I can't remember when I last wore my waterproofs for five consecutive days, but that's what happened on my mini-trip to the Peak District.
Wednesday - First of all, I had a plan, and I knew where I was going to be pretty much from hour to hour. That's until I got off the train at Buxton and was met by Milly and Skip. I'd emailed to say that I would be in Buxton for 50 minutes between my train and onward bus. However, I was invited to attend one of the Kinder Mass Trespass 80th Anniversary walks. We drove to Edale, where it was wild, wet and windy. Half the expected walkers had cancelled, which was just as well for me, as it was fully-booked and I guess I would have been turned away otherwise. Rangers led the walk, up the valley, up Jacob's Ladder, to Edale Cross. Here, we met another group from Hayfield, but the conditions were horrible and there was no point standing around chatting. Instead, it was a rapid retreat to the cafe in Edale, then to Milly's to dry out, where an offer of accommodation was gratefully siezed!
Apologies for the wobbly camera work, but holding a camera in one hand and sheltering it with an umbrella in the other hand, while being buffeted by wind, rain, hail, sleet and snow is pretty tough!
Thursday - Milly gave me a lift to soggy Ashbourne so that I could continue with my planned route, albeit now one day behind. Given that the weather was still cold, wet and windy, I was glad that I'd aimed no higher than easy railway track walks. First was the Tissington Trail, and I seemed to share the middle of it with map-reading students, possibly engaged in a Duke of Edinburgh's Award practice. Apart from a welcome coffee break at Tissington - a popular village where I was clearly the only visitor - it was a case of measuring the miles and finally reaching the Royal Oak at Hurdlow. They have a sloping campsite, which didn't look appealing in the wet. They also have a really good camping barn, and I had the whole place to myself for the night for £13!
Friday - I doubled back along the old railway track and followed the High Peak Trail. I saw more cyclists on this one, and dared to believe that the weather was improving. I left the line near Cromford and, still being a day behind, wasn't able to walk upstream alongside the River Wye through Matlock and Bakewell. Instead, I caught buses, and got off at Ashford in the Water, to make my way to the Backpackers Club AGM.
I've only been a Backpackers Club member for a few years, and only been to two previous AGMs. It was a case of getting pitched between showers, then meeting the other attendees.