Claudia Penz, Peter Schrammel
variable, sun, clouds, rain
***: Nice introduction to the scraggy, windy Dartmoor hills
Ivybridge, 75m - Harford, 201m - Hangershell Rock, 349m - Butterdon Hill, 365m - Western Beacon, 338m - Ivybridge
3 1/2h (1 1/2 + 1/2 + 1 + 1/2)
I visited Claudia in Totnes, who was working there as a teaching assistant for several months. The weather forecast was bad, but there was no other possible weekend. English shower-proof equipment was necessary. While it was raining we took the bus to Ivybridge. Luckily it stopped raining there and the sun was struggling to get through the thick clouds. After 10am we walked up the valley following the idyllic river Ivy. The river was carrying less water than last time when Claudia was here, when they struggled to find their way out of the flooded valley. This time it was only wet, very wet and muddy. We followed the signposts on knobby old trees and reached the meadow opposite to Hall Farm. To reach the farm we had to climb on the stone fence because the track was flooded on a short section. We followed the road through Hartford and hiked steep and straight up to Hangershell Rock, which we saw from far away. Sheep and horses were grazing on the meagre pastures of the Dartmoor hills. Towards noon we took some pictures at the huge granite boulder, while dark clouds were threatening from the west. We hurried to get back down to Ivybridge. On the way we caught some strong gusts mixed with raindrops while walking over the stone pyramid of Butterdon Hill and looked down to Ivybridge from the Western Beacon. We had to carefully look at the map to find our way through the stone fence labyrinth on the way down. Once the wind caught the plastic cover of the map and we were unable to catch it: every time we were close to it, it was lifted again and dragged away. Towards 2pm we got on the bus back to Totnes where we were welcomed by heavy rain again.