The bus was late at Crosspool but it gave me the chance to talk to a passing stranger about all the long distance walks she’d done – recommending Hadrian’s Wall and the Wolds way. Once on the bus I met up with the Sheffield 20 – 30 walking group. I think that’s the age rather than distance of walks. Looks like a type of mating behaviour. Apparently I was not eligible to join. Due to a lack of bus drivers the bus was not going to the Snake, just Fairholmes and Hope. So I got off at Ashopton viaduct in case any other Castle members intended to meet up there. None. Put a thumb out and got the first car. The driver was an Afghan who had escaped the Taliban the first time they got into power. He has relatives in Afghanistan, but can’t visit. We discussed the plight of migrants, the Afghan cricket team (who all come from one favoured tribe) and Gaza (they just need to stop killing each other and make peace). He has an Italian restaurant on Glossop Road – I must visit. We shook hands as he dropped me at the top of the Snake. Full waterproofs needed right away. Got to Bleaklow at 11.0. Compass out to find The Ridge and indistinct paths to Alport Castles for 1.45. Bog, rain, wind, more bog. Met two other bedraggled souls making their way to Bleaklow – that was it. A bit of solitude is good for connecting with the self. After lunch, behind the first bit of shelter, made Fairholmes at 3.15. He who travels alone travels fastest. The next bus was due at 4.08, but due to diminished faith in busses and general dampness I stuck a thumb out again and got a lift to Nether Green. The driver was on a day navigation training with the Park wardens, which was cut short. I may have persuaded him to join our club. A grand day out, meeting some lovely people and confirming faith in the milk of human kindness. Looking forward to the next bus walk! Geoff.