Today has been an excellent day; perfect weather for both walking and photography. The day got off to a very good start: I was woken up by sunlight streaming through my bedroom curtains, and then, a few minutes later, I found a long-forgotten tenner and a couple of Quid in loose change in the back pocket of my hiking trousers...this would hopefully allow me to treat myself later.
As soon as I got off the bus at Bakewell I had to take some photographs of the lovely primroses; they were probably the best I've ever seen [a couple of other people seemed to be doing likewise], they were very impressive.
As I was moving about to get the best angles I could hear most of the conversation between the bus driver and a young Chinese woman, most likely a student, who had just travelled on the bus. He was acting as a tourist guide, as many drivers often end up doing on this route, telling her about the local attractions. He did seem to get the information about the local rivers wrong though, not realising that the river that flows through Bakewell isn't the same same one one that flows past Chatsworth House. I briefly thought about correcting him, but then decided that it wasn't my business to do so.
I took a few more photographs from a favoured spot down by the river and then walked along Coombs Road.
When I reached the old railway viaduct I turned off the road and walked down a bridleway that leads down to the river, and eventually Haddon Hall. I walked along here only a few weeks ago, but the countryside wasn't as verdant as it was today - and there weren't any wildflowers in bloom.
At the entrance to Haddon Hall I took the footpath which goes across the fields to Alport. As I approached the road which goes to Alport I was walking along a footpath which skirts a partially flooded quarry; I've cropped this picture so that, with a bit of imagination and a prayer, you might think you're looking at a lagoon in the Caribbean.
When I got to Alport it was very busy; there were three large organised groups of teenagers and their tutors/trainers, as well as family groups and individual hikers. Today was the busiest day in the Peak District I can remember for several years, I must have seen nearly a dozen large groups...mainly in the Youlgreave area.
I left Alport by the the high level path so that I could look down into the valley; none of my photographs really turned out, but here's a panorama taken looking back towards Alport.
I was hoping to enjoy some refreshments at Youlgreave; I've not visited the village before and so didn't know what would be available. It turned out that I would be disappointed; the first pub was far too crowded and the second one wasn't serving food, and didn't seem that keen on serving drinks either since it was catering for a large private party. I didn't find any tearooms either; there were a couple of shops which were closed. I found the toilets though, which came in handy.
I ended up eating my final two sausage rolls at a lovely spot down at the bottom of the valley and then walked alongside the river back to Alport; by this time it was a lot quieter.
I then followed the River Lathkill upstream to Raper Lodge, at times almost tripping up over butterflies, crossed over the lovely stone bridge [not the one in the photograph - there are a lot of beautiful stone bridges in this area], climbed up out of the valley through the woodland and crossed more fields, and walked along a short stretch of road, until I reached Bakewell. There were many opportunities for me to get something to eat at Bakewell, but a bus was due and so I didn't bother - I've got plenty of food in the freezer at home that's quick and simple to cook.
As I was travelling back to Sheffield on the bus something very strange happened, another incident involving a quick drop in air pressure creating a strong suction force....just like my experience the other week when I was sitting on the toilet at Sheffield railway station.
As the bus was climbing up out of Baslow both myself and the woman sitting in the seat in front of me were startled when a large lorry passed too close to us on the other side of the road and the suction effect caused my ears to pop...and my rucksack to lurch upwards and forward, crashing into the back of the seat in front and then ending up on the floor.
Maybe this incident is the explanation for poltergeist activity...if you were in the right frame of mind you could have been very scared.