This post is a little late, as I actually got back on Tuesday, but as they say, better late than never!
A map of the recorded GPS route is shown below:
The small circular part of the route upper right was not as a result of being locationally challenged – honest! That was down to three contributory factors: Water, Pitching Spot and Flies!
You will have to read Day 3’s account to find out how these three factors conspired to extend the planned route in this way!
That is not to say that the navigation went totally smoothly. There were at least two minor hiccups over the 4 days, but these were down to my fairly relaxed attitude to navigation in the lowlands. Again, things will be explained in more detail on the daily walk reports.
In terms of elevation changes, there were one or two steep bits, but nothing on the scale with that encountered in Scotland, Wales or the Lakes. See the elevation diagram below for more detail:
What did catch me out was how different the terrain was when compared with Dartmoor.
In my mind’s eye I was expecting much of the same, but the parts of Exmoor that I visited seemed to be covered primarily in heather, thistles and the occasional ferns. This made Exmoor feel very different Dartmoor.
The vegetation also made finding good camping spots a little tricky too – something that is not an issue on Dartmoor.
Exmoor also has many more roads, tracks and settlements dotted throughout it. This made the walk feel like it was one of my first walks near Bristol, where most of the navigation was by field boundary and track.
This walk was also the first one to include a coastal section. If I’m brutally honest, I found this part quite boring and a bit of a slog. There didn’t seem to be much variation in the terrain and there wasn’t a whole lot to do from a navigational standpoint either.
Weather wise, it was pretty good on days 1 & 2, but by day 3 the rains had moved in. Day 4 added thick fog into the mix for additional fun too!
As expected, the Salomon Cosmic 4D 2 boots and RAB eVent top both leaked exceedingly quickly under the rain’s onslaught. The latter is over two years old, so it’s probably expected, but the Salomon boots had barely done 95 km – the second pair of Salomon’s to fail on me.
The above leaks were mitigated by taking one pair of hiking socks per day and by also taking a spare base layer top. In the event I never needed the latter, as the base layer I was wearing dried out very quickly once I got in the tent.
Both of these items of kit will be changed in time for September’s Cairngorms’ walk.
Although I had never felt hungry or de-engergised during the walk, I was a little surprised and concerned to discover that I had lost 2.5 Kg in weight by the time I got home. Maybe I need to review the food that I take with me. That said, I have now more than made up for this shortcoming in my weight! 🙂
In one respect the walk was a little ironic. I had chosen Exmoor to avoid the dreaded Midge in Scotland, but it seemed that by the end of day 2 I would run into something far worse…
Stay tuned for the in depth daily walk reports!