A final tour of Belper, Derbyshire.

Trip Start Jul 04, 2006
Trip End Jan 16, 2007

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Wednesday, November 1, 2006

G'day to everyone from sunny but oh so very cold Dublin, Ireland.
I'm putting in the final touches to this blog entry about Belper to bring our time there to a close. I have added these few lines as a foreword just to let you know Gail & I are both fine and well and have survived the journey via the budget airline Ryanair over to Ireland. After arriving late on Thursday, we have spent the past two days out and about in Dublin City, but I'll leave that for Gail to write about later.

Monday 30th October 2006
After the excitement and non stop action of the past few days in Northwich and Warrington, it was time to catch our breath. We had been working for the past eight weeks, and this had been punctuated on the weekends by our travels around England to places like London, York, Liverpool, Elland & Halifax, Nottingham, and several weekends into the Peak District. We decide to have a couple of days of staying close to our temporary home in Belper before we resume our travels later in the week.
Today we spent doing all the usual mundane things inside like washing and cleaning, which was helped by the weather all day being dark and rainy outside. In the evening we head off to Alan's place in Derby where we have been invited by Alan & Jordy to have dinner with them.
When we arrive we find they have really gone out of their way to make it a very special meal. A table has been beautifully set for our meal complete with candles, and Alan has picked up some wine to go with the meal which proves to be delicious. Jordy has had the day off work and spent it picking up the ingredients for our meal from a seafood and fresh food market in Derby and must of spent hours preparing the meal which was just brilliant. We had a wonderful dinner and three hours seemed to go by without noticing before it was time to say goodbye and drive back to Belper.

Tuesday 31st October
Today it is much like yesterday. Gail is determined to finish a couple of books she borrowed from the Belper library, so for me it is a sit back and relax day. In the afternoon I grab the camera and head out for a final walk around Belper. When we first arrived in Belper our daughter Jacki had asked that we let her know some of the more mundane aspects to life for her Mum & Dad, such as where we went in our spare time, where we shopped, what was around us, etc. We hadn't had the time or opportunity until now, however as this was to be our last full day in town, I decide to record this so we have a record to look back on as our memories fade with our old age.
The photos and details will not mean much to anyone and are fairly boring compared to other entries we have made, so don't be too disappointed if you decide to follow my walking journey via the photos.

Wednesday 1st November
As we have to pack and fly out tomorrow, we decide to use today to pay a quick visit to some towns and places in the Peak District that we had wanted to visit but never had the time to do so before. With the hire car still at the ready, we should be able to get around much easier than it had been using buses, so we plan our day, pack a picnic lunch and are out the door.
The first stop is Rowsley where there is the large shopping complex we have been to before. We spent an hour or so picking up some things we promised we would get, and this includes a final visit to the "Toys of Yesteryear" store. Then its onto to Bakewell to collect some more items we had seen previously, before sitting down in the "cold" sunshine to eat our lunch. Today provides Gail and I with a lesson on the weather in the Peak District region during November, as while there is not a cloud in the sky and it is a wonderful color of blue, it is absolutely freezing! When we looked outside the window back in Belper, it appeared such a lovely day that we headed out dressed in warm but light clothing, however as we look around us now everyone is fully rugged up in coats, hats, scarves and gloves. We don't dally long, and soon head back to the warmth of the car for the drive to the beautiful little village of Youlgreave that is along wonderful windy roads, past rolling hillsides and magnificent stone walls that accompany us the entire way.
Just past Youlgreave, we locate at the rear of a farm the site of a stone circle known as Arbor Low that is estimated to be thousands of years old. The site is similar in some ways to Stonehenge and Avebury in Wiltshire, and is easily as important and unique, it is probably for this reason that it has sometimes been referred to as the 'Stonehenge of the Peak District'. We learn that Arbor Low dates to the Neolithic / Early Bronze Age period, and the surrounding landscape is littered with barrows from the Late Bronze Age, constructed around a thousand years after the henge was completed.

While the site is fascinating, it is bitterly cold and as much as we would like to stay longer the cold drives us away, so we are forced to retreat once more to the car.
From there we pass through several other beautiful villages of the Peak District that includes Middleton, and Alport, until with darkness approaching we say goodbye to this wonderful region of England, and prepare ourselves for the next chapter of our excellent adventure.

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