I went on another hike last weekend with a few British couchsurfers. The destination this time was the Peak District National Park, and we were fewer in number because it was going to be a more intense hike… I thought I’d have no problem. I got picked up at 8:30am on a Sunday morning and we were on our way by 9am. The Peak District is north of Leicester by about 60 miles (near Sheffield), and when we arrived I checked my watch as we started off about 11am.
We began hiking along a ridge, walking through the clouds, which was rather atmospheric. I was doing ok so far, and keeping up. As we descended down a ways, my friends were having trouble deciding where we were, as we were still wrapped in so much fog. We began making our way across a bog, and I came to the realization that the boots I got for Christmas are definitely not waterproof. My spirits definitely began to sink into the mud…
We took our first break about 1pm, which is when the skies began to clear, and I discovered we were on the opposite side of the valley from our starting point. Somewhere off to our left was our goal of a pub lunch, and more than halfway to go on our route back to the car. Keep going! The scenery got prettier but short legs make for twice as many steps. Around 3pm we were making our descent into the village (pub lunch!), and I discovered it was just as painful as the ascent: I felt like a mountain goat, and didn’t have much energy left.
Finally made it to the pub! The ‘Old Nag’s Head’ has supposedly been in the town of Edale since 1577, and the sign on the door said ‘Families, dogs and muddy boots all welcome here!’ I learned that the Peak District was only the beginning point of a trail leading all the way up to Scotland called the ‘Pennine Way’. I contemplated my aching body over a beer and lamb burger before my friends told me the bad news: we had to climb back up to get to the car! In reality it was only an hours walk, and we made it back by 5pm, with a definite feeling of accomplishment. We drove back to Leicester in relative silence.