The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Day 17 - Beyond Thorpe to Alport

Thurs 7 April
Distance: 15 miles (ish) (Tot: 305)

What a glorious day!

After something of a nippy night we woke up to a clear blue sky this morning, for which we have to thank Martin (phreerunner.blogspot.com). We call it the 'Phreerunner Effect', as far more often than not, when Martin is present the weather will be good.

Our other companion for the day was Jeff, who camped on the site with us last night, and at just after 8am we all set out, shunning the easy walking of the Tissington Trail (a disused rly converted for leisure use) to instead head uphill across fields.

Despite the perils of combining chatting and navigating, one or another of us managed to spot the correct turns and so having enjoyed the views up on the higher ground, we dropped down to follow Wolfscote Dale, then Biggin Dale.

Absolutely stunning it was, made even better by a second breakfast break in glorious sunshine and involving Caramel Chocolate Shortbread (thank you Sue!).

No part of the day lacked in prettiness. The dales were stunning under the blue skies, the views on the lumpier bits were mightily fine, and the villages couldn't be faulted either.

If you read Martin's blog then you'll probably be led to believe that two pubs featured in the day, managing to string out a sensibly short mileage into a full length day. So intent were we on a leisurely day that we even waited for the pub in Biggin to open, killing the ten minutes by polishing off the rather tasty sandwiches that Martin had very thoughtfully made for us (thank you Martin - with the excellent weather and the consumables, you can come walking with us again!).

The route taken today was an improvement on what I had originally plotted (which is how we walked further than intended for a shorter mileage (if that makes sense?!), and as part of that improvement we found ourselves walking down the river to Youlgrave this afternoon. Martin had promised that we would see fish and ducks along that section, and so we did in the delightfully clear pools.

Reaching the village, I found Youlgrave Youth Hostel was as I remebered it, having stayed there on a school trip when I was 10.

Youlgrave is also where Jeff left us(having a B&B booked in the village), and shortly afterwards Martin's lift arrived too.

By ourselves and with a short wait for my uncle, we figured that rather than staying in the pub we may as well continue walking into tomorrow's mileage, reaching beyond Alport before we were picked up.

So tonight we're being sociable with my uncle and family (who are putting us up tonight, which was a bit of a surprise to them as it seems that I had inadvertently told them that tomorrow was the night we would be here).
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