We really haven't been doing terribly well lately. Yet another gap has occurred in our walking due to unforeseen circumstances, so we've missed another week. But sheer determination has us out today, despite being under the influence of a streaming cold. And we are lucky. The weather is relatively mild, and we are able to ignore the wind and the sogginess from previous rain.
We're a little late meeting up; road works on the A57 (for PC) and a slow photocopier for me (long story) sets us back a bit, but it doesn't really matter as we don't have a long walk planned. There aren't many vehicles in the car park next to the Robin Hood pub (just off the A619) but there is a new Pay and Display machine. They seem to be creeping in everywhere.
A brief catch up then we're pulling on the layers, even the woolly hats make their first appearance in a while. Mollie is put on the lead and we make our way down to the road for the short walk up to the footpath.
We know it isn't long since we were last here so it is all very familiar, but that doesn't stop Mollie bounding off when we let her have a run in the woods once we are through the gate and on the path. Mollie loves stones and rocks, picking them up and tossing them to us to throw for her. They aren't good for her teeth, and we won't play, but that doesn't curb her enthusiasm.
We don't let her run too far before we put her back on the lead again, and we're climbing up through the rocks onto Birchen Edge. As soon as we're up the views open up around us and we're really glad of the clear skies, although the wind is a bit strong.
We head towards the monumental rocks - the three ships - (see our walk Outlaws and Heroes dated 2.3.12) to celebrate the success of Nelson's fleet at Trafalgar. There are a couple of groups of climbers working on the edge so we amble up to the ships for a closer look before continuing on our way, happy that we have had no sightings of cows.
These are new to us; chocolate tarts with fresh cream and orange curls. At first sight they seem to be quite light but when it comes to eating them they turn out to be seriously calorific! Shortcrust pastry cases, a thin layer of thick chocolate custard covered with moist chocolate brownie topped with fresh cream and orange chocolate curls. (PC should have taken a photo, but she was half way down hers before she thought of it!) They are seriously good, but would have been filling had they been half the size. PC is undaunted and eats all of hers, but I end up sharing that last of mine with Mollie, who doesn't complain.
Feeling very over-stuffed we decide that we had better get going. We make our way back to the path and walk beneath the ridge, watching some of the climbers as they work their way up the rocks. The narrow path broadens out and soon we are heading back towards the road, the car park and our cars.