Monday, 12 March 2012
More Bentley Beetham, Tea with Chrissie and Dixie and the TGO English Gathering
Quite a full weekend, as you’ll probably agree (I’m not really bothered if you don’t agree as it happens..) .
We did the Bentley Beetham meets Hannah Hauxwell walk in Baldersdale on Friday – with a car full of camping equipment and, most importantly, two bacon and egg breakfasts and with a car alarm that prevents me locking the car… But they’re obviously very honest in Baldersdale and the knipemobile was unsullied by thieving paws..
Thirteen people turned up including the stewards Shiela and Neville. Neville was the guardian of a piece of intelligence on the whereabouts of a cup-and-ring marked stone, which we found and gazed at for a bit. But the howling Pennine drizzle meant that lunch had to be had in the bird hide. I’m lead to believe that I got a lot of points for this.
Then I went to Derbyshire, to the Snake Inn, put up the Karrimor Ultralight (wouldn’t like to get the akto pinched) and repaired to the bar for some elbow exercises. These went well, to such an extent that I didn’t particularly notice the gale blowing down Snake Pass, rattling the tent, or the severe angle of the hill I’d pitched it on. In the morning, though, I was in a heap almost out through the side and with a sore nose from the alcohol-induced snoring.
So I went and bagged Axe Edge, which is just the other side of Buxton, providing, that is, that you’re on this side and not the other… And this was followed by a misty Axe Edge moor, a long trek over heather and bog and the Whetstone Ridge – a hill who’s name I have to keep looking up. Finally, a return along good paths for Cheek Hill, apparently the highest point in Staffordshire. I missed Shutlingsloe due to a brief attack of Camping Lassitude probably brought on by a bad cheese sandwich. Or something. Anyway, I’d got up a bit late and was behind schedule, if I ever had a schedule to be behind.
And then it was time for tea and home-made double chocolate chip cookies and chinwag with Chrissie and Geoff in Hayfield. Chrissie’s dog Dixie didn't think much to me at first but came around after a short snooze. Tilly the lab, on the other hand, was enthusiastic. Chrissie’s blog is here http://chrissiedixie.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/a-visit-from-the-pieman/ Its nice to be asked for a cuppa and after tussling with the Axe Edge tussocks, a nice slurp of tea is always welcome. (This is not a hint for other blog readers by the way)
Onward and sideways and it was time for dinner at The Snake. Tonight’s beano had been arranged by veteran TGO chellenger and dinner-organiser Alan Hardy. Thanks to Alan and the slightly nervous staff at The Snake and it all went very well. I had the steak pie Because It’s National Pie Week.
Further quantities of loopy juice ensured a peaceful night of supercharged snoring from the tilted blue tent.
Sunday was for the bagging of Alport Moor, which was done in bright and warm sunshine from the spot where the Pennine Way crosses the road to Glossop. It was such a nice day, in fact, that I extended my stroll to include Bleaklow Stones and Bleaklow. A bit sloppy underfoot, but the peat was gently steaming and should be completely dried out by Christmas. It would seem, though that judging by the large numbers of big white bags full of heather brash, and the apparent damming-up of some hags, that the National Park peeps are intent on making Bleaklow much heatherier and wetter. This will be fun for mayflies and things that eat mayflies (such as curlews and grouse). And things that eat curlews and grouse…
Altogether, I did 24 miles and nobody robbed the car. So it was a win-win weekend. But the peak District , eh? Innit noisy? Aeroplanes and traffic noise miles from the roads and curlews… dhuhh…tch…