Monday, August 07, 2006

Advice on driving in the moor

The weekend flew by as usual. Saturday we had nice lazy day, relaxed and did no DIY. In the evening we went to Paul and Nicky's for a BBQ which was wonderful. On Sunday there was no church (summerholidays) and they had organised a walk/crafts/picnic thing up in the moors. We were a bit tired and weren't sure how Moses would take to painting etc and opted for reading the Sunday times with a nice cup of tea and some freshly made scones instead.

In the afternoon we went and had lunch in the Warren House Inn in the middle of nowhere in Dartmoor with Tony. We had brilliant lunch as usual. I went for the sunday roast, you should have seen the size of hte yorkshire pudding :) David had a rabbit pie, which is really really tasty and Tony had steak and ale pie - also delicious.

We have had an unfortunate event with a pony in the moors once. We were driving back from Princetown (after an other excursion for a meal) late at night and it was full moon, after a blind summit/hill we were suddenly faced with pack of ponies and fauls. All apart from one escaped and we hit the unforutnate one. Thankfully we were going slowly - because we were admiring the moon - and the pony got up and run away. I think our little micra came off worse with a dent on the bonnet.

So in order to prevent anything similar happening to other people here is
my concise guide to animal behaviour in the moors
essential to remember everytime you are driving in Dartmoor:

1. sheep that is not eating grass is an accident waiting to happen
2. 5+ sheep together close to the road are a definite hazard, even if some of them are eating grass
3. sheep that is stading on a road can run to any direction, most likely towards you, so be aware
4. Lamb on an opposite sidew of the road to it's mum is just waiting for you to get close enough before crossing the road (I think they play dare)
5. Ponies are usually sensible but fauls are unpredictable
6. Similarly as point 4 for lambs, in the event of car approaching fauls want to be united with the mother on the opposite side of the road before the car passes
7. Sheep and ponies further than 5m away from the road are usually safe (exceptions points 4&6)
8. Cattle are always a hazard, never trust them, they are big, bulky and surpisingly fast (when they want to) and htey can do serious damage to your car
9. applies to all above animals: they love standing in the middle of the road and take long as possible to move
10. Also applies to all above animal types: they wait untill the opprtune moment untill stepping on the road i.e. when you are so close that you need to slam your brakes to avoid hitting them and there is an old Sunday driver coming from the opposite direction stopping you from overtaking the animal

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