Monday, 1 May 2017

Backpackers Club Annual Gathering 2017

After an uneventful train journey to Manchester and then changing for the Manchester - Sheffield train, I arrived at Edale mid afternoon. I debated whether to immediately start walking south and eventually find somewhere to wild camp overnight. In the end, laziness triumphed and I booked in at Coopers Campsite. I went for a wander a mile or so up the old Pennine Way route towards Grindsbrook Clough and back again. It was a lovely sunny afternoon. After supper, I turned in early to get a good night's sleep.

Setting off at 6.15 next morning, I took the lane, and then track, up the side of Mam Tor. There was no-one else around which suited me just fine. After a couple of miles, I joined the Limestone Way, which I was to follow for the next two days. Signposts made the going easy and the countryside was very pleasant. I stopped for breakfast just into Hay Dale.

At Millers Dale I stopped to pass the time of day with Grace, who was following a round Derbyshire route, over ten days, being picked up by her husband each afternoon and being delivered back the next day. she obviously thought I looked in need of nourishment and gave me a back of nuts & raisins and some dried figs.

I arrived at the Bull i' th' Thorn pub in the afternoon to pitch for the night. Here, I met George Crawforth, a fellow BPC member as another club member, Dave Longden, had arranged a walk-in the the Summer Gathering from here. Other backpackers turned up as time went on.

Next morning, Howard Kelly and I set off together, going through Monyash (of course, stopping at the cafĂ© there for coffee and a bacon and egg roll) and then making our way to Youlgrave where we found the Peak Feast Bakery. We sat outside scoffing a homity pie each. Really delicious.

We then walked on to our night's stop at the Miners Standard at Winster. I'd stayed here a couple of times before and it is popular with the Backpackers Club. Yet more Club members had arrived.

Howard and I continued along the Limestone Way the next day, chatting as we went and arrived at Parwich (Foufinside Farm) for the BPC Summer Gathering. Quite a few tents had already been pitched and many more appeared as the day went on and yet more came the next day. It was good to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. A couple of traders put in a welcome appearance, Backpackinglight and Mountain Trails

The weekend as a whole was excellent. On the Sunday, Sean Putnam and I walked over to Tissington and enjoyed sitting outside with a pot of tea watching the world go by. This was a good trial run for the Pennine Way next month. Carrying a full pack for the first time since the op was fine, although to cut down weight, I shall be using just the fly of my Laser Competition tent.

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