Wednesday 4 July 2007

Derbyshire and South Yorkshire: Thorpe - Marsden [28th June - 4th July]

[Update 6]

At last, a dry day as we entered Dovedale. Stone cottages, herds of walkers and sheep s@#t laden hills immediately lifted our spirits. The famous Stepping Stones were well hidden in the sparkling river after all the rain, but the limestone valley was amazing - and only one horsefly!
By the end of the day the rain was back, but Derbyshire's friendly locals and pretty villages proved good motivation.

We discovered the best ever melt in your mouth pasties and Well Dressing mosaics at Youlgreave before reaching the lush green Chatsworth estate and then the gritstone and peat on Stanage Edge. No climbers to be seen here for a change, just giant ants, Highland cows and a good few content toads.

On reaching our 500 mile point at Hathersage - yippee - we treated ourselves to a couple of days off. Our equipment is falling to bits and I've had to buy some thermal leggings - some summer! Our senses seem to be at one with nature too as we can detect the clean, washing powder smell of other people before we see them, which can only mean that we stink. Will's Auntie Les and Uncle John confirmed our 'au de damp' smell, but treated us to a well missed roast dinner - thanks :)

After sitting out what we thought was the worst of the weather, the heavens opened even wider when we rejoined Stanage Edge. The 'Alternative Pennine Way' passed lots of interesting rock formations, reservoirs and brown frothing rivers to meet wild moors of flowering heather...and mud. A mountain hare, grouse and laughing curlews helped to keep Daisy interested as we entered and left South Yorkshire to meet the actual Pennine Way. Unfortunately the man at the campsite said the rain was here until August...eek and added that this was the official end of the Pennine Way (2 days in) as most people give up here. I could see why!

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