It was not a fast walk, with heat, a rucksack, plenty of hills and a stop for food, indeed the walk took me just over 11 hours. But, the key thing is that I feel that I am back in the groove.
There were many highlights during the day but a few of them were:
A fountain and nearby a cross and well dressing in Bonsall.
In Chatsworth park I had a great vew from the top of the waterfall that used to power the fountain (maybe it still does?) and of the Hunting Tower.
Derbyshire has many impressive rocks, here are two that could look sinister with the right lighting and music.
The Eagle Stone is my favourite rock in Derbyshire and I have been coming back to look at it and sometimes to try and climb it for about years, so far.
A large part of my walk today was on the edges, a series of cliffs overlooking the valley below. Once you climb up to them the walking is quite flat and view stupendous.
And finally I reached the George Hotel in Hathersage, just in time for dinner.
Walking for 11 hours gives one plenty of time for thinking, and sometimes for coming up with definite plans for the future. One plan I have is never to go hiking with a map that is 20 years old! I had several problems when a route I was planning to take, which existed on the map, was now a road, or a street, sometimes with houses. Social researchers are fond of saying the ‘map is not the territory’, but I want my map to at least be up-to-date in the future.
Not all of my photos have uploaded, so I will upload them later in the week.
I have just come back from four months in Japan and one of the things I did whilst I was there was a couple of nice hikes near Mt Takao. This reminded me that a) I really like hiking and b) I have not done much hiking for years, especially point-to-point hiking with my kit on my back.
So, this weekend I have set out to rediscover hiking and to revisit the area where my love of hiking was honed as a teenager, in the Derbyshire Peak District.
After work today I packed 2 days of clothes, maps, wet weather gear and some essentials such as a computer in my rucksack and set off, helped by a lift from my brother Ian to Nottingham station. In just under an hour the train deposited me at Cromford, on the edge of the Peak District National Park.
Cromford has many links to the early days of the industrial revolution. For example, Richard Arkwright built his water-powered mill here in 1771, followed by many others, which led to rail and canal links.
On the walk from the station I was treated to wonderful views of the River Derwent and the terminus of the Cromford Canal.
A short walk, between 1 and 2 kilometres, took me to my stay for the night, the Greyhound Hotel in Cromford. I might also get back to camping, but I decided to break myself back in gently. The Greyhound Hotel was built in 1778 by Richard Arkwright for visitors to his mills.
The road sign in the picture was taken on my walk to Cromford and is in feet and inches and warns of the height of a low bridge. However, this sign is not only confusing because it uses feet and inches, but it also uses an old notation for them. The ‘ symbol means feet, and the “ symbol means inches.
At the Greyhound hotel I treated myself to a proper Northern dinner of meat and potato pie, followed by apple crumble.
The walk proper starts tomorrow morning. However, since this is not a business hotel, breakfast is served (on Saturdays) from 9 till 10, so it won’t be an early start.