Camping – Day 1 (Summary)

Here I am in the tent listening to Steve’s air bed rustling in the nearby tent and the servants servicing Richard’s tent complex of buildings.

As a quick summary, we had a rather lovely breakfast at the Yondermann Cafe before going to the plague village of Eyam, all very apt at the moment. We didn’t know if it was pronounced Ee-am or I-am, but we realised that it’s neither, it’s Eem. After that, we parked up and had a little look around the churchyard, which had no shortage of seventeenth-century stones. There were a lot of history boards, but I’ll write more about that in separate posts. I liked that church though, some real stories to be told amongst its graves.

We then walked to Mompesson’s Well to have a little look at one of the boundary stones of the village where supplies would be left to be picked up by villagers. Then we meandered back along a path to come back into the village and go and look at another boundary stone, where coins were left in vinegar in exchange for provisions. As a long story cut short, the plague hit Eyam in 1665 and they segregated themselves so that the plague didn’t spread.

After some more meandering, and a walk to Stoney Middleton, we did some rock climbing. It was agreed by everyone that I asked that I was the bravest of the group, summiting some quite high rock summits. So very brave is all that I can say. We watched some professional cavers, but I’m pleased they didn’t see me as they might have been disheartened that an amateur was so good.

We meandered back to Eyam, although Richard had a bit of a drama and stumbled over on the pavement, nearly causing a major injury. Fortunately, he avoided drawing blood and the Florence Nightingale of the group (me) looked after him and ensured that he wasn’t going to die of anything. What a place to die Eyam would be. Anyway, I digress.

There was a lovely sausage roll and Fanta (it wasn’t Fanta, it was something posher) at a posh cafe, where I told everyone my story that banknotes can’t be photocopied due to the pattern of small circles on them. Richard looked very interested, whereas Jonathan looked moderately confused. After this excitement, and Richard having to apology to another table for his cough, we strolled off to the Riley Graves. Lots of fascinating stories, I’ll catch up on these parts of the village’s history in later blog posts. However, this was where some more drama occurred when it was realised that Richard had left his Ramblers water bottle at the cafe. I thought about running down to get it for him, as I’m kind like that. However, I couldn’t be bothered, so he went back, but it was a nice thought of mine.

Then it was a walk back into the centre of the village, to look at the stocks and then to look at the outdoor church which was established during the plague that enabled villagers to socially distance. Centuries ahead of their time….

Now, I got a bit muddled up next and instead of directing the car to Bakewell, I accidentally stopped us off at the Thornbridge Brewery taproom. This was delightful, I had four different beers, albeit it in small measures, before getting some crisps and then some beers to take away from the brewery shop. A lot more about this in a separate post, but goodness knows when I’ll catch up on all of this. This was one of my favourite parts of the day though, Thornbridge was a little treat…..

Onwards and upwards we went to Bakewell for a tart, but Richard explained that we wanted a pudding. More on all this in future posts, since it’s 23:30 and there’s a limit to what I can get through here, but we also went to a pub and Jonathan bought some reduced bread to go with his sardines. It’s all a bit Heath Robinson for my liking…. The rest of us went to the famous Bakewell pudding shop and after standing in the queue for twenty minutes, I purchased my first every pudding, which is similar to the tart but doesn’t have the icing. It has a fair amount of the sugar though and that’s the main thing here. We sat by the river, three of us eating our puddings and Jonathan gnawing at his loaf of bread.

After that we drove to a pub for food, which was all a bit average, despite being in the Good Beer Guide. What the pub lost in its offering, it gained in the beautiful views over the fields, but more on the Lathkil Hotel in another post.

After arriving back at the camp-site, we were pleased to discover that the tents were still there and no-one had raided the country estate that is Richard’s tent. So, after two of us drank a few beers and two of us drank a few coffees, what better idea than to have a night hike until 23:00. Less a night hike and more of a late evening hike, this was a warm-up to something longer tomorrow that I’ll drop into the conversation. I also discovered that my head-torch worked perfectly with the only problem that the beam of light hardly reached the ground. Fortunately, Richard was walking about with a head-torch that was like one of those landing strip lights at an airport. We didn’t have any problems seeing, although a land-owner looked moderately confused why we were walking through his fields in the dark.

Anyway, since it’s getting late, that’ll have to do for now. A very lovely day and I’m quite getting into this whole camping thing….. I have to write these things down now, otherwise I’ll start to forget them. I will say though, I’m starting to get into this camping thing…