I fear this camping lark is becoming addicitive ! The phone call for this trip came out of the blue & resulted in a rush trip to Go Outdoors ( again ) for a new sleeping bag & sleeping mat . I wanted a 3 season bag as I feel the cold & a thicker mat to give more comfort for my old bones. Go Outdoors is a dangerous place for me.....I left with the bag ,a mat ..............& a new pair of trousers , lightweight ones suitable for the warmer weather ! Andy was due at mine at 2pm so I hurriedly packed the rucksack , water, teabags , pot of porridge & a Pot Noodle.....I like to dine well on these trips :-)
We set off almost on time and headed through Sheffield , traffic was , as expected , quite heavy due I suspect to the glorious weather, everyone heading to the countryside . The 1st stop was Fairholmes Visitor Centre for a wander along to Derwent Dam . The parking bays along the roadside were full but eventually we found a space & headed off toward the centre . Family's were enjoying the sun at the water's edge, bbq's were on the go & the smell of sausages & burgers wafted through the air making me feel decidely hungry though I'd eaten before we'd left. We set off down the far side of the reservoir , the water was fairly calm & the reflections from the far bank looked good but we struggled to find a way down the banking .Eventually we scrambled down through a small gap but then struggled to find " the " picture . Undetered we headed back to Derwent Dam , the water was still & the reflections perfect .A simple hand held shot picking out the details in the stone work & off we went again , back to the visitor centre for a much needed drink .
We drove back along the winding road that runs alongside Lady Bower with the intention of heading up to Bamford Edge for a scout around before it got too late . As we neared the junction I spotted the light hitting the bridge so it glowed so pulled in to the layby by the cattle grid .The sky was a perfect blue with fluffy white clouds & as I'd long wanted a good shot of the bridge it would've been rude not to stop. we scrambled down the banking and spent a pleasant hour just waiting for the wind to drop (which would allow the bridge to reflect on the water) & the sun to hit the beautiful yellowy stone work....& of course ,we needed the 2 to co-incide ! Lee 10 stop filter on , the wind died off & sun eventually did the right thing.........if I didn't get another photo on the trip I'd still be a happy bunny , this was THE shot of the trip for me :-) Torn between color or Black & White though.....
The wind picked up again & the water started rippling so we packed up & headed off to Bamford .I vaguely recalled the road we needed & more by luck than judgement we found the layby we would be using. It was full when we got there so I drove on, not having been along this way before & as it was still relatively early ( about 4.30pm I think) we had time to explore a little . We followed the road to the end & turned left at which point I realised I could see Stannage Edge & Higgor Tor in the distance so we headed on as Andy hadn't been to either . The road sides were crammed with cars ,walkers everywhere & in the skies we could see a couple of hang gliders making the most of the thermals high above. A chap on the side of the road with a HUGE backpack ( thats what we thought it was) stuck his thumb out as we drew near & taking pity on him I stopped. Not something I would do if I were on my own but having Andy in the car I felt it wasn't a risk . Turned out it was a paraglider in the bag, he'd flown to the other side of the Pennines I think he said, then coming back something had gone wrong so he'd landed miles away from his car & the rest of the group he was with .We dropped him off at his car on the top road , good deed done for the day & drove on to Higgor Tor which was not as busy as I'd expected . A quick jaunt up to the top & a short sit down to admire the view then back to the car , about turn & back to the layby for Bamford Edge.
The sun was still shining and it was about 18 degree's but thankfully there was a light breeze which was more than welcome , as though not steep , the climb was still uphill carrying fully packed rucksacks .One day we'll crack the whole " pack light " thing...I'm sure ! It was beautifully peaceful , birds singing, sheep staring as we interrupted their afternoon naps and only a couple of other folk about , a few serious walkers with OS maps & rucksacks going down the way we'd just come up . We walked along the top looking for the right viewpoint.....we wanted to see out across the valley with Lady Bower below & eventually we found the perfect spot . 1st job was to find somewhere unobtrusive & off the track to pitch for the night.......wild camping isn't exactly allowed in England but with a little common sense -pitch late, leave early & leave no trace that you've been there - then it can be done . Suitable spot found we ditched the rucksacks & got the camera gear out & put the kettle on....most important job of the day :-)
We generally faffed around for an hour or 2 , whiling the time away till sunset .The sky became heavy & we both began to think sunset was going to let us down ...again ! But then , just as I'd about given up on it the sky began to color & I quickly set the tripod up in the spot I'd chosen earlier . The fire in the sky began and has t be one of the, if not the , shortest sunset I've ever seen....must have lasted about 5 minutes maximum but it made the walk worthwhile :-)
We packed the camera's away & set about finding where we'd left the tent , we didn't want to pitch it during daylight to avoid drawing attention to ourselves....there was still a little light left so we got a bit of a spurt on to get the tent up whilst we could still see what we were doing ! Sleeping bags & mates unpacked Andy went off to photograph something or other & I set about snuggling down for some shut eye , the alarm was set for 3.30am so I wanted as much sleep as possible .
Andy eventually packed his camera away & sleep beckoned , even the sheep had stopped being noisey & the birds had gone to bed but I still woke at the slightest rustle outside the tent ! I would wear earplugs but then wouldn't hear the alarm ....which kinda negates the purpose of the trip !
The alarm went off , Andy did the usual head out of the tent for a weather check ,then it was clothes on & get out...sunrise was looking on point . Indeed it did happen, not entirely where we wanted it but hey , we adjusted to what we were presented with & went with the flow. Next time we'll check the Ephmeris properley for the direction of the sunrise !
The good light eventually slipped away, so we packed the tent up , had a brew & breakfast then started off back to the car ,it was only around 6am but I needed to be back for an mx event . It had been another successful trip & I can't wait for the next one........