Ambergate

>>  Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Starting at Tansley  we had an immediate steep climb that gave us lovely views of the cable cars at Matlock Bath.

We headed west to Riber Castle – which for part of its history was a wildlife park – 20 lynx that lived there were released into the wild when it closed, they probably aren‘t around now…unless the beasts of Lumsdale bred.



Some of us mud slithered downhill (the more sensible ones followed our leader on a parallel grass path only metres away!) towards Cromford Mill, a world heritage site. We stopped for a cuppa (and ice-cream – yes in January!) and the unexpected pleasure of a loo not in the bushes at Cromford Wharf. The canal that starts here is a site of special scientific interest. 













Following the Derwent Valley Walk 



 We walked along the sheep pastures incline,
 a feat of engineering,
 with views
 past the catch pit, still with a crashed carriage from the 1950s inside.
 into High peak junction.

Past Leawood Pump House and Aquaduct Cottage which is currently a ruin but hoping to be restored, it was part of the Nightingale Estate and Florence visited it.


  Following the canal again for a short time, I saw a  pike, just by the bank, it soon moved away but the little grebes spotted later hung around for much longer.
 I love walking through woods at any time of the year, these stones look placed not natural.

In an area with so much  industrial heritage in a rural setting, I wonder.
 Off the water again
  and crossing the end of the line from the Crich Tramway Museum. Lunch at the Glory Mine (Fluorite mining)
We had time to go up the Sherwood Foresters Memorial Tower,
 very windy up top but gave fine views.
And onto Crich, Fritchley and finally the (finally dry after the dreadful flooding at the end of 2019) Hurt Arms at Ambergate. 














This was a really interesting walk with so many things to look at and learn about. And also notable for the bizarre street names we kept seeing: Intake lane, Chadwick Nick Lane and Top Hagg Lane. So much Googling to be done: a hagg is either a firm spot in a soft bog or a soft place in a moor – take your pick for a tarmac road I guess!

11.5 miles and a nice change to have an urban element to our Derbyshire walks which are usually on edges or the moors.

I’m looking forward to going back to this area to spend more time looking at the engineering. 

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Discovery Award Bronze

>>  Wednesday, January 08, 2020

I shared some achievements with you all last year and I was challenging myself quite hard for a reason - I was trying to work towards my Discovery Bronze Award.  The Discovery Award is essentially Duke of Edinburgh for old people.

It is divided into 4 Quadrants :

Service in the community  (for 24 hours over at least 3 months) - as a Guider clocking up Community Service hours is never going to be hard and especially in the year of Charnmud!






A Hobby/Interest of at least 50 hours over a minimum of 6 months.  I trained for, and finished, my first Half Marathon.  Over the year I ran 500 miles in training and races.  I don't find it easy and a lot of the time it is a huge mental effort to get out of the door.  Race day nerves nearly broke me and I pulled out of (didn't turn up for) 3 races in the Autumn because of my nerves.  But I did the half and I did the hours and I did the miles.


A recreational pursuit of at least 24 hours over a minimum of 3 months: I went walking - lots of it - with a club, on my own and taking friends on walks I led.


The Journey of Discovery over at least 2 days and should involve at least 12 hours of planned activity. I went to Scotland and walked up BenNevis (and then fell down it!)

It was a trip full of new adventures that I found mentally and physically very taxing.  This award pushed me to do it and I loved it, even in pain.





So here we are, I have an award and I'm especially proud of it.

I'm having a think now about doing Silver.  If I do I'm likely to want to use Running and Walking again but they are going to have to come with extra challenges to push them that bit further and push me that bit harder.

But for now, I set out to achieve something and I did it. 


It Counts!







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