Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Day 3. Macclesfield to Monsal Head

Hello, I'm a bit late with this tonight, as I was late finding a bed. I can't tell you how far I've walked today, bikehike is playing up, but it's a flippin long way. I got to Buxton mid afternoon, far too early to stop, so I carried on, in the hope I would make it to Bakewell. A bit of a long shot, but I had to try, as there are hardly any places in between that have a B & B. I didn't reach Bakewell, but found a small hotel at Monsal Head.
I noticed that Anon left a comment asking why I didn't do the research on the internet first, to find cheap accommodation. The answer is that I don't know how far I am going to walk each day. I don't know what time I am going to set off each morning, I don't know how many hills I'm going to climb which slows me up. I don't know how long my feet are going to hold out. I don't know if I'm going to get lost and lose time finding the way. I don't know how long I'm going to walk for each day. I don't want to prebook and then have to walk to a timetable. The idea is to have complete freedom in where I go, and which route I'm going to take. Besides all that, the reason I am frugal in my day to day living, is to give me money to do trips like this. 
So, this morning I set off from Macclesfield just after 9am. I am heading for Buxton, but I am not going to turn right here, I'm going to follow the B5470, and turn off on a narrow road called Cliff Lane.  
I passed a small holding, they had hens, ducks, and goats. 
This was an unusual gate, the artist calls it an artwork, it certainly looked arty. It wasn't an entrance to anything, just a small patch of grass. Nearby was a plaque with the artists details on it, if anyone passing would like to buy one they can contact him. A novel way of advertising his wares.
Jam and chutney for sale here, all proceeds to go to keeping the walled garden tidy. Put your money in the honesty box, and don't steal anything.  
I've climbed a bit further out now, looking back over Macclesfield. 
The track on the right has been badly eroded over many years, lots of loose stones makes it very difficult to walk comfortably. They are building a new track alongside it and have cut down a lot of trees on the edge of the forest, and put some fencing up. The ground is much softer there. 
Yes it's been a sunny day, and yes I've had my shorts on all day. This is the A6, close to the Cat and Fiddle pub.
And this is the Cat and Fiddle, a famous landmark in Derbyshire.
Just as I was coming into Buxton, I saw some red lambs, down there in the distance. I don't know if they had jackets on or the farmer has painted them red. I have heard that farmers are resorting to painting their stock bright colours due the the increase of rustling. 
This is Buxton Pavilion. I called in here, to ask at Tourist Information if they could find me some accommodation half way between there and Bakewell, they couldn't. That's why I carried on walking, it was too early to pack up, and besides, I know from past experience that it is very costly to stay in Buxton. 

Lovely gardens surround the Pavillion.

So, out of Buxton on the A515, I did a left turn to get onto the Gritstone Way to Cowdale. I went underneath the right hand arch of this viaduct. 
I picked up the route that I previously used in September, a bit boring but I didn't have time to get lost. I slogged it along the Monsal Trail, my little legs going faster and faster as I tried my hardest to get to Bakewell. It got to 7pm and I knew I was beat, and came off the trail at Cressbrook, to take the road, just in case I came across a B & B sign anywhere. I took this pic as I came into Cresswell. 
I rang Tracey, a lady I know from Walking Forum. She suggested Monsal Head pub, or a small hotel opposite. It was a steep climb up to the top of the Head, I should have stayed on the Trail a bit longer, then I wouldn't have had to do that climb. Here is the view, the Trail goes over the viaduct. The light wasn't very good as the sun had gone down at this point. I will take another one tomorrow morning. 
I was glad to get this room tonight, my feet are a bit sore, and I've had to put some padding underneath my shoulder straps to stop the rucksack digging in. The two blisters on my left foot are almost gone, only to be replaced by two more on my right foot. Breakfast is at 8.30, so I'll be off about 9,30. When I get to Bakewell that will be where I stopped last time, so it will be unknown territory from then on, so who knows where I will be tomorrow night.
Toodle pip.

