Saturday, 12th August.
this is Gorgeous...can anybody out there read me? ...10-4
old buddies...destroy...kill all hippies
Primal Scream blaring from the car stereo, I began my journey to
Castleton, in the Peak District. The
plan: drive to Castleton, do some walking, camp out, walk again
on Sunday, drive back to London in time to drop off the hire car
at Marble Arch.
I zoomed along the isolated world of the M1. Easy. Then I
got utterly confused on the country lanes leading to Castleton.
Easy! I stumbled upon the right road, zipped past a commune
of hippies bathing in a stream, and parked in Castleton - a town
where only on weekends do you have to pay for parking!
It was then that I realised that I had left my walking boots
in London. Couldn't exactly drive back and get them, it had taken
me three hours to get to Castleton! Fortunately I was wearing a
sturdy pair of shoes.
I checked out Peveril Castle, had some greasy chips, then set off
on my hike around Castleton.
I started off along the Limestone Way, which is a public walk
through the Peak District. (I might just mention that I found
out the other day that all land in the UK is private - ie no
national parks in the sense that Australians or Northern
Americans would understand it.) Managed to startle some sheep
along the way. Choice! Through a disused mine, over a disused
tip, over the Windy Knoll to the start of the path up Mam Tor.
above: a view of Castleton from Mam Tor
Mam Tor is the site of an Iron Age fort. Not that you can
really tell. I stopped at the top and observed a man taking all
the fun out of photography for his female companion. And I thought
I was bad! I then walked along the ridge to Hollins Cross, and
then up to Bac Tor, where fearless sheep graze right to the
edge of a 40m drop. I then dashed into a nearby plantation and
found the answer to the question: If an Ian pisses in the woods
and nobody's there to hear him, is he a Catholic?
I bumbled my way down to a town called Hope, and back to
Castleton in time to find out that the local campsites were full.
I jumped in the car and drove off to Edale where I'd observed
a campsite from the top of Bac Tor.
In fading light I found a campsite and set up the tent. It was
only then that I noticed that the campsite was situated between
the main road and the train track. Nice.
The toilets at the site were unisex - a bit like Ally McBeal
except all the women were scrubbers and the less said about the
rest the better.
After a unisex experience (what?) I was checking the tent when
the female member of the party camped next to me walked past.
"Good taste in tents!" she said, leaving me to ponder what the hell
she was on about. Maybe she's a tent nut? Or just a nut? A
few minutes later I looked across and noticed that she had exactly
the same kind of tent as I was using. Well then it all
Having decided that the nightlife of Castleton wasn't worth
experiencing, I settled down in the car listening to the radio.
I was fully reclined in the driver's seat when the woman from the
aforementioned tent appeared and stood behind their car. She
looked around, and then dropped her pants. What's all this
about? I thought to myself. She then squatted down, my poor
little brain processed all this information and worked out what was
going on, and I sunk back in my seat so I didn't have to see
the end result, so to speak.
Rain fell on the tent as I fell asleep.