It's been really hot and sunny all day and I wanted an easy walk today, one without much climbing, featuring a lot of shade, and regular opportunities for refreshment stops.
The bus broke down at Fox House after the climb up from Sheffield; a seized up gearbox the driver reckoned. Rather than just sit on the bus and wait I decided to get off and start my walk from here; I had only intended to travel to the Millstone pub anyway - just about a mile and a half down the road.
It wasn't the gearbox; I noticed the bus fifteen minutes later as it was travelling past the Surprise View car park on its way to Hathersage...the engine had just overheated, as is often the case on this route.
I walked through the woods and across a stretch of open moorland to reach Surprise View and then descended towards the old quarry: some climbers had camped overnight to make sure that they got their places on the rockface.
Just beyond this point there is the densest birch woodland I have ever come across; I wonder if it's natural, or was planted to restore the land after quarrying had finished.
I soon found what I think was the inclined plane of the old quarry railway and walked down the slope, eventually arriving at the houses at Upper Padley, and then Grindleford Railway Station, where I had a full English breakfast and a mug of tea...my first of three refreshment stops today.
It's not far to walk down the road into Grindleford. I saw my third tandem of the day as I'd just come up onto the main road from the station, and a bit closer to the village I stopped to take a photograph of some animals in a field. They were quite far away, and lying down, so it was difficult to judge their sizes. They were either llamas or alpacas though; animals which seem to be everywhere in the Peak District.
I walked along the footpath to Froggatt which is designated as part of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way; plenty of shady woodland along this section. There are some lovely views here; especially if you stop and look behind you.
A short stretch of road into Calver was next, where I popped into the cafe for a mug of tea, and then crossed the road to get two bottles of bitter lemon from the garage shop...I need fuel too.
I continued along the Derwent Valley Heritage Way; greedily gulping down the bitter lemon. I was struggling a bit in the heat, I don't think I was in any danger of being dehydrated, but I was very thirsty. I'd had a bit of a head cold earlier in the week and so wasn't feeling a hundred percent well.
I had about twenty minutes to wait for the bus at Baslow church; I started on the second bottle of bitter lemon and finished it on the bus. My tally for the day was two litres of bitter lemon, one litre of Pepsi Max, two cans of Diet Tango, and two mugs of tea.
I spotted my fourth tandem of the day just before the bus arrived.