We’ve just got in from a wet and windy few days away. It makes a change to come home and find that Manchester is drier than the south!
Last Wednesday we travelled down to Exmoor, stopping off at the seaside village of Watchett for an hour or so on the way to our destination of Dulverton. Unfortunately I had developed my usual car sickness headache and couldn’t do justice to the cream tea we ordered at a rather lovely deli come teashop called Chives, but I did fell better after a walk around the harbour. I wasn’t up to a mooch on the lovely pebbly beach which I’m now kicking myself about as it turns out that is a great place to find ammonites. Doh!
From there we went on to Dulverton where we had booked a meal and accommodation at the Tongdam Thai Restaurant. Both were most excellent and I can’t praise the place and the staff highly enough. They had some wonderful Thai artwork of which the Buddha plaque above was one. There was a small shrine on the bar with a Thai style Buddha statue and various offerings and candles which was lovely to see too.
Unfortunately it started to rain in the evening and carried on all night … Exmoor is a designated Dark Skies zone and I was hoping we would be able to see the Milky Way … dream on! In the morning it was still raining stair rods and having checked out of the accommodation we were left wandering around the village looking for shelter. The whole purpose of our visit was to attend a Strawberries and Cream Tea at the Exmoor Pony Centre which was to start at 2pm. I had planned a morning stroll on the moor, but the weather was so bad it was pointless. We looked around Dulverton, but having lurked in all the local shops, the Visitor Centre and the Heritage Centre – including getting a blow by blow account of the working model of Dulverton Railway Station (which disappeared after the Beeching cuts) from an enthusiastic volunteer - by 12 o’clock we we rather bored, so we decided to set off for the Pony Centre early.
We had a rather harrowing journey up onto the moor with very limited vision along single track roads with a torrent of brown water running down both sides of my father in laws MX5. Having the sports car for a few days is usually a bit of a treat, but that journey was truly terrifying.
I have been a member of the Charity for a good few years, in fact when I joined it was still just the Moorland Mousie Trust and Val the founder was living up here in Cheshire. I really, really, really wish we lived nearer so that I could go over and help out. They do such fantastic work and the ponies are so wonderful. While we were there they brought some rather wet ponies down to hang out in the paddocks by the Visitor Centre. The weather was so awful I expect they didn’t have many visitors which is so disappointing as they don’t have too many events on and they must have bust a gut to organise everything. Plus they could really do with the money!!
Afer a couple of hours we said our goodbyes and headed off to Glastonbury…..