Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Baslow to Spitewinter

A rubbish day for photography today up on the moors. It's been misty all day, although it seems that further east there's been quite a bit of sunshine.

I got off the bus at Baslow Nether End and walked through the large kissing gate into Chatsworth Park, where I took the footpath that's signed to Robin Hood. 

This photograph, one of only two I'm able to include today, shows the monster stile I had to climb up and over as I left the Chatsworth estate - it's certainly the highest I know of; it's well over six foot high.

The path was indistinct in  places, yet easy to follow in others; at one point it passes right in front of some striking rocks - I've never seen anything like them before; the colours, and the vertical striation. I suspect that maybe it's not the result of any natural geological process; maybe climbers...I really don't know. I've seen women with similar coloured highlights in their hair though.

I attempted to take a short cut across some grassy fields but the path seemed to be going in the wrong direction, towards Swiss Cottage.

I could see where I wanted to be, Gibbet Moor, and so headed for it in a straight line, scrambling up a rocky hillside and climbing over three padlocked gates. I was then able to walk along the wide track that skirts the moor at this location, heading south. 

When I came to a large, comfortable boulder I sat on it and ate my sandwiches. After I'd finished eating I noticed an elderly couple and their two dogs approaching. The dogs were well in front and suddenly started bounding towards me. The dogs were very friendly, both of them licking me, and pawing me, yapping and running round in circles as dogs do. I didn't mind today, I quite like most dogs, and since I'd finished eating I wasn't concerned about them getting at my food.

Things went too far though when the larger dog mounted me, enthusiastically licked my hair and then started whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

It had to stop; so I grabbed his legs to push him away - unfortunately it looked like we were waltzing.

I broke away from the main path at Hob Hurst's House and trekked across East Moor. It was a difficult and tiring slog.

I reached a country road and then several short sections of footpath across different types of terrain, and an equal number of short sections of roadwalking until I descended into a wooded valley just before reaching Holymoorside. I stumbled as I was crossing some stepping stones; at least most of the mud was washed off my trousers.

Finally, there was about half a mile of road to walk along until I reached the bus-stop at Spitewinter, where I had enough time to put on my overtrousers.

The bus arrived on time; just as it reached the outskirts of Chesterfield the sun was shining, and continued to do so for the rest of my journey home to Doncaster.

The train was delayed for over five minutes just outside Doncaster Railway Station. The guard announced that we had to wait for a platform to become free. I noticed that two East Coast trains from London crossed in front of us on the main line...so we'd have to wait for them to stop at the platforms and then continue on their way.

There are more trains that depart from Doncaster and go to London than go to any other destination. I don't know if this is good for Doncaster, or not. I doubt that any other station so far from the capital can claim this level of service though. 

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