If we didn't go we would still have to pay the hotel.
I emailed Martin, just to let him know that i was still going and even if i wasn't up for the walk, i would still meet for lunch. I hate letting people down.
So, Sheila and i did a walk on Saturday as a kind of "am i up to Sunday”, and i did struggle on even the slightest gradient. My breathing was a mess and the sweat was profuse. Fortunately the pace was of our own making and numerous coffee breaks were taken. I will do a separate post on this walk, next.
The Sunday group walk is easy walking with little gradient and the actual walking only takes about 4 hrs. After a couple of whisky's on Saturday night i decided that i would do the walk. I really didn't want to miss it.
8 o'clock Sunday morning, it's raining, that fine stuff that wets you through. We breakfasted, paid the bill and headed off to meet the 28 souls at a lay-bye on the A515. It was only half light as we pulled in to find the attendance already busy, with about a dozen cars neatly lined up.
I switched off the car and watched the world disappear into a watery grey. I wasn't looking forward to getting out and putting on gaiters, overtrousers, boots etc etc. Gradually as 10.00 am approached, other bodies apeared from the sanctuary of the vehicles, so we did likewise.
Hello’s done, we set off. First crossing the busy A515 and onto the the Tissington Trail, the old railway line. It was too damp at this point so i didn’t get a photograph of the trail. The rain eased thankfully as we turned off the trail and steeply down to the River Dove. This path is remembered fondly due to the fact that your boots weigh about a kilo more each, with the sticky mud that gets attached by the time you reach the river.
The Dove, was high, fast and full of silt washed off the fell sides. A bit of a gap had been created on the downhill as folk picked there way cautiously to the river path.
There was more mud to come.
The swollen River Dove
Elevenses, showing how wet the area was, no one sitting down.
Martin and Sue distributed delicious Caramel and Chocolate shortbread with ginger and Fudge Brownies. Yummy. I resisted the temptation to try seconds as lunch was not too far away.Most of the walk consisted of chatting. Walks planned, the TGO challenge obviously, gear, illness etc etc. Martin introduced Jeff to Sheila and I. This is your blog stalker was the introduction. We hadn’t met Jeff before although i knew of him through his excellent and numerous gear sales on OutdoorsMagic. Good to meet you Jeff and i liked your Canon Camera.
Onward through the extended river bed.
The river and bridge crossing at Beresford Dale.
The dinning room at the Charles Cotton Hotel.The rain that had been intermittent during the walk thankfully had stopped by the time we reached the Charles Cotton Hotel for Christmas Lunch. In fact some blue ski had appeared and we actually saw the sun, be it briefly.
The Charles Cotton looked after us wonderfully well and nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The dinner, 2 or 3 courses as you wished was beautiful and plentiful. Then tea/coffee served with mince pies. Time moves fast when you are having fun. We did a quiz which Martin had prepared and although there was some cheating going on from some quarters Sheila and I came runners up behind Mick and Gayle. We did have a bit of help from Jeff as well.
Thanks to Alan,Judy and the staff at the Charles Cotton for making it a lunch to remember.
We were not being rushed in any way but we had to get moving as daylight was going. It’s never nice getting back into wet gear after a couple of hours in the warm. But that’s the fun of it.
Mick, Gayle, Graham and Martin on our route to Biggin
Sheila and Jeff with his GG Gorilla pack.
Quite a pace was achieved during the last 4.5 miles of the route, probably because the sky was getting darker by the minute. Last year the weather was worse on the return leg and we finished walking in snow showers. This time it was relatively calm and pleasant.
Once we hit the Tissington trail again, the pace quickened even more on the good surface and before long we were back at the car just as darkness took over. It was so dark it was difficult to see who was who as we bid our farewells and said our thank you’s for a good day out. Considering how bad i had been during the week and how slow i had walked yesterday, i was pleased that i still felt good at the end.
Thanks everyone for your company and to Martin and Sue for the Organisation. I think there were other bloggers in attendance too which we didn’t manage to speak with. If that was the case then we must apologise and make more effort next year.
Looking forward to next year already.