Saturday, 25 January 2014

Chesterfield Trans Pennine Trail (Circular) - Derbyshire - 25/01/14 - 11 Miles

Well here I am blogging again, in this New Year of 2014. I must admit I have debated over the last few months whether it was worth continuing this blog. Also given that my last entry was September 2013, it would appear that a state of inertia has already made that decision. The reality however is that since moving full time to Chesterfield last April, walks have become less of a fortnightly 'Event' of some 10 to 12 miles duration. Instead they have become more frequent, usually involving much smaller distances, and over ground that has been covered many times before. In short I have run out of things to say. My gut feeling is that things are likely to change this year, and that walking as an event (and thus this blog) will pick up again.
Given the uncertainty of the weather, this is the time when you want to be doing the tried and tested. So with the sun out and the rain not forecast till around 3.00pm, that theory looked to hold water. Unfortunately it wasn't the only thing holding water, as the saturated ground in the woods, where I left the Trans Pennine trail in order to come out at the grounds of Ringwood Hall Hotel, was caked in slippery mud. Thus even with the aid of a stick (which was a bit silly as I had been given a walking pole for Christmas) I took three times as long to get through there. However things did look up when I reconnected with the trail on the Chesterfield Canal as Nona's coffee bar was actually open (which is very rare when I normally pass this way). So with the weather still on the acceptable side, I was able to enjoy my Victoria sponge cake and hot chocolate outside. Now earlier in the walk I had been a bit peeved when some dotty old woman let her collie dog leap up and wipe its muddy paws on my trousers, just as I was about to eat my scotch egg; I needn't have worried. Thus along the canal, I decided to climb up a small embankment off the canal to take a small call of nature. On the way down, I slipped backwards on the muddy slope, with my trousers now given the impression that it had been a much larger call of nature that had gone badly wrong (see picture); I still needn't have worried. Thus within 30 minutes the heavens opened (with full thunder and lightning accompaniment) giving my trousers a complete wash and soak. Other people were sheltering under bridges, but as the storm had been forecast (but turned up an hour early) I figured it was for the duration and carried on.