Saturday, November 1, 2014

Bakewell, Ashford-in-the-Water, Monsal Head, Little Longstone, and Great Longstone

I had planned to go walking in the area between Chesterfield and Matlock today; however, when I reached Sheffield Interchange the number 218 bus was at the stand and just about to leave. So...I hopped on, sat down and re-folded my map for a walk starting from Bakewell.

The bus arrived on time at Bakewell at 09:05: I took some photos, went to the toilet, and bought something to eat from a couple of the shops.

I soon set off, walking along Buxton Road until I reached the footpath across the riverside pastures to Ashford-in-the-Water. The sun was at my back and I was able to take some good photographs.

The toilets at Ashford are quite good - there's even a painting hanging above the sink.

After leaving the toilets I checked the map; there are several routes across the fields to Monsal Head...and I managed to navigate my way there without having to refer to the map. The weather was still quite nice as I left Ashford, but was becoming increasingly cloudy and cold. It was still pleasant enough when I reached Monsal Head for me to sit and enjoy the view...whilst struggling to get my tongue at a Ribena icepop.

This was the view from where I was sitting.

After I'd finished the icepop, and my sandwiches, a middle-aged couple asked me to take some photos of them posing in front of the viewpoint. To be honest I don't think the results would have been very good, they were too far away and standing in the wrong place anyhow.

As I was walking down the road to Little Longstone I began to notice that my thigh muscles were beginning to ache; it felt like I had walked three or four times further than I actually had. Earlier in the week I was running a high fever - although I never really felt ill - I'm assuming that my tired muscles must be an after-effect of that viral infection. Eating my emergency supply of chocolate seemed to ease things about half an hour later; I did take every opportunity to sit down though, and give my thighs a good hard rubbing down.

I passed the Packhorse Inn, which seems to be very welcoming to hikers, and then walked across the fields to Great Longstone.

It was then easy walking across more fields until I reached the Monsal Trail. I passed by a house which is marked as 'Toll Bar House' on the map; maybe it should be re-classified as a gatehouse though - it certainly has one above the first floor window.

There was plenty of time for me to call in at Hassop Station Cafe for a restorative pot of tea and some chips. As I was walking along the Monsal Trail for the last few hundred yards to the bus-stop at Pineapple Farm a very nice, and attractive, middle-aged woman started talking to me. As I was struggling up the steps to get to the road she suggested that she wanted to help me by giving me a good push. I pretended not to hear...I didn't know what to say.

The bus was twenty five minutes late, giving me plenty of time to think about what had just happened.  Maybe I should have continued walking with her back to Bakewell, as she was hinting at [I think.]

Because of my Asperger's syndrome I'm hopeless with women, or in any other social situation; I never know what to say or do, or what people's motives are...or what's expected from me. I'm very good with ideas and concepts though and a project that I've recently initiated for the autism group here in Doncaster is going very well. It looks like it will be continued and even expanded, helping a lot of vulnerable people in the, all is not lost.

So, I thought about that instead, making more plans for the future.

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