Groovin' in the UK - Days 7, 8, 9
WAC 2010 is over and time to bid farewell to my English friend, Mungo of York Cottage. We had enough time for one final frantic round of play and invented a new game called ‘Synchronised Ball-snapping’, whereby a 2 dog team has to perform identical moves and catch a ball at the same time… may just turn out to be next dogsports craze.
Not sure when we’ll ever get to meet again and I’m already missing Mungo. I had a ball of a time at his backyard. Hope that I can save enough dog kibble on the side to cash in for another trip to UK somewhere down the road …
We continued with our self drive holiday down south passing the ruins of Nunney Castle and Glastonbury Abbey on our way to Dartmoor National Park. We fed the swans at the lake, had afternoon tea and scones at Glastonbury, mystical town associated with the legend of King Arthur and historical place of worship. Also had time to put my herding skills to good use by ushering 4 ducks into the moat surrounding Nunney Castle.
All very British, I must say … but I am still waiting to down a pint of ale at the local pub to make my UK experience complete.
Dartmoor National Park was like going back to the untamed, barren and rugged terrain of rural England, where wild horses still roam the land. A quick romp up Bowerman’s Nose hill offered grand views of the area. My ears were flapping in the windy conditions at the top … this JRT looked very much at home in the rough and rugged landscape. They say JRTs originate from UK and I may have just discovered my roots.
Not that KL mamak stalls and kopitiams do not sit well with me, but this is truly different … you can tell by that tranquil look in my eyes. Back in KL, I have only one look … that ‘where’s my ball?’ look!
Far from the crowd, the Forest Inn accommodation in the park was basic and came with a hearty English breakfast. Very dog friendly as well as we bumped into a number of dogs at the bar and beer garden who dropped in after their evening walks from farms nearby. Owners had hearty meals for dinner and breakfast .. again.
Next morning was spent wandering in a stream and forest just beside the inn. For a moment, I was tempted to soak myself in the stream as I would normally do at home, but one paw into the freezing cold water jolted me to my senses. I need one of them diving suits to swim in this weather … custom made diving suit for my next vacation, check.
Had time for another short trek up Hound Tor (large rock formations dotting the national park) which looked like a dog’s head from certain angles. There were 3 other K9s who were running free and having a grand time. 2 smaller ones were already doing their own version of rock climbing and they were very sure footed fellas! They then trotted away with their owners and disappeared in the wide expanse of Dartmoor. Such a gigantic backyard to explore … these guys don’t know how lucky they are.
Last stop for the day is Lulworth, lovely seaside village with a cove and coastal walks to explore. Took a hike up the hill towards Durdle Door rock formation. Blustery winds and great seaside views greeted us at the top … wind was so strong that I grew Spock-like pointy ears. Thought we had better retreat lest we wished to be blown of the cliff. Went for a runabout at the calmer and scenic cove area.
We stayed at the Old Barn B&B watched by 2 resident Scottish Terriers, who weren’t used to having K9 visitors around. Had dinner at Castle Inn Pub which displayed an unusual signboard reading, ‘Dogs Welcome! (and their humans too!)’. Needless to say, had our vote for Most Dog Friendly Pub. Pub had so many dogs in it that we almost stepped on one in the dark. In a cold British night, there’s nothing like sneaking into the local pub and snuggling amongst the comfy seats for a short snooze in the dark surroundings, while the humans gorged down their meals.
Next day, we drove to Kingston Lacy and Pamphill villages to view the stately row of beech trees lining the road and the colourful, calming bluebells which carpeted the forest. Mr Owner made me pose with the flowers once again, not my idea of fun but anything to keep him entertained.
The town was quite happening with many shops and eateries to explore. Salisbury Cathedral was a stately sight and dogs were allowed in the grounds. Spotted ducks waddling in the Avon river, spotted dogs walking their owners through the busy streets and found an inviting water bowl at the entrance to the local pet shop … ahhh, the best things in life are free.
Final stop, city of London.