Got up fairly early and took Muddy for a quick walk before i headed into the village for provisions for another picnic. The plan is to head out towards Princetown and then beyond to a large reservoir which appears to have a road going all the way around it. I estimate that it is about a 5 mile walk. The whole thing hinges on if Mudkip can behave in the car for the 20-30 minute that it should take to get there!
We put him in the back of the car - there was plenty of room in the boot because we had taken our clothes bags and the cool boxes out. We put his towels and a couple of the cushions he likes to sleep on in the car, and popped him in with them.
I talked to him most of the way there, but he quickly settled down and in fact he ended up sitting on top of the tent bag so that he could see out of the back window. He was a very good boy, which was just as well, as in the end it took about 50 minutes to get there.
The signs at the reservoir claim that it is 3 1/2 miles around it - i don't see how this is true as it is bigger on the map than Fernworthy is. I was all on tarmac'd roads so it was very easy old the old legs. Muddy was very well behaved as always, and started out with a very perky spring in his step. By the end of it though he seemed to be slouching rather! We had our picnic 3/4 of the way around - banana baps - yummy!!
On the way back, Muddy crashed out in the back of the car most of the way - i'm not sure if he did fall asleep, but he must have gotten close, and he was very very quiet. He did end up back on top of the tent bag again, and he looked very cute up there.
It took an age to get back to Chagford, thanks to being stuck behind an old codger in an Audi A4. The only pedal he seemed to use was the brake one - he was soooooo slooooooow! Once again, i was truck by the beauty and bleakness of Dartmoor. The colours and textures seem to vary by the minute. The sun can be shining in one direction, but turn a few degrees and it is looking very stormy and black. A very strange place, but one that i doubt would ever be boring or predictable. I think it would be an amazing place to spend a year with a camera, never seeing quite the same thing twice. The only time i have ever seen such a huge expanse of sky and ground before is in Scotland.
Saw a sign saying "Sheep Lying In The Road" - i expected to come across a sheep saying "I once played rugby for England you know", but we didn't.
Back at the ranch, we put some washing out to dry and went back into the village for more treats for the Mudster and something for dinner for us. Took a slightly reluctant Mudkip with us, but i think he would have been happier to have stayed home asleep.
Lovely weather now - very sunny. We had a text from Rachel saying that they may come home tonight as the forecast for tomorrow is not good.
After another of my scrummy pasta bakes for dinner, we took Muddy out for yet another route march, sorry, walk. We decided to do the usual evening walk but in reverse, so that we couild walk DOWN the steep hill rather than up it! This made the whole walk seem shorter and more pleasant.
We thought it might confuse Mudkip, but he coped superbly, and knew we were getting close to his skinny dipping spot even though we approached it from the wrong way. As we got closer to it he got more and more excited. He jumped off the bridge and into the water even before i was through the gate - i hadn't even unhooked his lead yet!
He got out so that i could undo his lead and then got straight back in again. He couldn't find the stick that Sally threw for him though - he can be a bit of a dipstick at times. When he got out of the water he started to run off as he was so excited, but, he stopped as soon as i shouted for him to and he came back and let me put the lead back on him - Good Boy!!!!
It seems as though we have been away from home for such a long time - we can hardly remember what our house is like. It feels more like 4 weeks rather than 2. It's funny how quickly one can get used to new situations. It almost feels like this is our house already - even though we are only using 1/2 of it, and we can both imagine living here, and how we would have it set out.
Only a week ago, it seemed like we had been living in a tent forever and we would be quite happy living like that in pretty basic conditions - as i say, it is amazing how quickly you can adapt.
Rachel has texted and they ARE coming back tonight. It is just after 10pm now and still no sign of them. Muddy is asleep on the sofa with Sally who is reading. I'm sitting on the floor writing this, having just made a cup of tea. Mudkip is going to go mental when they arrive home - it will be bedlam - watch out for your shoes!!
It was quarter to eleven when Craig, Rachel & Frankie arrived back, and as predicted, Mudkip went a bit bonkers. We sat up talking till almost midnight, and we were glad to finally get to bed and get some sleep - our last night away from home.