Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Day 24 : Dovedale to Castleton

Wednesday 7th February 2007

Distance Walked: 29 miles
Start Time: 8:16
End Time: 17:33
Elapsed Time: 9:17
Weather: Frosty morning. Cold and sunny.
Distance walked so far: 498.5 miles

Dovedale is a magical place. The sides of the valley are so steep and sharp. The river so shallow. The light, flooding in, warming the hillsides. The fog drifting on the water. It’s a place of poetry and romance. Artists flood here, but none can truly capture such beauty. Today, I had the rare and joyful privilege of being completely alone for the entire journey from Dovedale to Hartington. If I remember nothing else from this walk, I’ll remember this. For the entire seven mile stretch I was enraptured, and commemorated this holy event with a warm sausage roll in Hartington, before climbing the lanes into the heart of the White Peak.

This is where the Limestone Way gets its name, for the white stone walls are dazzling in the morning sun. It all seems so perfectly arranged, that I barely resented the return to tarmac as I floated down to Monyash, with its clichéd duck pond and friendly café.

It was only when I missed the turning in Miller’s Dale that the day started to go wrong. Wasting a mile walking up and down the wrong hill wasn’t fun, but it was really when I unwisely consulted McCloy rather than followed my instincts that the afternoon turned into a stinker. There I was, happily following the Pennine Bridleway, a flat, stable route on the top of a ridge that I was pretty sure would take me straight to Castleton, when I glanced at the cursed book and inexplicably decided to descend into the valley to Peter Dale, which turned out to be a gloomy, boggy miserable rocky hole.

Having unnecessarily added at least three miles to my journey by the time I managed to rejoin the Limestone Way, the light was fading and my feet were aching as I scurried over the hills and down into Castelton. Mam Tor and its friends were foreboding silhouettes on the horizon, but all I could think about as I collapsed into the room at The Castle Inn (with its jacuzzi!) were my aching limbs, the prospect of the Pennine Way, and the severe warnings of snow that were making news readers and school children around the country so giddy with excitement. I was too tired to consider the implications.

Song of the day:

Tim Buckley
“Buzzin’ Fly”

Just like a buzzin’ fly /
I’ll come into your life /
I’ll float away /
Like honey in the sun


Atomic Monthly said...


I am liking your blog but have a few questions if you can answer them thanks.

1.How are you doing your washing?
2. How many pairs of pants do you have?
3. What is the average amount of time each pair of pants is worn for?

Thanks a lot


Walter Witherton said...

Hail Brother David!, may I ask a simple question on behalf of your growing band of followers/readers – can you heal? This may sound an odd question, but a photo of you that we placed in our shrine caused considerable stirring in our floral arrangements. Perhaps you’re not yet aware of any gifts you may have, but one of our merry band, Mr Skinner, has a enlarged prostate and is willing to let you lay on hands (or finger). If this works I have a spastic colon that you may also like to consider. Keep tapping the tambourine my kindered spirit, for soon our group we will be united.

Hymn of the Day – “All The Way My Saviour Leads Me”

All the way my Savior leads me/
Cheers each winding path I tread/
Gives me grace for ev'ry trial/
Feeds me with the living bread/

DaveG said...

Walter - I am in the heavenly way. You have seen in me the light I have been waiting to reveal. Let us brighten this sorry world.

Mr Monthly - Good questions. And most pertinent. To date I have washed my clothes 4 (four) times. Twice in B&Bs, and once each at friend's houses in Wolverhampton and Halifax.

I have 4 (four) pairs of pants. I tend to wear one pair for two days (and no more), though this depends on soilage. I would therefore say that the average amount of time that each pair of pants is worn before washing is 1.4 days.