Poppydog’s favourite walk – Braunton Burrows…

It certainly has gone cold again – not quite freezing, but that chilly easterly wind more than makes up for that and there is even a little flurry of snow in the air! I thought Poppydog could do with a good bit of ‘off roading’ today, so we headed for Braunton Burrows, which is the one place where I know she can be free.

As the area was military free, instead of sticking to the main route through to the beach, we meandered about through the dunes and it was lovely to just watch Poppydog racing about, never going too far and bobbing up every now and then to check on me!

We did eventually make our way onto the deserted beach, but that came with a stiff breeze, so after a check on the sea state, we soon headed back to the shelter of the dunes.

On the way back, we didn’t exactly get lost, but it took us considerably longer than I planned as we found ourselves in the middle of the Burrows, which is clearly used for driving exercises, with tracks going off in all directions, up and down some very steep dunes! Poppydog was in her element and will definitely sleep well tonight! As indeed will I!

Two thoughts of the day:

I wonder if we will get the snowfall forecast for tonight? Could make moving on tomorrow a bit awkward!

Found some new wellies- let’s see how long they last!


On Military Exercise in Braunton Burrows…..

A mostly sunny day but with some pretty heavy showers around just to keep us on our toes! However we were lucky just catching the tail end of one when we arrived at Braunton Burrows and then it very kindly stayed dry for a few hours until we got back to the car! We enjoyed a lovely rainbow across the Burrows.

As there were Military vehicles in the car park and there are signs up warning of Military training activity, I decided (much to her disgust!) that it would be prudent to keep Poppydog on her lead as we wandered through the burrows to Saunton Sands. As it turned out, we only happened upon a group in the middle of the Burrows who appeared to be having a briefing, so I was probably being over cautious. Anyhow once on the beach, which was pretty much deserted as usual, so plenty of room for play.

This time I was ready and had 3 tennis balls to wind Poppydog up with! The theory being that she can only carry one, so I can keep throwing the other two. As you can tell I am desperately trying to find a method that works! Where we are currently is that I throw a ball which she chases, catches and brings back BUT doesn’t let go, so I then throw another ball, which she chases, catches (having just dropped the first ball where the second ball landed) and brings back but doesn’t let go, so I now have a third ball to throw whilst walking along to where the first one has been dropped! So that was a long winded way of saying we are getting nowhere!

Still the sun was shining and it was very pleasant, wandering along the beach, with just the roar of the waves in the background and Poppydog was getting all the exercise she needs!

On the way back, as Poppydog was calmer (bordering on worn out, not forgetting she is a Springer!) and seemed content to more or less stay with me, we ventured into the Burrows.

All seemed to be quiet so I assumed the Military probably packed up by 3 or 4 to get back for their tea! Wrong! We were just coming up to a bend in the track when the sound of gunfire quite close by, took us both by surprise! I quickly put Poppydog back on her lead and continued around the bend with some trepidation. Fortunately a couple of military vehicles came by and waved us on through, anyhow we got a shifty on, shall we say and once around the next bend World War 3 broke out behind us, so we got a shifty on all the way back to the car! I may add that other dog walkers we encountered back in the car park didn’t look in the least bothered, so I assume we were quite safe!!

Two thoughts of the day:

Who is more out of place walking through the sand dunes behind Saunton, me in my bright purple rain jacket or the Military with their faces all camouflaged?

I assume they were pretend guns or ammo at least – must have been, they didn’t sound loud enough!

Back to the desert – ok then Saunton Sands……

Another damp start to the day and poor visibility pretty much throughout but undeterred we revisited Saunton Sands, partly to see if the car park was now free (it was!) and partly because it is just so beautiful and quiet.

To get to the beach we wondered through Braunton Burrows, having first checked with the lone soldier in the car park that it was safe to do so! This area is such doggy heaven, just miles and miles of partially covered dunes, criss crossed with pathways, both human and animal and for me wide tracks made in the firm sand by military vehicles, makes for easy walking.

See the beauty of the wild grasses creating structure against the sky.

Once on the beach, we walked away from Saunton itself and soon had the massive expanse of beach to ourselves.

And even the sun tried to break through and join us!

This beach is going to take some beating.

Two thoughts of the day:

Very randomly this sign had been positioned part way along the beach, but had been collected on our return at about 4.30 – any ideas?

Why does it take 16 hours to recharge an electric toothbrush?

Saunton Sands a desert in Devon – who knew?…..

Very wet through the night and quite windy judging by the sound of the trees but not bothering us here in the valley. Persuaded Poppydog to stay settled until just before 8 when the rain finally stopped!

Later we parked up and took a long walk down part of the Tarka Trail that borders Braunton Burrows (the natural inland dunes behind the beach, which is part nature reserve and used by the military occasionally as a training site) before crossing the Burrows to join the beach just before Crow Point which is the furthest point of Saunton Sands. The dunes are a wonderful mix of browns and greens, full of animal trails and scents – absolute heaven for Poppydog!

The beach is just vast and almost deserted – our favourite kind!

We walked to the Beacon at Crow Point and looked across at the matching beacons in Instow across the inlet of the rivers Taw and Torridge.

From Crow Point we walked back along the beach towards Saunton and at times with the stiff wind that was blowing up the beach, not another sole in site and the dunes on our right, it felt like we were crossing a desert! OK so the sea was to our left all the while but just look…

Now I am no horsewoman (having had a bad fall many years ago and being terrified ever since) but this has got to be amazing!

Still we battled on against the wind – we’ve been on the beach for a good hour or so and Poppydog is still hassling me to keep on throwing a ball – why can’t she just enjoy the scenery?

And still the beach goes on! It keeps on giving as well- amazing what you find stuck in the sand..

This is a 3.5 mile stretch of sand (felt like 6 in the wind!) and we (I) didn’t have the energy to make it to the end (we will be back) so we cut back through Braunton Burrows to where the car was parked – still an 8 mile round trip – whew!

Two thoughts of the day:

Perfect walk today for Poppydog today – all of lead – she is now out for the count!

So am I!!!