24 comments:

  1. Interesting gate, wood or steel?

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  2. The goats and gate get my vote. Night night.
    Jane x

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  3. Absolutely beautiful pic's!

    I love the gate, Love the honor system..we have a garden guy here that does that. We always add a bit more cause he's so good at keeping us in garden veggies during the summer months.

    Thanks for taking me along with you!
    Jake's a Girl

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  4. My old stomping grounds -- Monsal Head and Bakewell. You would probably havefound somewhere to stay in Great Longstone or Ashford in the Water. If the Cliff Lane you refer to is in Calver, I used to live there. Spent a wondrously happy year looking down the Derwent Valley to Chatsworth. Gorgeous countryside. Makes me homesick thinking about it.

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  5. so enjoying your journey and photos!

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  6. Love your pictures! Sounds like you are having a lot of fun :) take care
    Kim

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  7. You walk so much, I'm sure you know this tip, but here it is: when you get a blister, poke a hole in it with a needle and let the liquid drain. Then cover with a band-aid, or--better yet--a small piece of moleskin. The blister will stop hurting and will heal quickly.

    I'm enjoying your walkabout tremendously!

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    1. Thank you mm. I prick the blisters to drain and smother with Germoline. Seems to do the trick. I tried a plaster but that creates an extra layer between foot and boot, adding more pressure. The blisters are on my toes. Thank goodness none on my heels.

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  8. From Nancy in Northern California ~ I think it's great how you walk the countryside with no idea where you will end up each night. I've heard of walking tours but everything is all planned out. I know I don't have the courage you have but it's fun watching you so unafraid, Ilona.

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  9. Hi Ilona, its Ed here. I often hear the cat + fiddle mentioned in winter weather reports, usually because they have shut the road due to snow. I think I remember seeing something on TV called railway walks where the presenter walked part of the monsal trail. Looking forward to you next instalment! Take care.

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    1. Hi Ed. The Cat and Fiddle is high up, so the snow does close roads round here. Julia Bradbury did the Monsal Trail, good to walk along, just the once, but a bit samey if you have done it before.

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  10. Thank you for your comments. Lovely start to the day. Breakfast then off. Have a nice day.

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  11. Hi Ilona, are you a YHA member? The Peak district is bristling with youth hostels. Good luck.

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    1. Hi Anon. Yes, I am a YHA member, but there are no hostels on the route I am taking.

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  12. Hi Ilona ...I am enjoying reading about your trek and seeing all the pictures. I think you should add " the intrepid traveller" to your blog title. Good luck on the rest of your journey.

    Susan

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  13. Thank you for taking us all on another trek. Your photos bring the walk to life.

    I think that is why your back pack is digging into your shoulders. You're carrying all of us along. Can't wait for the next installment. Enjoy the scenery and enjoy your freedom!

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  14. As I read this post, I was beginning to worry about you that you wouldn't find anywhere to sleep for the night, but thank goodness you found somewhere nice to lay your head.
    Lovely countryside photos. Never heard of painting sheep before.

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  15. I always read your posts but I'm not good at commenting. You always take such lovely photos on your trips. We loosely live in the same are and I often think ooooh I could go there!

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  16. Hi, Ilona ... just wondering: are there any snakes or other troublesome wildlife to watch out for on your walks? I'm so enjoying your photo-journey!

    Happy Trails,
    Sharon in Alabama (USA)

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    1. Hi Sharon, I have never seen any snakes, though I believe there may be some grass snakes. The wildlife seems friendly enough.

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  17. Dear Ilona, I've been in the USA since 1963. I used to love "nature walks" in and around Grantham, Lincs. when I was a little girl. I have never found anything here like the walking opportunities you find and use. Yes, there are walking tracks -- but not the farms and fields and little towns and villages. I'm as green with envy of you as the spring grass that's showing up in your pictures. Love, Elaine in Philly.

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    name snap

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  19. Lovely trip and nice pics! Hope your blisters don`t cause too much agrovation.

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