On our trip to Devon in July 2016, we went for a hike in Dartmoor National Park. We were going to head there for a full day’s hike in a few days, but decided late one morning to head there for a bit of a meander.
We never did make it back for our long hike because our vacation was cut a bit short, but we did have a nice walk in the woods and saw some stone circles.
My absolute favourite part of the Lost Gardens of Heligan was the actual garden area. The walled garden and greenhouses were impressively productive and I imagined just pitching a yurt in the grass in the walled garden and living there. I wanted to share these images in their own post.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan have been on our list of places to visit since 2013 when we didn’t manage to squeeze in a visit during our trip to Cornwall. We went this summer while camping in Devon. They’re brilliant and a great day out. I cannot put into words the varied zones and experiences of the place. All I can say is that you can find wild, cultured, adventure, learning, relaxing, and meditation there.
Honey and I like to take our summer vacation in July, usually camping for the 4th of July and our anniversary. While we had a wonderful time camping in Scotland on our summer vacation in 2015, the heavy rain inspired us to plan our summer 2016 vacation elsewhere. We had a brilliant time in Cornwall in 2013 and thought about heading back. Looking for a campsite in the woods where we could have a campfire (this is harder to find in the UK than you’d expect!), Honey discovered that our best bet was just over the border in Northwest Devon’s ‘Ruby Country’.
We stayed at a small campsite (no hiking trails, but a great base for day trips) in Highampton called Hole Station, built on the land around a former train station that had closed in the 1960s. Things I loved about the place: camping in the trees (obviously), we felt very tucked back from the path in our campsite and the site already had a lean-to and bench set up by the fire circle, the staff were very nice and extremely helpful, an on-site food truck/outdoor dining area was open at meal times (with gluten free and vegetarian options) and perfect for a quick morning’s meal before heading out on an adventure, books and maps were available to read and plan day trips, and there was a charging station in an old phone box. They also had a lovely vegetable garden, chickens (providing the eggs for the food truck), and two goats. For me, it was a luxury campsite considering the quick walk to the car, composting toilets, or boiled water for dishes. The squirrels in the area are a mean gang, so each campsite has a filing cabinet for storing your food. This is great for tins, glass jars, etcetera, but mice can go anywhere they dig so store your perishables in the car or an airtight plastic storage bin (…with some cayenne rubbed around the edges once they start to gnaw away at it)!
The nearest town is the old market town of Hatherleigh. Hatherleigh is a small place with a supermarket, restaurants, and cafes, but it also has a weekly market. We went to the weekly market and then discovered that the Ruby Country Market (which only takes place about 3 times a year) was on that week so we headed back. The Ruby Country Market made the standard market a festive place, with live music and a huge number of indoor and outdoor food, craft, and goods stalls. I was impressed by the number of gluten free stalls there. One thing that Honey and I have seemed to make a tradition of is going to the local market while on holiday, loading up with local goods, and going for a picnic!
I outgrew my wedding dress a year or so ago and have been working with skirts since then. I don’t know when I’ll make/encounter my next dress, but this I know: it will need to have a full circle skirt (I’d compromise with a 3/4 circle) and be green.
On the way down to Devonshire for our summer vacation, we stayed the weekend in Lancaster with my closest friend from high school. The last time we were down for a visit, their little one was on the cusp of speaking. This time, we chatted and sang all day long!
Over the summer in Devon, I picked up this linen blend skirt for a few pounds. Bringing it home, I realised that none of my shoes worked well with it. White sandals looked too pale and brown shoes were too strong a look.
I used Dylon’s all in one dye (chocolate brown, I believe), I dyed it in our front loader. The last time I dyed in a front loader, admittedly about ten years ago, the coverage was patchy in some places so I had been hesitant. Since this skirt was going to get donated if I didn’t dye it, I found the courage. I’m so glad I did.
My walking trousers were a very light colour: a pale sandy moving into grey. I was dyeing something else brown and chucked them into the wash. Even though they’re 100% polyester, they picked up a surprising amount of colour.
I love them more now that I feel that they’re ‘designed’ for playing in the dirt.
Honey was in Edinburgh on Saturday morning and phoned me on her way home in the afternoon. It was about 90 minutes before sunset and she asked if I wanted to take a quick sunset walk around Gartmorn Dam in Clackmannanshire.
I quickly calculated the cons (we’d not have very long; I’d have to change out of my pajamas) and the pros (we’d be in the woods!) and said yes.
We did some walking, deep breathing, geocaching, and talking.
(‘Barking’ up the wrong tree for a geocache.)
(A traditional ‘Swedish hanging’ geocache found up a tree.)
We got there around 3:30pm and because it was a clear day, we could still see in the twilight when we got back to the car at 4:45pm. I wouldn’t have thought to chance a walk so late on a winter’s day (even though I used to lead weekly night hikes in woods I knew well) and I’m so glad Honey did.
For a year, I haven’t written much about our trip to Tenerife. Quite simply, I adored the experience and I wanted my words to do it justice; they cannot. It is more important to share photos than the few words I have.
Tenerife made me feel free and full of adventure.
Free from the winter darkness.
Free from heavy layers of clothing.
Free to reconnect with my Spanish-speaking self.
The adventures of new experiences and knowledge filling my senses and sparking my soul.
One huge highlight, alongside snorkelling with green sea turtles, was hiking in Teide National Park; a volcanic landscape that made me feel as though I was on the moon, out in Western USA, and on mars, depending upon the area.