Sunday, 4 August 2013

Alport Castles and the Derwent Reservoir

Hello, Blog Fans.  We managed to fit in another walk in the Peak District this weekend.  We are stretching ourselves in distance from home and distance along the walk.  Weather was more typical today -- cool and wet.  I should give up reading the forecast.  Saturday was supposed to be the more "unsettled" day with general sun but with potential for heavy rain at times.  Today was supposed to start sunny, cloud up but remain generally dry.  Nope!  But at least we were prepared.

We went back to the Ladybower Reservoir area in the Dark Peak.  It's about 75 minutes away give or take.

Our starting point was the Derwent Reservoir Visitor's Centre.  The Derwent R. is the second reservoir up.  The Visitor's Centre was small but had lots of parking, light food and restrooms.  They also had  place to "hire" (that's rent in American) bikes.  Maybe for another day.  We had a hike to do today.

We really enjoyed our walk near Ladybower Reservoir with the Seppanens (link) and thought we try another one in the area.  (That walk was the yellow/magenta one in the lower right).  An avid walker and colleague of mine suggested a few other points to hit and I mapped out my very own walk (rather than pick one out of a book).  (It's the cyan one in the upper left).

It was 8.5 miles with about 1000' of climb at the beginning.  It was quite relaxed overall.  That descent in the middle was probably the toughest part.  My knees felt it but didn't trouble me too much (I'm trying PT tomorrow, btw).  We did well in finishing at our normal pace of 2 mph (4:14 overall with only 27 mins of stationary time for a picnic).

We start off in the forest and then popped our heads out to look back at the reservoir.

As I mentioned previously, there are 3 reservoirs (Howden, Derwent and Ladybower) that were established in the early 20th century to supply the growing water needs of the area.   All total, they hold 10 billion liters of water and supply up to 200 million liters a day.
Of course, we got to pass a few sheep along the way.  Some of them didn't pay enough for their haircut and they were obviously shaved with quickness in mind.

Still climbing to the ridge.  A light rain had started.  Kuk even whipped out her Little Red Riding Hood poncho.

 more sheep -- a little cuter this time

another look back  -- I can't recall if the grass in this area is normally this brown or if it is because of our heat wave this year

 valley shot off to the left

 walking along the wide ridge

 nice family shot -- mostly dry

one of the more desolate parts of the walk -- this was about the time it started raining in earnest and our waterproof overtrousers came out (at least we brought them!)

 some knobby undulations to mix things up a bit

I liked this one as I dropped down the slope to catch them on the ridge from below.

This area (and on the other side as well) is known as Alport Castles.  It's not the normal castles but a "landslip" of various geological formations.  It was pretty neat.

 Superwoman / Little Red

interesting shelter -- we actually opened the door to check inside (glad there weren't in dead bodies or anything)

one last look at the valley before heading down the opposite side

 this side was filled with purple wildflowers

 which I tried to capture here

we were intrigued by these numbers stands strewn about -- we couldn't figure out what they were for (later found out that they were simply grouse hunting stands)

 Ah, water again.  This is the western spur of the Howden Reservoir.

level ground again -- I was a little disappointed in the view from here on back.  There were generally trees between the road and the water which blocked most of the view.  Our other walk had the better views from the high ground.

a few flowers at least -- we liked thistle

so does this bee

a break in the treeline to look across (not that exciting really)

Howden Dam

closer look -- too bad we couldn't walk out on it

 in fact, they were careful to point out the dangers of jumping off as well (no worries here)

 foxgloves (with my new zoom) -- notice the bee to the right of this one as well

closer shot of a different one

what's a walk without this guy?  definitely slug weather today

You may recall from my last walk that they tested a new dam buster/skipping bomb here during WW II before trying it out on the Germans.

So, all and all, a decent day out.  It was good to stretch our legs and I was proud of the gang for walking that far.  (Don't get me wrong, we could all feel it afterwards.)   The rain didn't let us down and really only affected the views.   The views were not as spectacular as some others but still a nice day out.

Back to the food:

Still had enough energy for cooking up a massive feast.  I felt like trying lamb so I grilled a butterflied leg of lamb with a greek salad.  The greens were requested by Alex (!) from a previous dish (bacon, nuts and honey might have something to do with it).

And from last week -- another new entry.  Seared tuna, coconut rice and "jiggy-jiggy" greens (all from J.O.'s 15 minute meal).  Good stuff.

Have a good week everyone.

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