Saturday, January 14, 2017

Calver, Rowland, Great Longstone, and Bakewell

Since I've started losing weight as a result of taking my tablets I've noticed that I'm feeling the cold a lot more, particularly cold winds. Well today has been one of the coldest days of the winter so far, only a couple of degrees above freezing, and so I put on an extra two layers of clothing on top of the additional layers I'm already wearing. It worked though...I was fine.

Today has been a mainly sunny and full-colour day for photography - in contrast to Thursday's trip to Lincoln. When I reached the railway station at Doncaster I walked over to take a picture of the newly opened Platform 0, the only platform that doesn't have any overhead wires - it's used by the local diesel-only trains out to Hull and beyond.

I caught my first glimpse of the snow as I was sitting on the train a couple of miles north of Rotherham; it was glistening on the hilly parts of Sheffield, only a few miles from the city centre. I'd be seeing a lot more snow later...and walking in it, several inches deep in places.

I got off the bus at Calver and took the bridleway that leads up Coombs Dale, but I soon found the footpath that goes up through the woods. I noticed a lot of damage to the trees caused by the recent strong winds...especially to the trees bedecked with mistletoe.  This path took me along a route I hadn't explored before until I reached the top path which goes over some grassy pastureland as I headed off towards the old quarries. There was plenty of snow to be walked in here...and some pretty views too.

It was a gentle descent down Hardrake Lane to Rowland. I met some Highland cattle on the way...and a couple of Landrovers a few minutes later.

I'd been aware of the Landrover coming down the hill behind me being driven very carefully along the icy single track byway, stopping a couple of times to open and close the gates, but at the point where I needed to get out of his way another Landrover suddenly appeared from around a corner...coming up the hill. I immediately turned around and put my hand out, signalling for the driver behind me to stop, and then assessed the situation. Having already walked where the Landrover coming down the hill had driven I knew that there was nowhere convenient for him to reverse up so that the other vehicle could pass so I jogged down to the other driver to see what they wanted to do. Fortunately the hill wasn't too steep where he was and there was a suitable passing space no more than a distance of thirty feet behind him, and he had already  put his vehicle in reverse before I reached him. I know that reversing downhill isn't considered safe, but he was obviously a confident and competent driver, and must know the area well and had decided that this was the best option. I signalled for the other driver to approach; I didn't get out of the way though - I walked a few yards in front of him until we had passed the other Landrover. One honk and a wave for my efforts. I regretted not having a red flag.

Once I was free to concentrate on my walking again there was more beautiful countryside for me to take photographs of.

The track led down to Rowland. I'd barely entered the village though before I took the first footpath which went across the fields to Great Longstone. There are a lot of criss-crossing paths in this area.

I headed straight for the church at Great Longstone, hoping for some good opportunities to take photographs. The angle of the sun was okay and this was my best effort.

I took the footpath that starts as a narrow ginnel between the houses, then passes the recreation ground and a housing estate before walking across a couple of fields until I reached the Monsal Trail.

After about a mile I left the Monsal Trail and walked back to Bakewell along the path, which was quite muddy in places...there was no snow here. I got to Bakewell with enough time to visit the toilets and have a stroll along the waterfront. Before crossing the road to go and wait for the bus I took a photograph of 'The Wheatsheaf'. This image well illustrates something that I've noticed for the last two years - the large number of pubs that all have very similar minimalist grey and white signage.

On the train coming back to Doncaster a young woman got on at Meadowhall, sat opposite me and immediately got out her copy of Cosmopolitan magazine. She flicked through a few pages until she found an article that she was interested in. The title of the article was 'Have You Got Vegan Wrinkles?'

I have enough difficulty as it is with reading people's facial expressions without having to cope with this additional imposition. 

I'm doomed!

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