I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Pork With Prunes

Just back from another couple of days in Derbyshire's Peak District. Thursday evening found me pitched at Fieldhead Campsite, Edale. And in the Old Nag's Head. Sweet memories of when I'd started out from here in April to walk the Pennine Way. On Friday I did a couple of slow saunters.

The first was in the Hope Valley, separated from the Vale of Edale by the lovely Mam Tor - Lose Hill ridge. I simply walked from Castleton to Hope by field paths to the north, and returned by field paths to the south along a tributary of the river Noe, an easy clockwise circular of 4 miles. I stopped for a chat in Hope with the manager of the climbing shop, Hitch n Hike, a small satellite of the much bigger outlet at Mytham Bridge. He'd been a lecturer in electronics and also chef-manager on a steam train restaurant in Matlock (but not at the same time - at least, I don't think so!). How nice to have had such a varied path in life. He was crazy about French cooking and gave me a recipe for pork with prunes marinaded in Vouvray. Sounded good at the time - particularly as I hadn't eaten all day! Nice deli next door to the climbing shop, incidentally.

It had poured down with rain for almost an hour on the walk back to Castleton so I tried drying things out at the Edale campsite. But a 5 o'clock sky promised a fine evening, so I couldn't resist setting out again - this time directly from the tent south-west to Barber Booth; across the railway, road and river; then up, on a reasonably gentle slanting path, to Hollins Cross, the centrepoint of the Mam Tor ridge. I came back down to Edale via Backtor Bridge and Ollerbrook Booth. This had been an anti-clockwise circular of 5 miles.

The photo shows the Vale of Edale from the path up to Hollins Cross.

3 comments:

Paul Williams (walkingwithwilliams) said...

Nice one, lovely area. Did you try the other pub towards the station? It changed hands in April, and they served a great lamb Sunday roast, though I did feel a bit guilty looking at the hairy friends on the hills when leaving!

The Solitary Walker said...

Think it's perhaps improved there, and has tried to go in the gastro-pub direction, but I'm afraid I got on the wrong side of them by questioning why the steak-and-ale pie & chips didn't come with veggies. The reply was - "oh, the potatoes plus veg are a side order @ £2.50 extra!" "But I don't want potatoes as I have chips. Just, you know, some green stuff." Etc. You can see how it went on. Am I awkward, or what? Anyhow, I ended up paying £12.50 for pie and anaemic chips with a few unbelievably hot pieces of cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. All of which arrived in about 2 minutes. Seems a bit expensive and suspiciously quick to me.

The Solitary Walker said...

And, come to think of it, the most I ever paid for steak pie, crispy golden chips and veg all along the Pennine Way was £6.95/£7.50!

And just after the War nothing cost more than 10 bob - not even a brand-new Morris Minor.

Bring back rationing! Bring back National Service! Only joking.

Grumpy Old Man signing off now...