Some time ago, my friend Kim came on a wild camp with me. She said she enjoyed it and fancied another one, but it’s been a while before we managed to organise something again.
I had several ideas for local routes and spots – including some that both James and Yuri had recommended – but in the end we were a bit hampered by the Tour de France. I suddenly realised that we were going out on that particular weekend, and were therefore limited to places where we could easily walk home from on the Sunday, due to all the road closures around here that were happening.
Still, it was both a very pleasant route and very pleasant weather.
And on Kim’s second wild camp, she was not only carrying all her own gear for the night this time, she had also decided to bring her dog, Effy, along for the experience.
So, straight after lunch on the Saturday afternoon, Geoff drove the three of us off over the Snake Pass, to the Alport Valley.
It wasn’t long before we’d passed the few people that were out in this area, and were out on the tops with no one else in sight.
Soon, we were off-path too, crossing the trackless moorland for a couple of miles.
Thankfully, all the normally very boggy bits were pretty dry, making for easier going underfoot.
After about 5 miles, we dropped down to our intended spot for the night.
On studying the location, trying to decide exactly where to pitch up, we noticed a freshly flattened patch of grass.
I don’t think my photo shows it that well, but after very careful consideration – taking all the factors into account – I decided that the grass had been flattened the previous night and that the only thing that could have left that particular shape, was a Wickiup 3.
Anyway, our tents were soon up, with brews being made soon after.
‘Twas a lovely evening. We sat, cooked and ate outside.
And Effy tried out her new kennel for the night.
I’d taken along some new ‘campwear’ to try out – some ultra-lightweight Keen Clearwater sandals for pottering around in. They were a very comfy success.
At around 8:30pm though, the change happened. In the blink of an eye, the whole area turned into midge hell. We retreated into our tents for the rest of the evening.
I must have drifted off by about 9:30 though, only to be rudely awoken at 10:55pm, by the most incredibly loud helicopter flying over, giving the distinct impression that it was about to land on us. Now I know it’s a while since I’ve been regularly involved with helicopters, but unless things have changed, most are not licensed to fly at night. So I reckon it was very likely to have either been Police or military. It certainly didn’t have the distinctive sound of a Sea King mind, but other military helicopters are obviously available.
There was a tiny bit of rain overnight, but by about 6:30 in the morning all was once again dry and midge free. Not for long, however! After a quick call of nature, I was just about to put some water on for a cup of tea, when the whole midge population of the world suddenly decided to once again descend into my tent porch.
I told them that they had until 8am to get themselves sorted and off somewhere else, or there’d be trouble. It worked!
The weather started off a bit cooler on the Sunday morning, but still perfect for an al fresco breakfast.
We were packed up and on the move again by about 10am, taking a route up to the Pennine Way and crossing Snake Pass on the way to Mill Hill.
It never got quite as hot as the day before.
But still stayed dry, despite the weather forecast which had led us to believe we would probably get rather wet.
A couple of stops on the way home, made for a relaxed wander back to Hayfield.
And I think that for the next trip, we need to venture into another area. Somewhere wilder and more remote…….