Walking Guides and Why I Ignore them.

For a change, I decided to try one of the many walking guides that litter the various bookshelves round the house. The one I chose had some easy walks near by, so I decided to give it a go.

I chose a walk that was about four miles and not too far away. Despite my met office app showing dry and bright weather for the afternoon, a glance out of the reality app (the window) showed a different story. Banks of dark grey rain bearing clouds were massing on the horizon. It was going to rain, the only element of doubt was when?

Walking guides are a bit of a thing with me. Basically in my view they are all rubbish. All apart from Wainwrights of course.

So if I was honest, I wasn’t particularly confident about this one.

However I decided to give it a  go, so after packing up a few treats for Lilly and some water, and a flask of tea for me, we set off in the car. The walk started in a lay-by off the A5004. We found the lay-by, managed to park, and feeling confident set off down the ‘steeply descending track’.

The track veered to the left and ahead were three choices. The book referred to two footpaths, and suggested that I took the one on the left. I dithered, there was no mention of the third way, straight on.

I read ahead and with a bit of detective work managed to work out the which of the three ways to go. But the book continued along these lines for most of the walk.

Never wrong exactly, but rarely filling you with the confidence that you are certain that you are on the right track.

It didn’t really matter, as I had downloaded the excellent OS app for iPhone so was able to confirm and clarify the route using this. The guide-book was essentially unnecessary.

Lilly enjoyed herself. There were plenty of new scents to check out, and a stream to drink from. She had to stay on the lead for most of the walk as there were cattle and sheep in most of the fields.But she seemed quite happy.

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It was goods to be out and about though.

There were plenty of birds about, including several types of warbler, one of which had a beak full of insects which it appeared to be taking back to chicks.

As the walk crossed the end of the reservoir and climbed up into the hills above, there were some stunning views across to the Kinder Massif. The farm houses were old and fitted into the landscape, they had after all been there for centuries.

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As we plodded along by the river, approaching the reservoir, I amused myself in wondering how high the wave of water would be if the dam had broken and the huge volume of water had been released to cascade and crash down the valley. I estimated the wave would have been 40 feet and I imagined how long it would take me to reach safety before the wave engulfed me. Just before we reached the barrier that held the water back, there was a long thin two storey building that appeared to be derelict. It had signs in its walls warning of asbestos. 

At the end of the walk after walking past a small church which had a very large cemetery  attached to it, a donkey with a blind fold appeared over the wall of the church yard.  I stopped to chat to it and to stroke its nose. The man who we bumped into a few yards away said that it was put in there to keep the grass down. He said that he thought that a strimmer would be better and less messy.  But then he was dressed in a black polo neck jumper, black jeans and was standing next to a black van with its windows blacked out. At first I thought he was an undertaker. 

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We plodded quickly on and soon were back at the car. Lilly slumped in the front, and licked her paws. A decent walk. 4 miles in 2 hours, allowing for stops to look at the view and to curse the guide-book. Oh yes and to slow down to let three students pass me when I reached a part of the route that was a little bit complicated. I pretended to stop for tea. 

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