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Continued . . . . . . .
The wind was blowing at the top of Brown Willy however it was not that cold, the clouds were moving fast above me, it felt like they were just above my head but I expect they were quite a long way up, I stayed up the top on Brown Willy for about 30 mins as I was making a time lapse video and they always take a while to make. It was after I had finished the time lapse video while I was taking a few more photos I looked over to the west and noticed the light coming through the clouds, I could just make out where the sun was, it was just at the horizon and setting fast, a quick glance at my watch and it was 4:30pm.
I have several books about climbing the high points of the UK and in one of them it says that Brown Willy should take 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the entire walk, the other book states that the walk is 4 miles. this made sense to me, if I walked at 3 miles an hour then 2 hours should be plenty of time to walk the 4 miles, what I didn't take into account was the fact that I often stop off for photographs, also the people who write these books obviously walk at the speed of a harrier jump jet where I walk at a much slower pace.
It had taken me 1.5 hours to walk to the top of Brown Willy, the sun had just set and I was some distance from the car park, daylight was fading fast. I have no problem with walking in the dark, I have a compass for emergencies and an Ordnance Survey map and GPS tracker on my phone so this was not an issue, what I didn't want is for a sudden mist to come along and make things difficult. Bodmin moor is notorious for mist developing in a very short time. It was time to pack up and get back to the car park fast.
From the top of Brown Willy it is only a couple of miles to the car park, it should take me just 30-40 mins if I walk fast however Rough Tor sits directly in the way and I had a choice to make, do I walk around the edge of Rough Tor or cut straight over the top? well as I started my descent down the muddy slippery paths I had a short time to think about it. The walk down the side of Brown Willy was fast, I knew where the worst mud was and headed straight over the first gate in just a few minutes. It was during the next section I started to notice the problem with my left knee, every 5th or 6th step was giving me shooting pains through my knee and slowing me down slightly, I pushed on.
The next gate was at the bottom of Brown Willy, I was now across the river and working my way up to wards Rough Tor, time to make a decision, What I did in the end was aim up the side of Rough Tor in between 2 peaks, I figured it was a compromise between the two routes. Passing some horses I now started to notice my right knee playing up, yes I was now getting shooting pains in both knees, perfect, with two knees hurting every few steps and the light disappearing fast it was quite an interesting walk, at least I hadn't thought about the beast of Bodmin moor yet . . .oh great, and now I had THAT in my mind, I was alone, it was nearly dark, there was no sign of life for miles around and there is me thinking about big mysterious creatures in the night, perfect.
I carried on, walking up the hill as fast as I could, thankfully I took my walking poles so I managed to keep up a good pace, soon I had made it to the top of the ridge between the two peaks and it was down hill all the way, in the fading light I could now see the car park ahead, it must have been just less than a mile away, 15 mins and I would be there.
|The Night Approaches|
I think this has to be the best walk I have done since I climbed Scafell Pike with Chris and Amy, the views are stunning, the scenery is amazing and it all makes for such a brilliant walk, I highly recommend it.