan of English weather?).
Despite the weather, we loved the moors. I had always imagined them as misty, dusky places with dark patches of trees and ancient rocky dwellings, the perfect setting for the spooky Hound of the Baskervilles and gloomy Jane Eyre. When we arrived, we found something different: more green and beautiful than I imagined, but haunting and wild in its own way.
Though Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor are designated as "parks," we had a difficult time determining where the moors began and ended. Walks litter the Devon and Cornwall countryside and we found ourselves taking a new path every day, just because we could. Wild horses graze in Bodmin Moor and the very cute and petite brown Dartmoor ponies mill around the streets, waiting for a gentle hand to feed them sugar or carrots (though, technically, you are not supposed to pet or feed the ponies.) Dogs are allowed off-leash pretty much everywhere as long as they are on voice control, though we usually kept them leashed when we approached horses.
In addition to the scenery and Dartmoor's famous tors (hills topped with piles of bedrock), there are vast quantities of Prehistoric remnants at both Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor. Dartmoor alone contains an estimated 5,000 hut circles, or remnants of Bronze Age settlements, so you can walk a half-mile without chancing upon another Prehistoric artifact. Abby found them to be perfect for climbing!