Sunday, August 5, 2018

Upper Derwent Valley Reservoirs Walk

I could very well not have been able to go walking today because of a potentially serious injury. I was out drinking with friends in Leeds last night [only having Diet Cokes though because I'm diabetic] and we went to sit outside in the beer garden at the back of the pub. The seating is located on a raised platform made out of wooden decking; I moved my chair a few inches from the table to make a bit of space for myself but as I sat down one of the chair legs went straight through a rotten section of the timber. Fortunately I wasn't hurt at all, the accident seemed to happen in slow motion and I had a very soft landing. 

So...I was awake at 06:30 this morning after a good night's sleep, uninjured, full of energy, and raring to go. The first thing I saw after leaving the house was a middle-aged woman sitting on the grass on a piece of waste ground at the end of my street, surrounded by at least a dozen pairs of shoes, energetically trying on every one - she didn't look like a homeless person, or a drunk, or a drug fact she looked very smart and quite attractive.

I caught the 273 bus at Sheffield and travelled to Fairholmes, as far up the Derwent Valley as the bus goes before it turns around and goes back down the valley and then continues to Castleton. I walked a clockwise circuit of the two reservoirs, a distance of about eleven miles mainly flat and on a metalled surface, although I regularly ventured down to the water's edge to take photographs. The water level is currently very low, only fifty five percentage capacity, so low in fact that I was easily able to cross on foot what would normally be the western bay of Derwent Reservoir - the water here was only a few inches wide.

Many of the remains of the old railway and some of the buildings of the villages that were abandoned and flooded to make room for the reservoirs were clearly visible, these are the supporting pillars for Ouzelden Viaduct.

As I continued walking wherever there was a gap in the trees there were wonderful views of the reservoirs, the dams, and the hills beyond.

When I got back to Fairholmes it was only about twenty minutes until the bus going in the Castleton direction was due. Unfortunately it was quite a few minutes late and so I missed my tight connection at Bamford for the 272.  So...I had to wait another thirty minutes there and the next bus that arrived that was going to Sheffield was the 273, the same vehicle and the same driver, and also going all the way back up to Fairholmes before heading eastwards towards Sheffield. 

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