The Road to Nowhere

The Long Walk HomeThis time last week I was getting lost around an area of natural beauty: Monsal Head, near Bakewell, Derbyshire.

After deciding to embark on a short stroll to fully appreciate the view, my Other Half and I set out with our grandson, and committed the many cardinal sins associated with that of the amateur rambler:

  • Failed to map out a route.
  • Improperly dressed i.e. inappropriate footwear, no provision for change of weather, no sunscreen for skin protection on one of the hottest days of the year, so far… I could go on.
  • No phone to check whereabouts.
  • No water or food to sustain us, if needed.
  • Failed to advise anybody of our intended journey, or whereabouts.
  • Only paid for three hours in the car park.

Now you might think, but it’s a short walk, not a trek around Outer Mongolia, but believe me it might just as well have been for the anguish it generated.

We traversed up hill and down dale, encountering viaducts, bridges, streams, waterfalls, geese… and a good time was had by all. This came to an abrupt end when we reached an unrecognisable road after walking for what seemed like hours (I may be embellishing somewhat), and our feet were blistered and aching.

It was then that Ben, our four year old grandson, refused to trek any further, pleading to be reunited with his mummy whom he was missing beyond measure. (I might add that this longing partially abated the moment he boarded the bus, and fully dissipated the moment he happened upon a bookshop with the promise of a sticker book for being such ‘a good boy’.)

The bus driver who, incidentally, had failed to don his mask and left his swag bag at home that day, charged us over £7 for the privilege of a ten minute bus ride. I think it was just his way of making us pay for having him stop in the back of beyond to collect a fare, causing him to be two minutes late home for his tea.

So in light of all of these things, I have sworn that should the urge to ramble ever take my fancy again, I shall resist it unless I am fully equipped with Berghaus hiking boots, waterproof Calisto jacket and over-trousers; a rucksack containing tent, sleeping bag, camping stove, tinned supplies, Kendal mint cake, bottles of water, matches, map, compass, change of clothes, crampons, strider pole, flares… and a good book.

I’ll just go to the pub, instead.

Image credit: Eddie O’Neill


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4 Responses to The Road to Nowhere

  1. Joanne Fox says:

    Oh, I’m sorry you had such trouble in Derbyshire! I know that area quite well, having grown up just outside Derby, and spent many hours with my little legs struggling to keep up with the grown-ups who insisted on talking me for hikes around the county. Now I live in a flatter place, I actually miss the hills. Such is life!

    • JWow Admin says:

      It is a beautiful area of the world, and being a glutton for punishment it won’t put me off returning, and probably making the same mistake all over again. Thank you for visiting my site and taking the time to comment.

  2. We’ve all done it! My favourite one was, many years ago, walking up Black Hill (also in the Peak District) and encountering mist and rain alternately. When we eventually got back to the car, I was so wet I had to change everything including my knickers. Another was taking a stroll along the clifftops in Cornwall, with my husband and primary-aged son and daughter, ‘just to the next village’, without taking it into account that cliffs are actually rock fingers into the sea, and that you have to walk up the apex then back again, up a hundred feet and down again… over and over again. When we reached said village, the cream tea we’d been hoping for was non-existent and there was not even a water-tap.

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