Along with studies, we have come across many nice people. One such Good Samaritan hosted me and my friend this weekend. The idea was to hike Mam Tor together. Mam Tor is the highest mountain in Peak District and a famous tourist spot. We had been to places very few times, due to academic pressure and lack of personal vehicle. But, we have seen Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in United Kingdom in its snow-capped form, on our trip to Scotland in December. That was quite a sight, although it would be less exciting for someone like me who has seen Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, in full-moon. You have to see it to believe it! Just Amazing! Naturally, we saw Mam Tor as just a hiking trail. And we were sure with the nice company we had, the hike would be good fun.
Before travel, me and my friend visited Curry Mile to get our lunch for the day. The food was much fresh and less costly than the super-brand shops. By the time we picked our lunch, our host arrived. He had a nice car which we three got along to Peak District. Except a brief period of busy traffic, the road was smooth. It was easy to understand that we were going towards countryside, just from the change in surroundings with lot of greenery coming in picture. We went past Lyme Park. “Pride and Prejudice” fans might know about this park, currently maintained by the National Trust. On our way up and down, we saw few airplanes sailing in very low altitude. Our host told that this is the route of airplanes flying to and from the Manchester airport. This route is chosen with direction of air flow to maximize air traffic efficiency.
We reached at our destination a little after noon. Many hikers and bikers were already there. After surfing through the nearby village, we decided to hike towards the mountain peak. For the first time after coming in UK, I realized how bad state my fitness is in. I guess, this is the bad effect of spending long hours in front of computer. My friend, who is an asthma patient, was in trouble on the way up. Fortunately, the mountain height was not that much, just 517m. On our way up, we saw people paragliding, taking off from the mountain peak. Once we reach the peak, it was lovely sight to see the valley. the valley was named as Hope Valley. There was Sheffield on one side, Manchester on the other. From the top, one can easily spot white dots among greenery. Those were nothing but sheep grazing happily. The Sun was playing hide-and-seek among the clouds. We saw few trains passing far away. Nice view all around!
After resting there for a while, we traveled through ridges in a man-made footpath, made of stones. The stones were laid out and used as footpath to prevent soil erosion from travelers’ walk. There was nice ambiance, with Hi-Hello going around among fellow hikers. Our host chose an unusual path for descend. We hiked through greenery this time on a rugged path. We came across a dormant motorway, destructed by landslide some time ago. We also noticed some mining activity nearby. Once we reached below, we took food from the car and traveled far away to find a quiet place to have our lunch. Interestingly, that place was also a resting place for sheep. We finished our lunch without disturbing the herd. On our way back to Manchester, the conversation was largely absent due to radio commentary of Wimbledon final. Our host dropped us at our accommodation. The day was well spent and it would not be possible without our host. Can’t thank him enough!