Snow, Sheep and Signs
When I set out for Burrito (Burrator, the 'official' name) Reservoir with two of my oldest friends (we all ended up at Plymouth Uni, a story for a different day), it was on the first sunny day of this year so far. Being the optimist that I am, I decided to cast aside my old, but tough, Doc Martens and wear my new white Filas... Me and my trainers were still in the honeymoon phase; I hated to be apart from them, any opportunity for walking anywhere you would see them with me, they were the best thing to ever grace my feet with their cushioned style... until that fateful day.
So, as I was saying the sun was shining, I was with my pals; it was looking like it was gonna be a great day for bumbling around the incredible landscape of the moors. After stopping into Asda for a pasty each (I wasn't very well prepared and only had stale bread in my cupboard... whoops!), we were walking back to the car when I noticed the hills in the distance were all covered in snow. Without thinking of my shoe choice, or anything practical at all really, I began to bounce with excitement (I did have a coffee by this point) thinking about how picturesque the mountainous landscape of the moors would look coated in a blanket of white.
Top tip: Don't try and go down a road that has a sign clearly stating, 'Road Closed', even if everyone else is doing it... it's not worth trying.
At this point I should admit, I am the worst sat nav informant - which I did inform my friend of when I first climbed into the passenger seat. Not that I’m trying to push the blame elsewhere, but really she should’ve known better… ANYWAY rather than taking the right hand turning that would have taken us straight to Burrito (yes, I will call it that every time) Reservoir, we drove straight past the ‘Road Closed’ sign, convincing ourselves and each other ‘I’m sure it’s fine, everyone else is going up there so surely that’s a good sign’... as opposed to following the actual sign which told us to not go the exact way we were going. We ended up in a little over half an hour worth of standstill traffic (during which I took the opportunity to get a lot of photos of the views) confused as to why our, clearly well thought out, plan did in fact not go to plan. It turned out the snow had drawn every family in Devon to this area, where they had all decided to abandon their cars on the side of a road; which was little wider than a one-way road to start with. Ah, Cornwall and Devon roads. Eventually, a woolly policeman came bobbing along to each car and informed us that we had to turn around, the road was closed ahead.
After battling through pedestrians who decided to walk leisurely in the middle of the road, attempting to drive up an ice-rink of a hill (in a Nissan Micra), before we noticed a man at the top manically waving his arms at us mouthing 'NO', and having to emergency brake for a family of daredevil sheep, we made it back to the sign and made the turning. We parked up in a slushy slope of a car park; this was the moment I realised my trainers were destined for failure.
Side note: I am also incredibly clumsy (if you couldn’t tell from my attempt at rock exploration on my last post), so icy, sloping terrain was not a promising start.
I clung onto my friend as we descended down toward the reservoir and, of course, it did not disappoint. The bridge is a spectacle in itself, but with the views of the mammoth hills and dense trees that surround you, you forget you’re only half an hour away from the City Centre (if you follow the signs) and not in the depths of Canada.
We circled around the reservoir, attempting to avoid the snow-covered bog... failing to avoid the snow-covered bog… but after a little, while we no longer really cared. Of course, we did get lost a few times, but that’s the great thing about this area; even when you are lost, it feels like you are on an adventure that you never would have found, had you stuck to the path. So much so, you almost feel a little bit thankful that you did get a little bit lost after all.
What I appreciate most about days like that day, is having the opportunity away from technology, uni work and the city, to spend a couple of hours with good friends adventuring and talking about everything from school memories, to peculiar theories about life, and literally everything in between. I feel so lucky with the friends I have; there may only be a handful of them, but I am able to talk without thinking and act without worrying and they will always stick around. As we chatted, laughed, lost our way, and eventually decided it was safer to turn back the way we came, I was reminded of just how lucky I am to be in such a beautiful area with such wonderful people around me. Of course, my trainers were sacrificed and are still to this day covered in mud, but life's too short to worry about a getting your shoes muddy when there are wonderful adventures to be had and a pretty great life to be lived.
Unfortunately, as far as I can tell from the research I've done, this trip is only accessible via car. There is a way to get there using buses but it requires a lot of walking and over two hours of travelling! However, if you are able to drive here, or you have a friend/partner you can persuade to take you, the parking is completely free and the trip is only 30 minutes (as long as you go the right way), so it's a really low-cost trip and a great way to escape and immerse yourself in nature and incredible landscape for a couple of hours!
Car park ticket: Free, you don't need to pick one up!
Asda Pasty (optional): £3 - £4
Of course, I always recommend bringing a packed lunch with you for any trips, if you are wanting to save money!