Well hello there! As you may know I’ve been away working for the past month on Dartmoor. We have had everything up there from melting roads to flooding and literally everything in between. At the end of each camp we do a little recap of what happened during the week. I thought it would be nice if I did a little recap of what I’ve been doing so I always remember what I’ve done and so you can see what I’ve been doing too!
Dartmoor is always an amazing experience. Whether its just going for a walk on the moors or crawling around in a cave getting covered in mud. My last month has been filled with mountain biking, kayaking, caving, rock climbing, archery and hiking. Most importantly, its been filled with dogs. If you know me at all you will know I love dogs. At the first site that we used I met a lovely Collie who wouldn’t leave me alone for the week. Obviously I had to take a selfie with the dog. It is possibly the best photo I have ever taken.
At the second site we used there was another collie called Zac. Zac is such a doofus. He wouldn’t leave me alone for over 40 minutes because I wouldn’t play fetch… with a leaf. If you didn’t know already, leaves are awful things to play fetch with. Today, he was having his own adventure with a box. Probably the highlight of Zac was watching him trying to play fetch with a fence post…
Of course, running an adventure camp can be super risky. Whether it be rock climbing or experiencing some of the school teachers’ driving minibuses, and that was probably the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced. One of the teachers nearly crashed into a rather sizeable lake and their reasoning was that they did not see it. My thoughts are that they shouldn’t have a licence personally. I can’t drive and I could have probably driven better than them! The amount of juice I spilled on myself going round corners was not a good amount. One of the more memorable moments from working was when I came out of a shower, still jamming out to my tunes (I promise you it wasn’t Wannabe by the Spice Girls) and having a bunch of kids riding up to me saying someones broken their leg. Now, when a bunch of kids ride a bunch of mountain bikes up to you smiling and laughing saying someones broken their leg you laugh it off. But then when you see another instructor sprinting full pelt down the hill you know shit has hit the fan. It was so bad we had to get an air ambulance in to airlift the child to hospital. I spent 40 minutes that afternoon pulling pop up tents out of trees because we forgot to peg them down after we had moved them. I am now I tree climbing professional.
We spend a lot of time actually out on the moor too. One of the activities we run in an abseil and climbing session in an old quarry. Fun fact, the rocks from the quarry were used to build Nelsons Column and London Bridge in London, in case you weren’t sure where London Bridge was. The quarry is quite remote. The only building near by is a rarely used bunkhouse and the quarry itself can only be used if you book it out from the army as it is one of their training venues. I got placed in charge of a climb which was possibly one of the most stressful hours of my life. Ropes are very confusing things when you aren’t entirely sure what is going on. By that point I didn’t even know what day it was. Sleeping in a tent when kids are in tents around you and not sleeping is very difficult. The quarry does lend itself to some amazing views like this one though…
Finally, the highlight of my trip. We run caving sessions for the kids and I get to go at least once a week and it is by far the best thing I have ever done. It is like another world underground. Everything is so fascinating, the history and the ecology of the cave is incredible. The cave itself is super unique. Apparently there was once a super rare shrimp was found in a puddle just outside the cave and some scientist guys went absolutely bonkers and made it a protected site. That happened only once and now if you breathe in the wrong place in the cave you’ll get fined. Well, not literally but you get my point. One truly amazing thing about this cave though is that it has a lake. I had no idea that there are lakes underground and this absolutely blew my mind. Apparently it is one of the deepest underground caves in the UK and if you dive to the chamber on the far side you will be greeted with nothing but crystals. Im super tempted to learn to cave dive just to see it but apparently it is the most dangerous sport on the planet along with wing suit flying. So the best I can do is take a take a picture of the cave to show you.
So thats a very quick recap of my last month on Dartmoor. I’m super tired and I’m so glad its over but I wish I could go back on Monday and do it all again! I hope you’ve had a good few weeks! Thank you for reading!
Love you, Bye!