Tuesday, 23 August 2011
After some effort to find a place to park we eventually located a tailor made effort alongside the Thornhill Trail. We weren't sure however was the woman in the marquee collecting parking tariffs or not, but a check from Helen revealed she was just doing a survey.
So after picking up said trail we weren't on it for long, before a sharp right took us up the stone staircase to Win Hill. This required some effort on our part, especially as everyone else seemed to be taking the easy way downwards. Well that is except for two lads who seemed to have taken a wrong turn with their mountain bikes, carrying them up ahead of us; and of course Molly who was going both upwards and downwards..
Around half way to the top we found a pile of stones to have lunch on, while Molly looked on wondering what had happened to her Bonio (an apple core having to substitute). Following which she decided to act somewhat retarded when it came to drinking out of the blue plastic thing Helen had brought along for her (probably still waiting for that Bonio).
So picking up the trail again (past some young energetic types, who had been running downhill), we constantly turned around to gawp in admiration at both the view and the carpet of purple heather. Thus in just a few short strides (or not) we found ourselves at the top of Win Hill, save for three lads taking pictures, and about 10 million enormous great flies. However such was the stunning views of green and purple around us, for brief moments one could pretend the flies weren't there. When I say view that of course excludes the one of the cement works, which Helen tried to talk up by calling it something like Hope Castle.
There were more stunning and greener views on the way down with Helen pointing out the likes of Mam Tor, Lose Hill, and Kinder on the horizon, meanwhile some guy appeared out of nowhere on his bike, looking for all the world like he was in the middle of delivering the local papers. So after negotiating a pine wood + christmas tree plantation, we found ourselves walking along Ladybower reservoir. In this instance the scenery wasn't great (not helped by the road opposite). However Molly had a brief dip in the water, the levels of which seem worryingly low.
After a brief break at the Dam crossing, Helen's map reading skills went on a bit of a walkabout at this point, insisting we must climb upwards, when the Thornhill trail sign said straight ahead. Something about avoiding a road somewhere ! Anyway we eventually found ourselves on the stone staircase again, only this time coming down back onto the path we had just left. Fortunately I only fell the once, and managed to break my fall and not my arm (not so good with descents you see).
Back at the car the GPS proved it could stay switched on for the duration of a walk, with real batteries rather than rechargeable ones. However it was having a bit of trouble with distances (probably getting its confidence back up), so instead we ignored its guesstimate and came up with one of our own (8 miles).
Walks since last blog entry:
1 x 7 mile – Osterley Park/Grand Union
1 x 15.5 mile – Richmon Stn/Park (outer/inner loops) and back
1 x 2.5 mile – Ashover (circular) – Helen (Molly)