Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Sunday 17 December 2017 – A Christmas Circuit from Bakewell

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Last year’s Christmas lunch at The Crispin proved to be a great venue, so it was booked again for this year. It has the benefit of a private dining room for up to thirty diners, and a good chef.

Rather than repeat last year’s walk from Tideswell, a ten mile circuit from Bakewell was devised. Some of us enjoyed a coffee in ‘The Lime Lounge’ before setting off into the rain.

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Last year we were 23 in number. This year’s spreadsheet had the same number, but by the time we started we were down to 18 due to crockedness and illness, though numbers did rise to 21 for lunch. Alan R had bravely risen from his sick bed for his first full day walk for over a month. Well done Alan, it was good to see you. He pictured me celebrating that with Sheila.

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We rendezvoused with the poor people who couldn’t afford a coffee, and set off beside the River Wye, where goldcrests joined a variety of different tits (many with long tails) in nibbling the riverside berries.

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I wonder how many of the group noticed a brief hiatus in the rain as we passed by this fine edifice.

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Full waterproofs were deployed as we headed up a gentle slope to cross Stanedge Road, heading west over easy ground.

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There was no snow on our path, but the frost made for a mostly satisfactory firm surface in lovely Peak District scenery.

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There were good views down to Ashford in the Water.

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As we passed the church in Ashford, Andrew (crocked but able to join us for the walk for 3 km) contrived to fail to notice 18 hikers as they passed by the shelter under which he was waiting. Luckily we stopped for elevenses nearby (see top picture), during which break Andrew was recovered from his blind spot!

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Then it was an easy stroll in soft conditions, culminating in a dash to the pub.

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I organised a quiz, as usual, and Jenny (crocked but hungry) kindly took a few snaps to record the occasion.

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Quiz results time – one team managed (with the aid of a large magnifying glass) to get 25/35, but everyone was a winner. The questions will feature in the next posting.

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After our two+ hour break, the rain had stopped, and navigation for the afternoon would be easy, though numbers had now risen to 21.

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This snowball is all that is left of Great Longstone’s giant snowman.

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It’s a pleasant stroll to the Monsal Trail.

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Perhaps some people were put off by the frost? Maybe some dived into the café at Hassop?

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Light began to fade, but the route along the railway track was clear. Nevertheless, by the time we reached the end of the path at Coombs Lane we were down to eight people, a further thirteen having apparently sloped off by way of a variety of ‘cheats’.

Anyway, the route followed by those eight stalwarts is shown below – 16.6 km with about 350 metres ascent. Shorter routes are obviously available, but this was a very satisfactory one.

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Thanks for coming everyone, especially those who travelled a long way and who we only seem to see very rarely. I hope you all enjoyed your day out.

2 comments:

AlanR said...

Thanks Martin, enjoyable even if a struggle with my now diagnosed severe chest infection. Sorry I missed out the last mile. I will get you back one day for the “old man” skit! Ha

Phreerunner said...

You could set yourself a more difficult challenge than getting back at me for that, Alan! Not many people are more frequently crocked than me, though I try not to make it too public!
It was good to see you both anyway; thanks for making the effort, and I hope the medicine soon deals with your infection.