Wheal Jewell wildcamp

We hadn’t camped since our visit and walk along the coast at Boscastle, back in July (here). It was time for another outing and the weather was forecast to be good for the bank holiday weekend. In fact we were in a bit of a warm section of weather in which it had been pretty warm in the day, although a bit cooler at night. I’d surveyed the Dartmoor camping map, looking for a spot which would allow me to perhaps tick off a Dartmoor 365 square. I noticed two areas of purple on the map over by the A386 and Lane End that would do nicely as a base to have a look at the Wheal Jewell reservoir. This reservoir feeds the Mary Tavy hydropower station and itself is fed by the Reddaford Leat which starts out from Tavy Cleave. The reservoir was built in 1937 although the leat was from the 1800s and used to feed the nearby mines of Wheal Betsy and Wheal Friendship. The camp spot was a good one and despite there being no bottled water in the Tesco we visited, we managed to filter some from the River Tavy at Hill Bridge. We set up under blue skies and a setting sun and enjoyed a walk up to the reservoir to have a look around, before returning and having a look at Master Rock which was near to the tent. As the temperature dropped it became pretty cold, so we got inside and enjoyed a fun evening of stories. We could hear cows had come down around the tent and they proceeded to settle in the bracken either side of the tent which left me a little nervous, but I knew we wouldn’t be too loud to spook them. In the middle of the night I awoke with a thumping headache and bad throat, since diagnosed as tonsillitis. Although to get that diagnosis I had to go through the pathetic checks for Covid first, because the only disease out there is Covid these days. It took me 5 days to get an appointment with a doctor to check for what it actually was. The night was a bit of a ruin from there on in, I was shivering badly with the tonsillitis kicking in and hardly slept after 3am, the stiff winds which had whipped up from nowhere didn’t help. We were packed and gone by 8.30am (an achievement with 2 teenage boys) and sat in a cafe in Tavistock by 9.15am. The planned walk through Tavy Cleave was canned as I was feeling awful. The bonus was my brother was down with his family so I took the boys back to see their cousins and do the standard lateral flow tests to check. Still we were out in the tent and the evening was very good before tonsillitis grabbed me.

© Crown copyright 2021 Ordnance Survey FL 2021 SF
Tent is up, the view behind is stunning, with Hare Tor back left and the terrain falls towards Tavy Cleave in the middle before rising again up Standon Hill
That way is Lynch Tor and the valley that holds Bagga Tor and Brousentor
South ish towards Cox Tor, the hill on the left is going up towards White Tor. The houses are the hamlet of Zoar
We took a short walk along the track to Wheal Jewell reservoir, made of concrete and banking it feeds the Hydro electric plant at Mary Tavy and has done since 1937
Dartmoor ponies at Wheal Jewell, Tavy Cleave in the distance
Walking back down the track to the tent, White Tor looking dark and moody in the distance
Master Rock and White Tor
Master Rock again and the Cleave behind, the sun was glowing off the tors in the distance
Sun setting
Me and my youngest in a fine mood, we had some giggles after this and fell asleep nicely around 11pm, unfortunately I awoke feeling awful at 3am and proceeded to sweat and shiver through the rest of the night with a bad sore throat and headache. Still it was a good wildcamp and ticks another 365 square which was a bonus.

2 thoughts on “Wheal Jewell wildcamp

  1. Shame the tonsillitis spoiled a night out with the kids. Totally right that all focus has been lost to other ailments and illnesses, some very serious indeed. My wife used to suffer very badly with tonsillitis but not for many years. It’s really nasty by all accounts. Hope your back to normal now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Penicillin has kicked in and I feel a fair bit better as I type. Went for a short walk today with the boys and feel a bit wiped out now. Think I’ve underestimated the lack of sleep I’ve had this last fortnight. Looking for another short walk for tomorrow to start building up my levels again. I sympathise with anyone who has reoccurring tonsillitis, its horrid.

      Liked by 1 person

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