With a date set for the start, the ninth of May, tickets purchased for the far off town of Buxton. The team met up on board the train somewhere between Newcastle and York. Eventually we arrived in the said town. A wander about, a few last minutes supplies purchased, and bus times checked for the morrow and then a long uphill plod to the campsite.
Unfortunately the Cold Springs campsite does not now really cater for backpackers, proffering large school groups and the such. Also, we were told booking in advance is now required. On top of all that they do not accept dogs. Fortunately Lucky does cute and somehow we managed to obtain a pitch for two nights.
Wednesday was to be our first full day of backpacking and it was with heavy packs and unfit bodies that we headed out of Buxton. Our intended route began with the Midshires Way. The trail was poorly marked and a close eye had to be kept on the map. Footpaths and bridleways led us through lush, verdant pastures.
The following morning saw us once more heading uphill. Soon we were back on the Limestone Way. in the distance we could see Mam Tor looming large. As we approached it was noticeable the amount of folk out and about. A long descent down to Edale where we indulged in a pub lunch of bread and soup.
The ascent back out of Edale proved to be long and hard, upwards, ever upwards! Finally though we made the top and then negotiated our way through the peat hags to the crags on the other side.
Finally we began the descent down toward the Snake Pass. A family picnicking by the river, enjoying the countryside, car doors wide open and music blaring forth?
The Snake Pass Inn is dog friendly and was most welcoming. The food served up was excellent, good traditional fare with very generous portions.
The road is obviously a race track for those so inclined. The scream of motorcycle engines at full throttle, the howl of cars moving at high speed echoed up and down the valley. It was with some trepidation that we left the pub to hurry up the narrow verge. Fortunately we had only a short distance to go before a footpath led us down through the woods to the river and a fine camping spot for the night.
The following day we joined up with the Pennine Way at Dr's Gate and stayed with it for the next couple of days.
There was some hard going and at one point water was a problem. We managed to find a drop that looked potable but was filtered and boiled just in case.
It was interesting to see two young lads come striding purposely past us as we set off one morning, Trekking poles swinging in synchronised movement, light packs on their backs. As we came over the trig point at Robin hood's Bed and dropped down to the pub for lunch, there where these two young lads having just arrived , obvious by the fact they were just shedding packs and ordering lunch.
Something else that piqued our curiosity at the pub was when I noticed a chap dressed from head to toe in red, clambering over a fence, odd! Even stranger was when said figure was observed heading up the hill followed by a group of large African ladies dressed in flowing white robes and billowing headdresses.
We go thataway to the next pub!
As we were running behind schedule, Mike's wife had kindly agreed to pick us up in Todmorden and deliver us to Skipton. That will be in part two.