It's Friday 13th!
I hope it hasn't been a horrific day for any of you. Surprisingly it has turned out to be a better day than usual for me. Mainly to do with me absolutely nerding out and pointing out to our stats lecturers that they had marked a load of our assessments as wrong when they were in fact right - such a good feeling and everybody else is really happy too. More marks for everybody woo hoo.
Plus the utilities bills saga is finally taking baby steps towards getting resolved. Yay!
The weather has well and truly turned down here in Exeter. The wind is bitingly cold and the air is constantly full of swirling rain drops. I bought myself an umbrella a couple of months ago (this awesome one from Topshop) and it worked perfectly for the milder days of drizzle but now we've practically got gale force winds too and no umbrella can survive that kind of shit. I know, I tried this morning. The umbrella is recovering as I type.
But on slightly kinder days, it's the best time of year for long country walks.
We spent a Sunday wandering through Dartmoor by Fingle Bridge. The path started as a steep climb up towards Castle Drogo along which I took plenty of breaks to "admire the scenery" (get my breath back and try not to develop asthma).
At the top, we wandered freely through the grounds of the castle which are open to the public, hooray.
I visited Castle Drogo almost a year ago to the day with Vicky and my Mum. It's currently undergoing a large-scale renovation and was pretty much stripped bare when we went to visit. I'm normally the sort of person who likes to see houses decked out in all their sumptuous decor but the tour was incredibly interesting and the castle was very atmospheric so it didn't matter. I'd love to go back again soon and see how much has changed in a year.
On that day however we had pub goals so we marched on past the castle and onwards into deepest Dartmoor (kind of).
The path from the castle began to snake back down into the valley towards the river.
Along the way we spotted plenty of blackberries and I decided to risk my health and give them a try. The first one was definitely not ripe and was very bitter (and as Vicky gleefully pointed out, was also at male-dog-wee level) so I began to look higher up and for juicier treasures. Those were much better and I didn't get food poisoning so I'd count that as a success to be honest.
And then we came upon this bridge. And we probably stayed here for at least 15 minutes just looking at the incredible view. If ever there were a glass-like body of water, this was it. And what fantastic trees for it to mirror.
I almost wanted to ask the people sitting by the river for their email addresses so I could send these pictures to them but maybe that's a bit weird? If somebody took a picture of me and then asked for my email address I would probably freak out a LOT.
Our walk took us alongside the river for a nice long time until our tummies began rumbling and our thoughts began turning towards the pub at the end.
When we finally reached the bridge and the pub, we gladly settled down with pints of local ale, huge chunks of cheesy garlic bread and packets of cheese and onion crisps and bakewell slices. After an autumnal walk through the crisp air, it truly does not get better than that.
A little picture heavy today but how could I not? I love Autumn and I love walks through the woods like this. Especially when there's food at the end.