Saturday, December 30, 2017

Castleton and Mam Tor

I woke up a bit early this morning and so rushed to get ready and go to the railway station to catch the first available train to Sheffield to make sure I'd arrive in plenty of time to catch the first bus to fact I then had twenty minutes to wait at the bus station.

The bus pulled in to Castleton's tiny one stand bus station at nine o'clock; the weather was still quite murky and so I took some photographs in the village to give the mist some time to clear. It was improving all the time but I still couldn't see the tops of the hills, so I decided to delay setting off on my climb up to the summit of Mam Tor by eating my sandwiches in the shelter at the bus station - quite early, but this was my plan.

There was quite a bit of minor flooding today caused by the snowmelt and some of the footpaths I used as I was leaving the village were functioning as fast flowing streams.

Mam Tor, at nearly 1,700 ft above sea level is the highest point of the Great Ridge and remained shrouded in mist most of the day, but at least visibility was good enough for me to be able to climb up there...and the last few yards to the top are easy, whatever the conditions.

When it's slippery, coming down is always a lot more difficult than going up. I took my time getting back down to Castleton; by the early afternoon I was surprised by the number of people now climbing up the mountain. As I was just beyond the Blue John Cavern it was particularly difficult underfoot in places, and these places seemed to coincide with the spots where people were taking their dogs for a walk, either running free or on leads. The dogs were causing a lot of problems; for their owners if kept on a lead, and for everyone else if not. I didn't say anything; there was nothing I could think of to say to the people...there was nothing I could tell than to do, or not to do, so I didn't bother. I needed to concentrate on where I was placing every step anyhow.

A bus wasn't due for about forty minutes when I arrived back down in Castleton and so I had another wander around and took some more photos.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Brodsworth Community Woodlands

Every few weeks I visit Brodsworth Community Woodlands with my support worker. It's a walk of about a mile and a half up to the summit and back down to the car park..

The weather was lovely; we could see for miles from the top - I forgot to take my binoculars though.

We popped in to Markham Grange Garden Centre on the way back - I bought a large sack of daffodil bulbs for £2.50. I got an even better bargain at Morrison's supermarket a few minutes later though; a large bag of potatoes for only 10p. They're currently roasting in the oven.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Christmas Day Walk Along The River

Christmas is my least favourite time of the year. Apart from the usually bad weather, it's a time to be spent with family, friends, and lovers, and unfortunately for me due to my circumstances, I'm alone again today. My Asperger's syndrome means that I'm very socially isolated and lonely. I didn't fancy facing hours on end sitting in front of the TV or the computer screen and so I went for a walk along the river to Sprotbrough, returning back via Cusworth Hall.

I thought I might find someone to chat to for a few minutes but all that I managed was exchanging brief formal pleasantries and season's greetings...I still enjoyed the walk though.

I got up early as usual and at first light walked into the almost deserted town centre to take some photographs; I think I was a bit too early though because my camera struggled with the low light.

Two people did attempt to talk to me; even though they were within easy sight of the clock at 'Clock Corner' they both asked me what time it was - I think they were probably trying to sell me drugs; you can buy every type of drug imaginable on the streets of Doncaster...I just stick to my prescribed medicines for my diabetes, rickets, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels though.

I climbed down the steps  at Marshgate on North Bridge and started the walk at the town lock.

After a few minutes I reached a section on the riverbank where there were several broken branches blocking the footpath; as I stooped down to pass underneath one of the lower hanging obstructions an excited dog came running towards me and just as my body was its closest to the ground it jumped up and head butted me on the nose - this was definitely the closest to a Christmas kiss I was going to get today.

With its whitewashed houses the hamlet of Newton always reminds of somewhere in the Mediterranean.

There are a couple of railway bridges and the A1(M) motorway viaduct to pass under before reaching Sprotbrough.

I ate my sandwiches sitting on one of the benches next to the public moorings and then set off to return home going via Cusworth Hall.

One of the houses at the top of the hill in the village has several brightly painted gargoyles on its eaves - the sun was at just the right angle to get some clear photographs.