I got off the bus at the Ladybower Inn, and unusually, was soon talking to someone who would end up being my walking companion for the next hour or so as we climbed to the summit of Win Hill. His name was Tony.
We walked south along the road and then turned right to cross the dam wall, then took a path through the woods which soon intersected with the route up Parkin Clough. I reckon that this is the steepest route up Win Hill: I needed to stop for about half a dozen rests. If he were on his own I doubt that Tony would have stopped at all, despite his being at least ten years older than me. I was still pleased with my level of fitness though, it seems to be improving all the time, and having someone else with me spurred me on.
After taking photos and chatting for a while on the summit we went our separate ways; Tony in the direction of the Kinder Plateau, and myself down to Hope. I found a route, part of which I hadn't walked along before, which took me down to the main Hope Valley road, just to the east of Hope.
A few hundred yards and I was at the Old Hall Tea Rooms; arriving just in time so that I could still order something from the breakfast menu...a full English breakfast and a pot of tea.
I took my time eating my meal; the weather was a bit miserable and I was only planning walking the two miles or so into Castleton, and so wanted to make the day last.
Eventually I did leave and started heading westwards, but after about five minutes I realised I had forgotten my map; I'd left it hanging on the back of the chair when I left. So, I quickly returned to the tearooms where the waitress was expecting me - and then made my way back towards Castleton.
I soon walked past the field where people were making preparations for tomorrow's Hope Show (August 27th.) - I noticed how all the tents and marquees seemed to be white and lacked any garish sponsorship logos on them: Maybe it's a stipulation with the event being held in a National Park.
By now it was raining, but not very heavily. The next thing I noticed was that a concessionary path that I wasn't even aware of, had been closed; the sign explains the reasons.
I also noticed some interesting, and rather attractive I thought, pieces of sculpture which seem to have been abandoned in the field which the footpath would have crossed. I wonder if the two facts are connected?
The intensity of the rain was increasing and so for the last half a mile or so into Castleton I walked pretty quickly; arriving with only a few minutes to wait for the bus.