Thursday, February 15, 2007

Day 25 : Castleton to Edale

Thursday 8th February 2007

Distance Walked: 5.1 miles
Start Time: 11:15
End Time: 13:22
Elapsed Time: 2:07
Weather: Snow, above and below.
Distance walked so far: 503.6 miles

Essentially a rest day, this was supposed to be a chance to gather strength and resources before the initial assault on the Pennine Way tomorrow. Yet, between waking at 7am and breakfast at 8am, enough snow had fallen to close half the town, including the TIC, and left me bereft of info or confidence. A whole industry is supported by people’s desire to walk, study and experience the Pennine Way, with numerous books, maps and leaflets published, but I had nothing.

Despite the heavily falling snow, I decided to press on over the hill to Edale. Maybe the facilities there were more robust? There were no boot prints or tyre tracks on the ground as I tramped up the lanes and footpaths towards the ridge that separates Castelton from Edale. Who else would be out here, after all? There were no tourists, the locals had more sense than to go out, and any intrepid walkers would have had to have negotiated the tricky roads to get here in the first place. I had the place to myself.

Though the heavy clouds were low, it was just possible to make out the shape of the hills above. The paths were obscured however and, thinking I was heading for Hollin’s Cross, I instead ended up on Back Tor. Still, it was a chance to spend a fun few minutes sliding around on my arse as I admired the layout of the valley, before skidding down into the small town.

All too was closed except for The Old Nag’s Head pub, the alpha and omega of the Way. Having persuaded the surprised owners of the Mam Tor B&B that I really did want to use their facilities, I spent an afternoon by the pub fire absorbing as much information as I could about the days to come. If I’d stopped to think about what exactly I was attempting to do on this walk then I probably would never have got this far, but now the difficulties posed by the Pennine Way were hard to avoid. With the snow continuing to blot the features outside, the prospect of adventure was both daunting and enticing.

Song of the day:

Joanna Newsome
“Monkey & Bear”

The hills are groaning with excess /
Like a table ceaselessly being set /
Oh, my darling /
We’ll get there yet


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Though the heavy clouds were low, it was just possible to make out the shape of the hills above.

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All too was closed except for The Old Nag’s Head pub, the alpha and omega of the Way.

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