Monday, September 28, 2015

Walking part of the Monsal Trail

Induction week went fairly well, in the end.  We all saw hundreds of new under-graduate students and dallied with post-graduate and returning students. It came and went in a more or less orderly manner.  Proper teaching starts this week, although I don't have many sessions scheduled.  Next week will most certainly make up for that!!

I don't think we had necessarily intended to spend Saturday morning destroying the spare room. I had intended to empty the wardrobes, drawers and bookcase and throw a load of stuff away and sort some things to go to the charity shop.  The spare room is next on the schedule for redecoration and we decided that we could do to get rid of some of the furniture in there. It's a big room to say that the house is more cottage-like than mansion, but it is definitely quite cluttered.  The Builder was assuming that we would smash the furniture up and put it on the skip that I hope will be arriving at our place shortly. But we have some friends who have just bought a house and are quite short of furniture.  The Builder decided that Saturday morning would be a good time to liberate the wardrobes which were screwed to the walls, and finished with pretty skirting and cornice-like things.  Nate and Duncan are coming with a van this evening to take everything away, then I will sort through all the stuff which is now lying about randomly on the spare bed and put some away in new places at our house and put some aside for the charity shop. The rest can go in the skip.  Or the next one, for I fear this one will fill up very quickly!

We did have plans for Sunday, which dawned chilly and foggy and gloomy.  Fortunately, the fog eventually lifted and the sun came out and the temperature warmed up.  For Tabitha, Gareth and Cally dropped round mid-morning and picked us up and we all headed off to Monsal Head for a walk along the Monsal Trail,  follows an old railway line which was closed in the late 1960s. You run across platforms and old railway buildings and other interesting little things. And once you get to the trail it's quite easy walking. Getting down to it is more fun from Monsal Head. It is at the bottom of quite a steep drop, which has had steps cut into it but they're quite uneven and quite deep in places. At one point I lost my footing and ended up sitting on one of the steps.  Cally was a bit worried that if Gamma needed a rest after such a short distance, how was she going to manage when we actually got going?!?!?!?!?  Getting back up on our return was considerably easier.

We couldn't walk far yesterday.  We had a table booked for lunch at the Packhorse Inn, where you may remember we tried to go a few weeks ago but were thwarted by a lack of available tables.  So we went as far as the end of the first tunnel (or the middle of it, in my case - I am not a big fan of tunnels, much to Cally's astonishment) before turning back ready for our lunch.  We'll do a longer stretch next time, perhaps from Hassop, where you can hire bicycles. And electric cycles :-D

Lunch was magnificent.  If you ever find yourself in the vicinity of the Packhorse, I heartily recommend that you call in (having had the foresight to book a table first).  The Builder and I had simply wonderful plates of roast beef with all the usual trimmings.Tabitha had belly pork.  The chips that came with Cally's fish fingers were amazing.  Gareth had a buffalo burger.  I have never previously eaten buffalo so had to try a bit, and it was lovely. I shall have buffalo the next time I see it on a menu.

And then we drove out on an adventurous route (because none of us had ever been along those roads before) to Millers Dale, where the station is now a Peak District National Park rangers' base and where there is also an ice cream van in the summer.  We might have been attacked by ice creams!

You will find the photos I took of our walk if you click on the picture of the Monsal Dale pub sitting atop the cliff that we were at the bottom of!

Click here for the full photo album

I'm glad the fog lifted yesterday morning.  It wouldn't have been half as nice walking the trail in the fog.  Although it would have made dodging the bicycles an interesting challenge.  It was foggy again this morning as The Builder and I made our way to the coach station at 7:00.  Autumn is definitely with us, although the trees haven't properly started to change colour.  They're thinking about it, though.
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