Tuesday, 2 February 2016


To say that the conditions aren't promising for our first walk of the New Year would be an understatement. But, then again, it could be worse. It is cold and murky, but at least it isn't raining - yet.

We meet in the Surprise View car park, and as a pleasant surprise the parking machine isn't working properly so we can only pay for an hour even though we intend to stay longer. We leave short missives on our windscreens just in case a warden comes by to check, although we have never seen one.

Mollie is keen to be off on a walk and even though we don't exactly have anything planned set off to the gate at the top of the car park and on the clear track through the heather. We have a lot of catching up to do so it is just as well that we don't have to worry about finding our way. And Mollie can go off the lead for a while as there are no sheep on this moor at the moment.

PC is happily taking some photos, although the views hardly merit it on this grim day, and we reach the Millstone Edge with the fence to stop anyone falling over! I believe ravens nest here during the spring/summer months.

We walk along the fence line, still intent with our catching up, then as the path levels out we strike off to our right on a less distinct path that leads up onto the Over Owler Tor rocks. We've been here many times before and know that we need to pick our way carefully down the steep slope as the rocks can quickly roll away under your feet, and we have the added bonus of ice as well today.

PC realises (with a curse) that the memory card from her camera has been removed (hands up the guilty party!) and not put back. Hoping the camera has an internal memory she nevertheless resorts to her camera phone.

Once on the level we resume our way heading towards Winyards Nick, a depression visible for some distance and the place where paths cross. We continue ahead and approach the only enclosed field on this stretch of moor (and where we once encountered the Woods That Were Not There - we must write that up sometime). Needless the say the ethereal woods were not making an appearance for us on this walk despite the mist starting to descend.

We decide to veer left here and stop under a small stand of trees for a quick nip from the flask. It's orange gin, and it takes me by surprise - I was expecting Ramblers!

Then PC discovers, to her dismay, that her phone battery is flat! Ah well, my phone is working so we have to use that as a last resort. Not that there is anything particularly scenic to photograph.

We take the path straight on (as seen in the photo) as we only have a limited amount of time today so a longer walk is out of the question. And, surprisingly, there are a lot of people out today. It can't be the weather that has attracted them!

We walk along with the Over Owler Tor ridge to our left as the misty clouds descend even further. However, we find some convenient boulders and decide to stop for coffee, which morphs into lunch. There is probably a good view here on a clear day. Today is not that day.
The buns, though, are definitely worth the wait and are perhaps the most picturesque item of the day. 

It is biting cold sitting here so we don't linger for too long. We continue along the path as visibility reduces even further. I'm glad we aren't out on an unfamiliar moor.
At one point the path forks, and we decide to take the 'high' road. It turns out to be a good choice. Athough both paths would undoubtedly take us back to our starting place, eventually, this one is by far the easiest and most direct.

Before long we are striding up the short rise and are soon above Millstone Edge again. The views behind us are most unimpressive.

It isn't far to walk back now but we are surprised at how foggy it has become. At least we are back at the car park in plenty of time - enough time to sit in the slightly warmer environment of the car to continue our conversation. And then it starts to rain. We have done well to miss that.
But it has had to be a short walk and it is time to go. We'll meet again next week (fingers crossed) when we might be able to venture a little further.

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