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On a whim, Chie and myself decided to motor down to Dartmoor for the bank holiday weekend, or at least the Saturday and Sunday, the 23rd and 24th August 2003. I used to go a lot with my Dad when I was younger so I was partly trying to revisit some of the places I'd been before, and show them to Chie as well.

It was a bit of a lesson in organisation skills though. Predictably, being August bank holiday weekend, all the accomodation was full everywhere. Frustratingly we missed the last room at the rather nice looking Two Bridges Hotel by about 45 minutes, and everywhere else was full or rediculously over priced. So we ended up sleeping in the car, which wasn't so bad, at least it encouraged us to have an early start on Sunday...

In addition, I couldn't actually find a lot of the places I was looking for, as my memory of them was very vague indeed, not to mention the added convenience of my Dad being incommunicado as a result of being on Bardsey. Nevertheless, despite all the failures of the weekend, we still managed to immerse ourselves in some wonderful scenery, and at times I experienced again that magical feeling I always used to get from being in this beautiful and mysterious place.

19:03:23 Just after we arrived on the moor, we thought we'd get out of the car and enjoy the lovely scenery.

19:04:02 I'm trying to convey how happy I am at being on Dartmoor again, however in reality it looks like I've escaped from a lunatic asylum.

19:05:35 I'm rather pleased with this picture of Chie and and her long shadow.

19:43:39 A little further down the road, just as the sun was starting to set...

19:44:05 ...we could see hot air ballons from Tavistock Balloon Festival (whatever it's called)... A bit difficult to make out here as they're so far away - but trust me, that's what all those little specks are.

19:44:21 A ballon ascending into the heavens...

19:44:31 More balloons, and a lovely layered effect from increasingly darkening hills.

19:46:38 That sky again.

19:56:38 From the car, still we could see more balloons.

20:13:52 This is in Tavistock, it's a shame about the lighting (not my camera's strong point) but still, this must be a pretty unique shot.

07:10:45 The next morning, Chie awakens after a luxurious stay in the Hotel Corsa.

07:11:35 The River Dart, just by where we stayed.

07:38:08 It was really nice to be up and on the moor at this time of the morning...

07:38:18 The scenery is just so lovely around here! It's a bit hazy, so maybe hard to appreciate in these pictures...

07:40:21 I am not looking at my tidiest here...!

07:40:58 Chie, seemingly having wrestled the camera off me...

07:41:24 Certainly there was plenty of bracken about.

08:37:48 Not even 9 o' clock and we're already out for a walk. I decided to show Chie Wistman's Wood, as I was rather fond of it, and it wasn't too far to walk from the road.

08:38:03 It's a very unique place...

08:47:25 I was telling Chie about how Russ had managed to get some pictures of a fairly normal wood exhibited, and how frustrating it was that even in these surrounds I couldn't get a picture I was satisfied with...

08:47:34 It's all about moss and trees.

08:48:57 The more I look at this tree, the more I think it looks like a person... but then I can't help but think there might have been some human intervention in this process.

08:52:04 Chie enjoying the surrounds.

08:52:16 More trees really...

08:53:00 Me looking a bit tired and unfit.

08:54:20 A significant looking rock.

08:54:36 A close-up on the moss and lichen, for those that way inclined.

09:02:06 Chie on a sty.

11:08:24 In Widdecombe (yes, the one from the song), we stopped at the Wayside cafe for a toasted sandwich, and were joined by this chirpy little fellow...

11:08:54 ...He didn't seem in the slightest bit bothered by our presence. Usually getting the camera out does the trick of getting birds to fly away, but even this didn't phase him.

12:39:35 Following a sign, we though we'd go and see the Fernworthy Reservoir, partly as I thought I'd been there before...

12:39:41 ...actually it turned out I hadn't, and the reservoir was disappointingly man made and a bit boring. Should have been called the unworthy reservoir.

12:40:37 Still there was no reason not to try skimming stones across it. Chie seems to have a knack for these action shots. After this, we went to Belstone, and failed to find a tearoom I'd once been to, then went on to Okehampton to buy the mandatory clotted cream in the Waitrose there, and then drove home.