Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bentley Bridge, Lumsdale, Matlock Green, Matlock, Oaker, Darley Bridge, and Darley Dale

My second visit to Lumsdale, one of the treasures of the Peak District; a series of spectacular weirs and waterfalls tumble down a steep, deep overgrown gorge, passing through the ruins of about a dozen old mills and sundry buildings. There are  steep  narrow steps, dark and threatening tunnels, wobbly stepping stones, buildings overlaid with vines and tree roots, millponds as still as mirrors, precarious overhanging walkways, loud splashpools, and the ever present noise and spray of the water...pretty much everything you'd expect in an Indiana Jones film or the latest Tarzan adventure...the only things missing were dinosaurs, large snakes hanging from the trees, and human sacrifices. I love this place.

Today I was climbing down all the steps, probably more difficult to do than climbing up them. I was desperate for a pee when I got off the bus and so headed for the first footpath I could find, which conveniently soon ended up passing through woodland where I could easily find somewhere to take care of my business. By taking this path it meant that I approached the top of Lumsdale by a longer, but more scenic, route.

There was a family visiting Lumsdale and so my progress was slowed down by me having to wait for them to move on before I could visit various locations and take photographs; I could get up right close to the waterfalls though by clambering over rocks and getting right down to the water's edge, even standing right in it at times; I could feel the spray from the waterfalls in my face.

At the bottom of Lumsdale there's a small parking area; a couple of middle-aged men with quite impressive looking cameras asked me how easy it was to reach the ruins...and if the site is as good as they'd been told.

After talking to them I soon found the path which took me down to the main road to the east of Matlock at Matlock Green. I popped in to the shop to buy a chilled carton of milk. The woman behind the counter, realising I was a walker asked me how far I'd come to visit Lumsdale. When I told her that I'd travelled from Doncaster she seemed quite excited and asked me if I could look at something. She went over to her purse and pulled out a piece of paper with an address written on it; the address was in Rawcliffe Bridge, a village with a Doncaster (DN) postcode even though it's quite close to Goole. She asked if I knew the place; I told her that I'd only travelled through it. She then asked if it was 'good' - I didn't know what she meant and so just told her everything I knew about Rawcliffe Bridge. I didn't know where this conversation was going and was glad when someone came in to buy a newspaper.

It's only a short walk to Hall Leys Park at Matlock. It was very busy today.

I crossed over the bridge in the town centre and headed northwards on the Derwent Valley Heritage Trail which follows the river upstream.  A unicyclist wobbled past me, the first time this has happened on one of my walks.

A mile or so further on I heard the sound of laughing and screaming coming from the riverbank and noticed four teenagers, three boys and a girl, stripping off ready to go for a swim in the river. By the time I reached them the boys were down to their trunks, very small and very tight, and the girl wasn't wearing much either, either skintone or see-through bra and knickers...I stopped for a few seconds just to check.

There was some lovely countryside as I approached Darley Bridge from the south.

I had hoped to reach Rowsley, or even Chatsworth House, today, but the Achilles' tendon on my right foot was sore, so I bailed out at Darley Dale. I recently read online that sore and tight Achilles' tendons are usually caused by bone spurs growing on the back of the heels; I've certainly got those, they can be caused by a vitamin D deficiency...something that I suspect I might be suffering from. My GP certainly thought so when he ordered my blood tests, the results of which I will get on Monday...I've already been told that one test came back positive though. Jumping the gun I've already been taking vitamin D supplements, twice the regular dose actually, and I'm already seeing some benefits; my excessive sweating has pretty much dried up, my cramps and muscles spasms are no more, my bowel movements are much less frequent and I haven't been bothered by diarrhoea, I'm less fatigued generally, and my thigh and arm muscles seem to be a bit stronger. The only problem is that these improvements don't last all day, so I think I need to be put on a much higher dose.

I caught the bus into Bakewell and had thirty five minutes to wait for the next bus to Sheffield. I just spent the time sitting in Bath Gardens which are located right next to the bus stop, and started writing up this blog post. The sun popped out for a few minutes and so I took some photographs.

The bus was twenty minutes late and was very crowded, even though it was a double decker.

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