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Sunday, 22 January 2012

A Walk Through Ruby Country

Yesterday Jon and I went to Hatherleigh for lunch with friends at the Bridge Inn (which we all highly recommend, by the way!). I decided to research walks in the area so that we could try somewhere new for our Weekend Walk. I found this walk through Ruby Country that sounded ideal, so I printed off the instructions and, after a lovely meal and a fun catch-up with friends, off we went!

One of the first things we noticed, as we walked out of town, was the mud. It had obviously been raining in the area over the last few days, and I was glad I was wearing my wellies! What we had not realised was that what the description of the walk called "tussocky damp grasslands ... typical of Ruby Country" were actually more like marshlands at this time of year! And the mud was bright red! In some places, it appeared to even be glowing a shade not too dissimilar from vermilion! I thought it was named Ruby Country after the Ruby Red cattle, not the mud?

For most of the walk, we enjoyed ourselves and admired the views. We saw horses and sheep in some fields (and nearly sank into the mud as we passed by in one particular field). The River Lew looked impressive as we walked alongside it (careful not to fall in!). And there was an interesting variety of stiles we came across. I didn't know there were so many different styles of stile! The wildlife was rather sparse, but we did not really expect to see much in January.

The biggest problem for our walk was as the sun began to set. We had spent longer than we realised chatting with friends, and thus did not give ourselves enough time to get round the walk before it became dark. And it got dark very quickly! Once the sun was gone, it was impossible to see where the safest route through the boggy fields lay. But after two or three more fields, we were back in Hatherleigh, safe and sound, if a little muddy!

I wonder what adventures we'll have next weekend?

FairyJo! x

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