Castleton amoung the Peaks

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, June 22, 2009

Today was a lovely day of laundry and touring.  Managed to leave the campground by noon and set off to find Perivile castle:  an old castle built around 1066 after the Norman invasion and all that’s left is the watch keep.  Up an incredibly steep hill with gorges on 2 sides this castle would have been difficult to invade, but luckily no one did.  It was almost never used by Royals and was in such bad repair in the 1600’s there were discussions to demolish it then, so barely anything remains now.  Nevertheless, it made a beautiful picnic lunch spot with sweeping views of the town of Castleton and the Hope valley before he fog rolled in. 

After lunch a quiet little stroll through cobbled streets with rose covered cottages (I only saw about 5 named Rose Cottage).  But charming none the less.  Cottages and storefronts with REAL blown glass windows remaining!  You can see the circular pattern and where they broke off the punty. 

On our way out of town towards the various cave sites there was a herd of sheep being taken down the road to a new pasture.  Down the hill and around the round-a-bout which is where we met up with them  All traffic was stopped at the round-a-bout as they passed by.  Being on a bike, we didn’t stop, but traveled along with the sheep to their new home about a 1/2km down the road.  It was great pedaling through the mayhem of around 100 sheep while the herder yelled commands and the dog ran to obey.  While other tourists were snapping pics, we were one with the herd!

We traveled up to one of several caves this area boasts:  Speedvale (had a boat ride through the old flooded mine shafts).  This particular mine was the biggest disaster spending far more money in construction than it ever made and was shut down after only a few years of operation .  It was eerie floating through the dark with only a small light set up every 20 feet or so.  At one point we needed to pull over into a tiny little cave to let a previous tour by.  Sitting in the silence we could hear the music that the cave transforms normal talking and crashes against the rock into from repeated echoes.  It was very mesmerizing.  Met a great guide and since we were the only 2 in a boat that holds 22, we were able to have a good chat including all things cave as well as cycling.  It appears that for us to get out of ‘Hope Valley’ requires me to lose ‘hope’ again:  another pass that eats snake for breakfast (we saw a car come down with brakes smoking)!  He told us of an old back road which is no longer in use that has an easier incline and gets to the same place.  We may have to check that out.  He told us about his top favourite questions that stupid tourists have asked:

Q.  Are we going down hill?
A.  Yes, hence the waterfall

Q.  Does it get darker in here at night?
A.  Perhaps when we turn the lights off

Q.  How thick are the walls?
A.  About as thick as you

Q.  Can I take my helmet off, I keep hitting my head?
A.  Yes

Q.  How many UN-discovered caverns are there still to find?
A.  5

After returning to the campground it was time for some good old local fun as there was a car show going on in the field next to our campground.  It was neat to see brands of cars never released in North America and see the big IMPORTS (Ford Mustang).  Saw a couple of 3 wheeled cars which are always a laugh. 

Now enjoying a cheap liter of wine (seems that wine is one of the only cheap things we can find) we’re ready to check out. 

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