Sunday, August 7, 2011

Entering Dartmoor National Park

We left Exeter this morning climbing a 13% grade for two miles. Then we climbed into Dartmoor National Park. The scenery was drop-dead gorgeous and though the sky was ever changing, we did not get rained on. We will begin to modify our earlier condemnation of the weather in England.

Dartmoor National Park is not like the national parks in the States. It is not wilderness. 80% of the park is held privately, most used as grazing land.

We faced significant challenges on the way into the park.

We crossed Steps Bridge, an 18th century bridge.

Belinda made a beautiful friend.

When we reached the town of Moretonhampstead we could not find any place to stay, but a quarter mile out of town we found a room in this B&B, Moorcote.

After settling into our room and cleaning up we walked back into town to eat dinner at The Union Inn.

This was clearly the town's social center. We have been enjoying the pub scene in England very much. It is the place to meet and greet. The locals are generously friendly and curious about us travelers. This evening we learned much about how football (soccer) leagues are organized, player salary structures, etc. from one couple and later had a conversation with a man who was largely responsible for the early administration of Dartmoor National Park. It was a interesting evening and ended with this view from our bedroom window.

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