It has been a little damp of late. But today was the duly appointed shopping day on which I was to return the leaky (but exceedingly comfy) Asolo Fugitives, and Sue was to seek a replacement for the worn out Meindl boots that she binned in Saas Fee.
It's a quick tram ride to the centre of Manchester and a selection of gear shops that give good discounts. But we chose to return to the boot fitting team led by Mike, at Outside (no discounts - but superb service) in Hathersage, for this long awaited shopping expedition.
The Asolos were quickly dealt with - the soles had delaminated from the uppers. "You've been very unlucky" said Mike - seemingly indicating that Asolo's quality control was supposed to be very good. [Some - Mick included - may disagree!] They were duly dispatched to Preston to be glued back together.
The next hour (at least) was spent with Sue trying several possible victims for her awkward feet. She eventually came away with a pair of Hanwag Lima Lady GTX leather boots - weighing in at £140 and an acceptable 1400gm for the pair.
I had never heard of Hanwag.
Luckily, Outside has a good coffee shop.
We couldn't go to Hathersage without venturing into the fresh air, which came with its own brand of liquid refreshment.
The Heatherdene car park near Yorkshire Bridge sports a fine bench (above) with resident owl, woodpecker and mouse. An excellent construction. Sue wants one for the garden.
Despite having a waterproof map with us, we cheated. There's an easy 6km route - a circuit nearly to the top of Win Hill - that just requires moderate eyesight and the ability to follow a few green arrows. The information board allows 2½ hours for this walk.
We set off at 12.15 and after crossing the Ladybower Dam we discovered that the reservoir is far from full - it still has some way to go before the overflow valve is reached. Tomorrow may be a different story, judging by the weather forecast!
Anyway, this was our first proper walk in daylight - other than an evening excursion from Notchy's house, since returning from the Alps over two weeks ago! Doesn't time fly.
It was great to get into the fresh air. Everything was very green up to a certain height, then grey became the dominant colour. The blackberries are ready for harvesting, mushrooms abound, and the heather is in full bloom. There wasn't much wildlife in evidence; just a few soggy sheep and whingeing crows. Streams thick with peat gushed into the reservoir; rosebay willowherb struggled to remain upright, and cloud lingered near the top of Win Hill, which for once we didn't bother to visit.
This is the last picture - towards the summit of Win Hill - I took before my camera broke. Roll on the G10!
Here's our route - 6 km, with 260 metres of ascent. We were back at the car by 1.30, so it took us just 1¼ hours - half the 'advertised' time.