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Keeping cool on a summer walk in the Peak District National Park

Keeping cool on a summer walk in the Peak District National Park

I had a lovely little walk yesterday with Scout. We crossed from one side of a valley to another, from one gritstone edge to another, and in between we passed through time.

It was hot, hotter than I expected with the temperature continuing to rise well up to the afternoon zenith. We had skirted below a long low gritstone edge waving to a climber, a new learner, as he tried to workout a simple route. He was confident enough to turn around and wave to us, one of his companions, a girl, talked on a mobile phone, hands gesticulating as she fired off staccato monosyllables to the person on the other end of the line. Scout and I pressed on, wondering if there was anyone on the end of the belay line.

Finding our turning point we followed a wall west then turned south with the wall still on our left. Long grass spread out on the flat land between two slopes. Heather dotted the landscape and long thin fingers of trees marched out like walls of a corridor.

Being the hottest part of the day and a little worried about Scout I found some shade to stop in. Scout had other ideas and set up camp in the shade of the wall, so I moved there too. It was a good choice; soft grass to sit on, shade from a lone oak tree and a cool gritstone wall to lean against.

I got out our lunch and poured out water and tea. We both sat there quietly enjoying the shade and the soft grass. Two men walked by and did not even notice us just a few metres away. It occurred to me then that this is how you walk in summer, slow pace, find  shade, do not be afraid to stop and sit. We spent a whole hour there, nothing much happened, but I looked out at the grass and the trees and saw more as time went by.

Scout snoozed, glad of the rest, his ears flicking the odd insect away his eyes occasionally opening slightly to check that all was still well. I kicked off my shoes and had a look at the map, drank tea, leaned back against the cool wall and relaxed.