Wet Wet Wet!
I can't remember when I last wore my waterproofs for five consecutive days, but that's what happened on my mini-trip to the Peak District.
Wednesday - First of all, I had a plan, and I knew where I was going to be pretty much from hour to hour. That's until I got off the train at Buxton and was met by Milly and Skip. I'd emailed to say that I would be in Buxton for 50 minutes between my train and onward bus. However, I was invited to attend one of the Kinder Mass Trespass 80th Anniversary walks. We drove to Edale, where it was wild, wet and windy. Half the expected walkers had cancelled, which was just as well for me, as it was fully-booked and I guess I would have been turned away otherwise. Rangers led the walk, up the valley, up Jacob's Ladder, to Edale Cross. Here, we met another group from Hayfield, but the conditions were horrible and there was no point standing around chatting. Instead, it was a rapid retreat to the cafe in Edale, then to Milly's to dry out, where an offer of accommodation was gratefully siezed!
Apologies for the wobbly camera work, but holding a camera in one hand and sheltering it with an umbrella in the other hand, while being buffeted by wind, rain, hail, sleet and snow is pretty tough!
Thursday - Milly gave me a lift to soggy Ashbourne so that I could continue with my planned route, albeit now one day behind. Given that the weather was still cold, wet and windy, I was glad that I'd aimed no higher than easy railway track walks. First was the Tissington Trail, and I seemed to share the middle of it with map-reading students, possibly engaged in a Duke of Edinburgh's Award practice. Apart from a welcome coffee break at Tissington - a popular village where I was clearly the only visitor - it was a case of measuring the miles and finally reaching the Royal Oak at Hurdlow. They have a sloping campsite, which didn't look appealing in the wet. They also have a really good camping barn, and I had the whole place to myself for the night for £13!
Friday - I doubled back along the old railway track and followed the High Peak Trail. I saw more cyclists on this one, and dared to believe that the weather was improving. I left the line near Cromford and, still being a day behind, wasn't able to walk upstream alongside the River Wye through Matlock and Bakewell. Instead, I caught buses, and got off at Ashford in the Water, to make my way to the Backpackers Club AGM.
I've only been a Backpackers Club member for a few years, and only been to two previous AGMs. It was a case of getting pitched between showers, then meeting the other attendees.
Saturday - Most people went off walking, but I'd arranged to meet someone in Bakewell. I learned that it's not a Bakewell 'tart', but a 'pudding', and there was a big food festival taking place in the streets. While it was good to graze from stall to stall, I had to maintain a good appetite for later. After the club AGM there was a buffet, and lots of left-overs, despite everyone's best efforts to clear the tables. There was also a talk given by the leader of Edale Mountain Rescue, and he was sent on his way with a big bag of money.
You don't suppose you transmogrified into a "Quasi Supernormal Incremental Precipitation Inducer", having scanned the bookshelves of the witch's abode?
For tea too!
(Let's see how many get that veiled reference!)
"... Edale, where it was wild, wet and windy... the conditions were horrible..."
Paddy, your words take me right back there
But, in hindsight (and typing this in a warm dry house), the day was enjoyable in a masochistic sort of way, wannit?
Paddy Dillon wrote (see)
For tea too!(Let's see how many get that veiled reference!)
The Monsal Trail was fine but nippy today - first time I've been though the tunnels. I was with the kids on bikes.
Not my cup of tea for a walk, but interesting for a bike ride with children - especially as bits had been pretty inaccessible previously.
Paddy, I hope you don't take this personally, but judging by the evidence, I glad that you aren't in the Peak at the moment: I could do with a dry spell.
I'm sure your talents could be in demand in Dubai, or Australia, or somewhere else with a drought.
Jim... the bad weather followed me all the way home... but the next day was fine, and it's been pretty good all week. Just as well, because the Ulverston Walking Festival has been running all that time. As all the walks for that event start on my doorstep, it takes steely determination to step outside in bad weather.
Birdwatchers would have been completely gob-smacked if they'd attended a couple of the walks this year. While minding our own business along a short stretch of the Cumbria Way, a few of us met a guy came strolling along with a golden eagle perched on his arm. See here...
That is a pretty good conversation point for walking. Better than a puppy.
I always like the sound of skylarks as well
I was so surprised to find myself standing beside a golden eagle that I never asked them who they were. However, someone who was on the walk told me only yesterday that the company was called Predator Experience.
I hope the skylarks weren't unduly inconvenienced!
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