The much publicised run of poor weather battering the South West kept me off the moor and away from the Fur Tor pilgrimage on new year's day. The weather on January 2nd, was considerably better. I haven't set foot on the moor since siting my Christmas walk on Bench Tor, and I've received a bunch of festive sets to find. I plotted to complete two of these walks and another independent Christmas box.
I have decided to go back to basics in 2014, and ditch the GPS for the purpose of finding letterboxes. I'll keep it deep in my bag for emergency purposes, and when I site my own boxes. These routes would test my skills, since all the boxes on my list had 10 figure grid references.
Off to Hollow Tor near Princetown to start. Early gloom lifted, and the light was incredible. A short Christmas walk which was found without fuss (and my Garmin). It was interesting to be able to view Yellowmeade Farm's ongoing renovation. In October, the National Park's Planning Officer recommended that planning permission to construct camping barn holiday accommodation be refused on the grounds that a. It was completely at odds with the NPA core strategy on development and b. The scale, appearance and design of the plan was detrimental to the wider environment. Back to the drawing board then.
After lunch at the Plume of Doom, it was on to Littaford Tors for my second Christmas series. This one posed a slightly tougher challenge, not least as it was pouring with rain. Frustratingly, yet unsurprisingly, the day's best weather had been spent in the pub. The combination of poor visibility in the heavy showers, an over-ambitious list of boxes to find, and the failing light meant I did not complete the set here. It was clear that "don't bite off more than you can chew" would be a lesson learnt for the new post-GPS regime.
On another house point, the property immediately below Crockern Tor on the Two Bridges to Postbridge road - Parsons Cottage - is up for sale. Details here. It is telling perhaps how planning regulations have changed in the past 100 years as this 3 bed house was built here in the late 1920s. Although you'll need £275,000 to purchase Parsons Cottage, it is a Duchy Leasehold which can be a bit of a drawback. You'll have to pay the Duchy 50% of any projected profit the property will make in the period of your lease up front. You'll also have to pay the Duchy rent, which is subject to regular review. It also makes the house non-mortgageable. Still tempted?