Monday, 1 April 2013

More snowy adventures

I've been away from home with work for a week, so when I got back Gemma and I went for a bit of an explore around our local area to do a bit of sightseeing (and to play in the late snow that we've just had too). The area where I live is a bit of a tourist trap in the summer, walkers, cyclists, daytrippers, etc. all head into Ashover in the warmer months to soak up the peace and tranquility of the area and have a pint in one of the local pubs. It can get a little bit crowded at times, way too busy for my liking, so we try and make the most of it in the winter when there are far fewer touristy types around. The route was very much left up to chance, so the walk was more or less aimless (although far from pointless), although we did have the vague idea in our heads that we'd like to walk across the "Roman" bridge.
In the end the route we took followed more or less the flat space between the young river amber and the  slightly raised embankment where the Ashover Light Railway used to run.

Ashover Light Railway embankment
The river was running too deep for us to use the usual crossing points, stepping stones aren't much fun when they're under a foot of icy cold water, so instead we made use of some fallen trees.

Stepping out
Getting brave
Time for a re-think
"You get pooey hands doing it this way"
Making progress
"Victory is mine!"
We carried on along the riverbank for a little way, watching the birds, trying to spot tracks, trying to name the plants we spotted and photographing the ones we couldn't.

Gemma found a new spot for sitting and watching the world drift past...


...whilst I got some pretty pictures of Ashover and the snowy hills around us. It felt strange to be looking up the hills to take photo's, we usually head up one side of the valley or the other when we go for a bimble, heading along the valley bottom made an interesting change.



A little further on we came a cross a slightly unexpected warning sign, presumably something to with one of the many old quarries in the area. The railway line that we were following was built to service the quarrying and mining operations that took place in the area. The start of our path was in one worked out quarry, this was at the entrance to another old quarry and (after a nosey around a little cave that we found), marked the point where we turned around and headed back to find the "Roman" bridge.


I have no idea whether or not this bridge is actually Roman or not, it looks pretty old to my untrained eye, and the quality of workmanship is really good which is something I'd associate with Roman building, but I really don't know for sure. Roman bridge or not, it's a pretty little thing anyway.




We had a phone call shortly after the bridge and had to head back home, we still managed to find time for a couple more totally unnecessary river crossing though, and amazingly neither of us got wet.



Spot the nutter!
We had a great day out without ever going further than am mile or two from home and managed to find all sorts of things that we didn't know about before. The Roman bridge was new to me, the quicksand warning signs were something of a novelty, river crossings were great fun and just a little bit exciting, and the views of Ashover were as pretty as ever.

Local exploring is a great way to have a little micro-adventure, you should give it a go yourself, just try to remember that aimless doesn't have to mean pointless and enjoy yourself. If you're completely stuck for somewhere to go adventuring, or need someone to explore with then get in touch, you'd be more than welcome to join us on one of ours.

Bye for now,

Stuart.