The first obstacle before us was the “Devil’s Elbow,” a large hairpin bend on the road to Glossop. Glossop was quite a long town, shaped like the parabola formed from a positive function. We passed through Chapel-en-le-frith, and after two minutes of rain we reached a seemingly never ending hill, which angled down directly into Swallowtip (what a beautiful name for a village) where we sat on a stone trough and ate our lunch.
We joined the A-road and followed it, thinking we were making good progress, to a massive zig-zag in the road (akin the road up to the Carter Bar). We looked ahead of us at the barrier between us and the Derbyshire dales; the road was going to be a death-trap if we weren’t careful. At first it moved away from us at a sharp incline, twisting round at a tight right angle, and then after a couple of hundred yards it turned a sharp ninety degrees for a final time. We decided to plan for this one; walking on the right hand side of the road would mean we didn’t have to cross the busy highway and we could see round the tight corner in plenty of time, but it would involve having our backs to oncoming traffic for a portion of the ascent. A man in a van, titled “Logic,” stopped on the verge ahead of us as we were crossing over the road to start the dangerous section to tell us to face into the traffic as he was concerned for our safety. I’ve come to the conclusion that most drivers don’t want the hassle of dealing with hitting a pedestrian, but every so often you come across a person who’s not just self-interested, but genuinely considerate.
The last stop to the junction was long and straight with fields either side. We continued past the junction I expected to take in favour of some directions Robert had gleaned from an old local who had been scrubbing blemishes off his car.
We arrived in Tideswell, went to the Co-Op and bumped into Euan and James, who had incidentally been on the same train into Buxton (town of bottled water). We walked with them to the hostel, a couple of miles down the road. The hostel had an enormously long driveway, opening up to reveal the mansion and surrounding gardens. We felt positive about the place, but ill with hunger and exhaustion. After eating some of James’ famous minestrone and lentil soup we recovered slightly. Sadly there’s no phone reception here, which meant that Dad phoned the hostel worried we’d not made it. The attractive girl on the desk mentioned this (actually, she told James his Dad had rung, which confused him slightly), adding “he says he loves you.” James started laughing at this, in disbelief. However, we couldn’t imagine our Dad saying that to us either, let alone a stranger. Some kind ad lib we assumed, giving her a smile.