Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Drive you to drink....

It wasn't a bad day weather wise, but it wasn't good either. I felt that I should do something slightly energetic in order to burn off some of yesterdays BBQ at Russells. No, I was feeling lazy, a bit of a razz in the car instead.... Heading North, the A515 lured me further on with it's luscious zig zags. After clearing the county of Staffordshire, the roads became more narrow as the hills of Derbyshire loomed ahead. Stone walls lulled you into a false sense of security, obscuring the precipice to your side as you skim the edge of the slope, encouraging you ever faster.

As you climb ever higher the lanes snake through little V shape valleys.


There's always another bend, revealing another valley, with another hill challenging you in the distance...



As I got ever higher, I noticed the sheep dotting the hillsides didn't look quite the same....

Hang on, those are Llamas (or are they Alpacas? Is there a difference?) You know you're getting high up when there's Llamas! This one had recently been shaun, someone, somewhere had got a lovely soft new jumper.




This baby Llama looked impossibly cute. I'm sure the farmer goes round putting mascara on those lashes, no way are they natural.





Llama wool is renowned for being warm and soft, if it's so good why does this chap find it so itchy?






Finally the top of the world (well of this bit anyway) was in view. This isn't a place you want to be caught out in during winter. It was flippin cold in August. There is nothing for miles around. Should you be foolish enough to wander off the road you stumble through peat bogs, dissected by deep ditches which far from helping to drain the land, just give you something to fall into and drown! The tarmac route picked its way through the difficult terrain. This is the only way across the hills, the twists and turns attract suicidal bikers and car fanatics alike. Signs warn of "Traffic Law Enforcement by Police Aircraft". Motorcyclists fit upward facing mirrors to their fuel tanks in order to spot whether they are being 'monitored' by Police helicopter!







This is the 'Cat and Fiddle', the highest public house in England, although there is some rivalry for the title with the 'Tan Inn', either way it's a long way to go for a drink!








The AA (Automobile Association not Alcoholic Anonymous) survey 2003 listed this as the most dangerous stretch of road in the UK. On the homeward trip I bear ed this in mind and drove as quickly as I could in order to get off it as soon as possible!









Down in the tree clothed valleys after passing through the village of 'Winkle Bottom' several times I decided that I was lost. It was time for a coffee and to get my old faithful GPS out. This E-Trex GPS is getting on a bit now, it's been through the wars and is reinforced with tape. It's over 7 years old now, back from when I would have to explain to people what GPS was. After telling one client what it was for and how great it was to have a device that could tell you exactly where you were in the world tucked in your pocket, he replied "But if you've got it in your pocket, you know where it is"! This is the same client that years later after buying a car with a GPS enthused"My new GPS tells me where to go..", I was tempted to do the same...
E-Trex got me home as per usual, a 160 mile round trip, not bad for an afternoons drive.










12 comments:

Hyde DP said...

llamas in the peak district now, well that's new to me - the cat and fiddle road is very nasty - beaten only by A889 Dalwhinnie to Catlode - never cared much for the inn itself; there used to be a great cafe though at Wildboarclough.

ah memories!

photowannabe said...

Amazing countryside Barky. I had no idea it looked like that. Roads seem pretty scary to me. I also don't equate llamas and England in the same breath.
Great post as usual.

Lesley said...

Great photos as always!

I love the names of English pubs. We have such boring names for such things here like - O'Niell's Pub.

secret agent said...

our pubs here are called
"Bubba's" where you bring your own brown bag

and..... that first creature is an alpaca
I am positive
I had quite a day with a herd of them a while back.

Glad you got off the dangerous road quickly.... batmobile has its uses.

off to do my P's
whatever...

Lavender said...

I aspire to Alpaca ownership - I just adore them, and as you note, thier wool is wonderfully warm! Love those stone walls, and the name Cat & Fiddle :)
We have the same model GPS its a little beauty innit?
Lovely excursion, thanks for sharing!

kate yarberry said...

llamas are bad ass. i like the one with the nifty hair cut.

Elisa, Jarrod, Thomas & Zoe said...

Pubs and windy lanes...I am getting that home sickness feeling again!

Anrosh said...

Reminds me of the road to las vegas driving through joshua tree national park - desert like and even a place for sand dunes.

Sharon said...

I would take more car rides if I had a beautiful countryside like that to drive through. The Llamas/Alpacas are very cute especially the grey one.

zmoose said...

Looks good that there Derbyshire, I haven't been there for yonks... and I'm not sure if I've ever been to the Cat and Fiddle...sounds like a proper road journey (like one that includes Porlock Hill).

barkfoot said...

Ahh, Porlock Hill, I can smell the burning brakes!....

Angela Marie said...

Those Lamas are adorable! So pretty.

The drive looked like a wonderful way to spend the day.

Beautiful scenery.