2020

Day 19 – It’s Grim Up North

Bollington to Hattersley

I am now working my way around Manchester. It’s always cold and wet here and it was today. Everyone is so cheerful and they say it’s not always like this. But it is. I worked up here for six months many years ago and it rained every day.

It really was a dreadful day. I barely slept last night due to a sea bass attack on my delicate digestive system. The hotel made me a good breakfast and then I set off with 30Km ahead of me. The rain started at once. I walked through the Lyme Park estate which is National Trust. It was 10.30 and I made my way to the cafe for coffee and cake but it was only doing takeaways so I left it. Where can you take cake in the pouring rain?

The Gritstone Trail apologised for the weather and told me that it used to be nice when he was a boy. But that was 250 million years ago when England was on the equator. He took me as far as Disley station which is where he finishes. He told me to keep off the moors. He said, “Keep off the Moors”. It was a pleasure to walk with him.

I found a cafe nearby for my morning cappuccino and looked at a lot of cakes, all of which were baked on the premises. And then I walked along the Peak Forest Canal towpath with cold and wet feet.

Fortunately the awful pub in Marple didn’t serve food so I continued to Compstall where the pub served “brilliant” food. The young bar maid told me she only works on Fridays and Saturdays and she is starting Liverpool university next month.

I trudged the final kilometres to Hattersley and my last Premier Inn. They served me an elaborate meal from their carvery which was a combined Christmas and Thanksgiving feast. The chef sliced too much turkey and then piled my plate with roast potatoes, green beans, carrots, sprouts, cauliflower and a Yorkshire pudding. It cost £7 and is considered a normal meal up here.

So now I’ve come to the end of the easy bit. Starting tomorrow I’m up on the moors. There probably won’t be any telephone signal or Wi-fi. Also they don’t have spirits like we had in Shikoku. But they have werewolves which are best avoided.

It was a grim day. There was no inner journey. Here’s your photo puzzle. See if you can match the captions to the photos. I can’t.

Brilliant food in this Compstall pub
I was made welcome
Disley cafe with home made cakes

It’s Christmas every day up north

15 comments on “Day 19 – It’s Grim Up North

  1. Console yourself with the knowledge that Oliver Cromwell probably trudged a similar path 375 years ago. And he didn’t have Goretex.

  2. Charaudeau

    Hi Tim
    It’s a pleasure to read you every day your photos and comments are 👍. I’ m looking forward to it.
    It ‘s good for my English progression. You make me travel through your aventures.
    I hope your head is better and Didier offers to lend his helmet.
    François proofreads my messenger 😉
    cheers

    • Bonjour! It’s great to hear from you all and I hope we can walk to Mt St Michel one day.

  3. Hi Tim
    Looks like you missed the Pennine Way start at Edale? It’s been raining down south as well. It probably rained 250 million years ago (dinosaurs could cope with the storms)

    • Hi Roger I’m walking up the E2 which joins the Pennine Way at Standedge for the duration. I think that’s normally the end of the second stage. Have you done the Pennine Way?

  4. David Jury

    Hi Tim – The weather looks fair ahead for you for at least few days – so you should enjoy the moors. Looking forward to hearing your comments on the Pennine Way.

  5. Tassie Kaz

    Tim, do you think the lack of other walkers is due to the current situation, time of year or is it simply ‘normal’?
    When I walked the PWC (London to Canterbury) & then the English leg to start the VF, I did not encounter any other distance walkers; that was early (your) spring last year & no ‘Covid’ in our vernacular.
    Hope you don’t develop webbed feet! 🦆

    • My guess is the virus has deterred many people. The paths I’ve walked run from north to south so I would expect to meet walkers coming towards me. But I’ve only met two people so far. That can’t be normal. The Pennine Way runs from south to north so the likelihood of meeting long distance walkers is much reduced. But you’d expect more of them on such a famous trail. It will be interesting to see.

  6. Love all your chatter and that first photo Of the sheep
    is award worthy

  7. Celia and David

    Bad luck Tim getting such a soaking,wet feet must be miserable.seriously, didn’t you have an umbrella contraption that you attach to your head?? Might help with those pesky branches too! Good job you had the medium carvery, and not the large.yes, they do know how to eat up north. Great pics. Despite the weather.

  8. Wow! What a large roast. Did you eat it all?

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