Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Buxton to Roaches Oct 08

Printed off the MWIS forecast and headed out the office door, A quick detour home to collect bags and off we went to Buxton.

Setting off at lunchtime was meant to avoid the traffic however careless car drivers crash at any time of the day. I some times wonder whether they save up their crash quota for the strip of road between me and my destination. Friday afternoon Baz's is on his way to the hills so let's head to junction two of the M4 and have a pile up!

We arrived at Cold Springs Farm at seven in the evening the sun gone and the air temperature dropping. A line of small tents along the bank indicated that there were other club members about.

We wasted no time pitching tent and getting the food on, settling in to watch the stars and moon until drifting off to sleep.

The clear sky had grown cloudy overnight and some rain had fallen before we got up. Luckily it was dry as we broke camp and set off, a later start and a bogged down car meant we ended up walking with last group to leave the campsite. It didn't stay dry for long, drizzle was being pushed along by a constantly buffeting wind. The route heads out from Long Hill around the Beet and heads south to pick up the Dane Valley Way the other side of the Terret and A54. We followed the DVW south lunching at Three Shire Heads a delightful little spot where we caught up with the party of early risers, who were just packing up. Lunch over we continued on the DVW stopping for tea, coffee, scones and pork pie at Gradbach YHA. On previous B2R outings we'd not ventured this far south along the way opting for a steep climb up cardiac hill (as one of our party called it) so I was glad of the minor detour and tea break.

From the foot bridge Penny and I took the path up to Ludd's Church because she'd not seen this unique feature, whilst the rest of the group headed straight for the ridge. Wind and rain lashed the ridge as we headed along to Roach End. No sign of the ice cream van nor any one else for that matter. Last year we stopped for ice cream and flopped on the grass in the sun, no such luxury this time. The wind and rain continued to pummel as we continued along the ridge, the high point and trig pillar went past without mention. And when the little lake hove into view I was reminded that this would be a idea place for a wild camp, in better weather. Towards the end of the end of the ridge there's a scrambly decent where we caught up with the rest of our group. On the way down I managed to slip - twice - tapping my knee lightly on a rock the first time and landing heavily on my left hand the second. I was glad that the Roaches Tea Room and campsite were not far along the road. On leaving the tea shop (two tea breaks in one afternoon, Christine would be proud!) the rain stepped up a gear - great timing! We pitched the tent, got ourselves inside, stove on and we feasted on soup, curry, chocolate and whiskey as the rain hammered relentlessly on the fly.

Breaks in the rain enticed people out for the walk down to the pub, and dodging showers we joined them for a few drinks.

It rained constantly all night just easing off enough in the morning to allow a swift break of camp. The homeward route picks it way northward to Flash past Gib Tor and Flash Bottom.

Due to the early start we managed to get to Flash just after 11.00 despite the number of detours we took (read as getting a bit lost.) The rain had eased and the sun had started to shine although the sun was now out no one was keen to sit around and wait for the pub to open. By this time my knee was calling time, we still had five miles to go and if ever there was time to duck out it was now. The A6 is a short hobble from the village where allegedly a bus service ran. On the main road there was a bus stop but no time table, the pub appeared to be permanently closed but the general store was open. The shop’s new owner didn’t have a bus time table but did have a yellow pages so we dialled a cab and headed back to Cold Springs Farm to collect the car.

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