Sunday, 23 September 2012

Day 4. Congleton to Flash

Whoopeeee, we have a signal tonight, so I'll carry on with the post I started last night, and get that out of the way. I went down for breakfast at 8am, to find no breakfast ready and the cleaning lady doing her stuff with the hoover. She said breakfast isn't served till 9am so I told her I had requested it for 8am. Anyway, between us we cobbled one together, I needed to get going. She brought the toaster out and I made the toast, she warmed a tin of beans in the microwave. I had already had a mug of coffee in the room so didn't need another one. I made extra toast and spread it with jam and wrapped it up to take with me. On the way out of town I popped into Morrisons to pick up the days provisions.
It took me twenty minutes to get back onto the canal at Buglawton. The towpaths have been very muddy and I would have liked to get off them. It's ok around the locks and the parts where there are boats moored, but there are miles of overgrown paths.
See that mini mountain over there, that's where I am going today, after I have made a little diversion to see Bossley Locks. Apparently there are 27 locks in a mile. 
 
I didn't walk the whole mile and back just went to see a few of them.  
 
 
There's that mini mountain again, it's called The Cloud, looks quite rocky up there. 
I traipsed across a couple of boggy fields and came out on a road, which I crossed and took a track to the top. No jumping off allowed, ha ha.  
Fantastic views from up there, a time for solitude and reflection. There was a few people about, and lots of dogs having a great time. 
  
 
 
 
 
Puddytat was very happy.It was a lovely sunny morning and he was glad to be travelling on top of the rucksack instead of inside it.  
That's Congleton down there. 
From coming down off The Cloud, I picked up the Dane Valley Way. Some of it was quite difficult to find, especially when it went across fields and I couldn't find the stile to get out over the other side. I crossed over the main A523 and headed for Danebridge. I must say the path at this stage had become horrendous with the mud almost coming over the top of my boots. Another day with wet feet, at least the rest of me was dry in the sun.
I sometimes wonder if it is a good idea to keep introducing more long distance footpaths, the council printing up leaflets to encourage people to use them, then millions of pairs of boots churn them up, and nobody bothers to maintain them.
I came across Danebridge Fish Farm and fishing ponds. As it was a Saturday and nice weather lots of people had come out to enjoy themselves. They were selling buckets of food for 50p that the children could feed to the fish. They loved seeing them leap out of the water to catch the food. A bit further along there was a sign on the fence advertising Family Fun, catch a trout and take it home for tea for £2.50. I thought what a contradiction. Spend 50p to feed the fish, then spend £2.50 to kill one.
My plan was to try and make it to Buxton, but I knew I would have to run like a whippet to get there. I had spent a bit of time talking to people, so that had slowed me down a bit, but I thought I might make it if I tried really hard. When I got to Gradbach Youth Hostel it was 4.30pm, by then I knew it was almost impossible to get to Buxton in the time I had left. I was hopefull I could get a bed there, but found they were full up, the whole hostel had been booked by a private party. I had no choice but to carry on.  
 
I decided that the road would be my best bet, as the mud and uneven ground was really slowing me up.From the hostel I followed the road up to the village of Flash. As I was struggling up a very steep hill I saw a whole field of Alpacas, aren't they lovely.   
There was no room at the Inn at The Travellers Rest on the main A53 road, so there was nothing I could do but to get a taxi to take me the five miles into Buxton. I have read the comments on the post I put on last night, and I can understand that some people may be alarmed that I stayed with the taxi driver and his wife, it was very kind of them to put me up. I think I should add that as soon as I got into the taxi (it was licensed and had the company name on the side) I found the driver extremely easy to get on with and we soon had a lively conversation going. I have been working with men for 32 years and think I am quite a good judge of character. We were having a bit of banter about how expensive it was for a room, I said, all I want is a bed and a wash basin so I could brush my teeth. I joked, 'you haven't got a spare room have you', ha ha. He made a phone call to his wife to ask what she thought. I was amazed that she said ok and I thought it was so funny. They were taking a chance on me, I could have been a nutter. As it happens they were a lovely couple, and I had a fantastic night, I feel I have found new friends. Toodle pip.    

8 comments:

  1. Ilona, are on you 'on target' for your miles per day, and do you do less miles per day as the walk progresses?
    Jane x

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  2. *sigh* I always wish I can go along with you on your walks. I love adventures, however I'm glad you take lots of pictures. :D As for the cab driver and his wife, it was uplifting to learn that there are still nice people in the world. We've all gotten so scared and paranoid, with all the bad things we hear daily on the news. It's sad.

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  3. Same thing happened to us quite a few years ago. We were in Chester for the night, there were no rooms to be had. The last B&B we tried said, let me call a friend, and before we knew where we were, we had a room for the night. Unfortunately, the toast next morning was mouldy... but on the other hand, it was cheap and they had cornflakes!

    Janet, Lancashire

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  4. Its great that you are meeting such kind people on your travels. I always enjoy your photographs too, almost as good as going myself. How is your foot ?

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  5. Hi Jane, No I am behind target on my miles now. I always think I am Superwoman, but I can't walk the same distance up and down hills as I can on the flat. It's not fatigue which slows me it's the hills, uneven surfaces, and mud. I am hoping to catch up a bit in a day or two when I get back on the flat again. It's amazing how fast my legs can carry me, even towards the end I can up the pace. I won't know the daily mileage till I work it out at the end.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ilona, I hope you can catch up a bit on the flat.I always worry that you won't find a bed for the night.
      Jane x

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  6. I'm loving the photos, the views are absolutely breathtaking. Was pleased to hear that you got a bed for the night via the kind taxi driver and his wife, but I do worry about you a bit when you are walking late at night. The little alpacas are cute, are you sure you didn't stash one in your backpack. :-) All the best with your walk and I hope the weather is fair for you. Cheers for now, Christy.

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  7. The views are fantastic from the top of Bosley cloud! I haven't been up there for 2 or 3 years. I love the alpaca photo, not far up the road from there, there are llamas too :)

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