Hi bloggy friends, post number two tonight to catch up. What have I been doing today? Well for a start my flippin legs are killing me. The upper leg muscles have been working hard since I arrived in Derbyshire, up and down the hills. Good news about the blisters. The big one under my heel has gone, after a few pricks with a needle and covered with Germoline. The soles of my feet are like leather. There have been a couple of smaller ones, but they are not bothering me, they get the same treatment so won't be around very long. I must say that my lungs are getting a good workout, and my heart seems to be coping wonderfully with all the extra beating it has to do. I feel much fitter when doing these long walks. Let's hope the leg muscles loosen up a bit tomorrow.
Right, what have I been doing today. The best taxi driver in Buxton dropped me off at Flash, where he picked me up the night before. It was a bit cold, but dry. I thought I would be ok without a jacket on, as I expected it to brighten up, and I hate keep stopping to change my clothes. After ten minutes I was freezing so I gave in and put the jacket on. Still had the shorts on though, for some reason my legs don't feel cold when I am walking, perhaps because they are going up and down like the clappers, ha ha.
There was no need for me to walk into Buxton, I could bypass that bit now, and cut across the bottom of it towards Harpur Hill. I had put my bigger scale Ordnance Survey map in my bag as I need more detail because there are a lot more footpaths to choose from. I had to find my way around the edge of the massive site of the Health and Safety Executive Laboratory Headquarters. Luckily they have signs everywhere because they don't want people walking where they shouldn't be. The whole sight is protected by security cameras, I stopped for a minute to check a tarmac path on the map, I think this is an entrance for vehicles as it has a traffic light on it. I was hesitating because I didn't know if the path went up the road. All of a sudden the traffic light changed from red to green and there was only me there. I laughed, I could imagine some bloke watching me and reading my mind. ha ha. Off you go dear, yes you can proceed.
Anyway, I found Harpur Hill but I was quite high up and I needed to get down to the main road at the bottom to cross it. Could I find the flippin footpath, could I heck. I ended up making a bit of a detour, going through a field of cows and giving them a wide berth, and climbing over a gate to go through the middle of a farmyard. Phew that was lucky, nobody spotted me. That's Harpur Hill down there.
Next was a bit of road walking, still a bit cold, but at least no rain. I went down a minor road to King Sterndale, a tiny hamlet of a few houses. I love this painted sign on the village hall.
I went down a very steep bank, almost went arse over tit in the mud, crossed the railway line and the main A6 road, and the River Wye, then climbed a steep bank on the other side to turn right through Wye Dale. The path eventually went through a wood, then through some brambles, my legs were scratched and stung to hell, ouch. Across on the other side is Topley Pike Quarry.
The path dropped down to a little bridge which crossed the river. It was here that I decided to get on the Monsal Trail, a wide flat path which used to be a railway line many years ago. There was a cycle hire place which seemed to be buzzing. Even though it was cold there were lots of people out cycling.
This is the weir next to the cycle hut.
The flat surface was easier walking and giving my legs a rest so I decided to stick with it. Going downhill when your upper leg muscles are aching is hell. By staying on here I could get a move on with not much pain. Here are some of the tunnels which are now open to pass through.
The remains of a lime kiln.
I have walked part of this trail before, this is Cresswell Mill which I mentioned in a previous post.
I had originally planned on heading for Baslow, but as time went on I thought I wouldn't make it before darkness, so I decided to modify the route and go to Bakewell. It had grown very dull and threatened rain, which started just as I got to Bakewell. I thought there would be a better chance of finding a bed here.The station is still standing and being used as a company office.
On this copy of an old poster you can see the Monsal Viaduct which I walked over.
I found the Tourist Information Office was still open so I went in to enquire about finding a room. The man looked on the computer and rang a couple of them, no vacancies. He said £70 - £75 is normal. Then he didn't have any more to check for me, and the woman pointed out that they were about to close. They told me the best place to look. I popped in a Spar shop to get some provisions for tonight and tomorrow and went down the road they suggested. I found somewhere, and it wasn't £70, well it might have been, for a couple, but I think the man took pity on me a wet bedraggled oap, and ofered it for £50. I still think this is too much, but it's a posh touristy area, so I suppose they can get a bit more. It's a lovely room, I'm going to sleep well here. They are going to do me a veggie breakfast, served at 8am.
Coffee or tea anyone?