Saturday 28 September Hartington to Edale

Distance walked: today 20.7 miles cumulative 629.8 miles

Lucy, my daughter, recommended me a book entitled Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit. This is a book about walking and includes some anthropology, the history and philosophy of walking. I have been reading it in the evenings and it is good if a little heavy going. For instance, she suggests that modern day treks are the non-religious equivalent of pilgrimages as the goals are spiritual rather than physical. A thought provoking book.

Another wet day. I left Hartington at 8:30. I took the most direct route to Edale. I climbed out of the valley with a group doing the 6 dale challenge. This is about 26 miles long and they had already been walking for two hours. The route climbs along a ridge giving a typical view of the Peak District

The other group soon turned off

My route continued to climb towards Pilsbury. I then followed the High Peak Trail, an old railway line, before returning to field paths and descending to Chee Dale

The rain stopped temporarily and so I had a rest and a sandwich. The rain didn’t stay away long. I descended into Monks Dale. This was horrible. It was pouring with rain and the dale is mostly a boulder field. The rocks were slippery and there were several fallen trees across the path so progress was slow. I then snapped one of my walking poles between two rocks.i began to worry I might miss the last afternoon train and have to wait till 20:45.

Peter Dale was more grassy but was very muddy and is used to graze cows. Progress was faster but I emerged at the road covered up to the knees in cow poo. I now got my first view of Kinder Scout and the start of the Pennine Way, next year’s start.

My route took me past the magnificent hill of Mam Tor

This should be a mountain, it looks like one but it is less than 2000 feet tall. The top is an old hill fort. There are excellent day walks to the top from Castleton or Edale. For the less energetic, there is a car park at the bottom. On a windy day it is a good spot to watch hang gliders. But if you have a picnic there beware of the sheep , once, I sat down and before I knew it a ewe had her head in my rucksack looking for food.

I now made a fast descent to Edale and got the train with minutes to spare. I do feel sorry for the people sitting near me, I exuded a rather farmyard smell.

it was good to get home. A quick shower and I was clean enough to enjoy a Third Eye curry. The log is now up to date. I will add a bibliography over the winter but now it is to me to plan next year’s campaign. My big question at the moment is whether to do the Pennine Way or to branch north West to the Dales Way. The next decision is whether to go west along the West Highland Way or head through the Lairig Ghru and the Cairngorms.