Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Martin in Gatineau Park - 2018

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Saturday 21 June 2008 - A 200th Birthday Party

This was the day that Chris, Colin, Jessica, Martin and Phil had chosen to celebrate their 40th birthdays. The venue was Gradbach Youth Hostel, near Buxton. It had been rented for the weekend.

After a sociable Friday evening, Sue and I co-opted 6 others to join us on a 25 km stroll, initially by the River Dane to the Ship Inn (point 3 on the route shown below) at Danebridge.

It was too early for lunch, so we continued past alpaca and horses along some lesser known paths of the Peak District to the Ryles Inn near Langley (point 4) for beer and soup (we’d had large breakfasts). By now we had spent much time in wet fields and everybody’s feet were soaked. Apart from mine – I could gloat in my new boots, which passed the 25 km on day 1 test with almost flying colours – I just have a slight rub on one ankle tendon.

Then we headed along the Gritstone trail to Ridgegate Reservoir for a second lunch (there was limited seating here) before heading past Trentabank and a few neatly stacked logs, and up Shutlingsloe. Not for the first time since I started writing these pages.

Today the ‘Matterhorn of Cheshire’ was in a cloud, so we headed quickly down towards the Crag Inn (point 9) before going up and over again, past a very nice looking house, to Three Shire Heads.

Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire greet each other at this pleasant spot, where a huge piece of fungus protruded from a tree, and everyone seemed happy to rest.

From here it was an easy downhill stroll back to the youth hostel for a rather sparse and drizzly BBQ, plus beer and a ceili in the thin long ground floor room of the old mill. Curiously, a stuffed wallaby sat in one window - they roamed wild hereabouts for many years until the 1990s (see here), and a signpost outside rather bizarrely pointed to Eskdale Green and Muncaster Head!

Here’s our route for the day – 25 km with over 1000 metres of ascent, taking us 8 hours including 1½ hours stops – an excellent day out despite some indifferent weather.

Now then, shouldn’t we be getting ready to go to the Alps?…

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