Thursday 7th November Peak Forest Walk

Nov 8, 2013
Another sunny Thursday [how does Linda arrange this each time?] for the 7 and 1/2 mile walk from Peak Forest. We started with 12 which soon became 13 and 2 dogs, and headed south towards Dam Dale. As people know, I rarely recce my walks, so I was pleased to safely negotiate the most navigationally challenging part of the walk less than 1/2 mile from the start [the confused confluence of 6 paths and several stiles to choose from]. The next hurdle was the highest stile ever seen [almost HVS if stiles were graded] although some opted out by opening the nearby gate. From then on it was easy walking over Loose Hill [safely avoiding electrocution from the ‘unfriendly’ electric fence strung in front of one stile], along a quiet road and down a track to Hay Dale, where a coffee/tea stop in sunshine was enjoyed. In Peter Dale things started to get somewhat wetter underfoot, but large puddles were skirted and extended sections of sloppy mud safely got through without anyone falling in. Then it was time for our lunch, again on a convenient, warm and sunny slope. Leaving the the dale, still following the Limestone Way but now on tarmac, we climbed steeply before soon turning off northwards on the Pennine Bridleway, passing through Wheston [somewhat smelly!] and along the ridge with stunning views in all directions. Turning down a cobblestone track towards Dam Dale, we then encountered head-on a surprisingly chilly wind, reminding us of the changing seasons, and it was a relief to reach the shelter of Dam Dale and head northwards back towards Peak Forest. On previous walks, and very helpful to this leader unsure of the way, Sue’s dog had been brilliant at following the human scent directly to each stile across huge fields where the stile wasn’t visible until very close by, but he failed me this time [perhaps the recent downpours had washed the scent off the grass] and I found myself having to shout at him and point at the stile myself, as he gave me a bemused look. But we all arrived safely back in Peak Forest after 4 hours, and then rounded off the day very pleasantly with tea/coffee in Tideswell at Lynda and John’s home [recently returned from their summer sailing in the Mediterranean]. The only other thing of note was the ‘nosebleed’, but I suppose if you have to walk along with blood-stained tissues sticking out of your nose, at least it was all colour coordinated with the red top and red rucksack, and the said person was very gracious about having their picture taken for a possible club interest competition later. Vanda

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