Much as we enjoyed our visit at the cousin's cob cottage, it was time to move on and so we said our goodbyes and headed towards Dartmoor National Park where another cousin lived. All 234,000 acres of the park are owned by someone, but the park guarantees legal access for the public. So the folks who own the land go about their business of raising sheep, the public enjoys walking amongst the tors, the wild horses wander anywhere they want, the sheep sleep on the roadway, and somehow(!) they all exist in relative harmony. You can go on your own tour of the park or learn more about it here. www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk
At one point we got a little confused so the Lord of the Manor stopped to ask a local for directions, but just like in St. Ives, we couldn't understand a word he said!
The wild ponies were everywhere and being protected, are free from molestation. Tarmac or moor makes no difference to them. They do whatever needs doing wherever they are. The cars simply stop and wait for them to pass. Or get out and visit with them as we did.
The sheep, being of value, are more tightly controlled. Whilst heading home one afternoon we had to pull over and wait for this to pass. The farmer told us they needed to continue to use the roads to move the sheep between pastures or their rights to do so would be taken away. He further told us he had to have the sheep shorn, even though it was financially a loss, because it was so hot lately.