‘Up Trail and Down Dale Weekend’ – Biggin Dale Sunday

Dead Tree

Or Crumpled, a Touch of Schadenfreude and a Very Reluctant Swimmer…

We all sleep well and late and are confronted with another breezy blue day when we finally wake. Millie and Darrell both look rather crumpled this morning despite or maybe because of the long sleep.

We eat breakfast in the dappled shade under the tree, conscious of the tiniest bit of schadenfreude. Just as the people next to us had begun packing one of the boys fell off his scooter and broke his wrist. A peaceful Sunday is suddenly changed to trying to locate the nearest hospital and then decide how to get two caravans home with only one car.

We meander our way through Heathcote to Chapel Farm. This also takes a few campers but we will not be staying here any time soon as it is far, far too like Lewis for my liking.

There is just the tiniest bit of schadenfreude here too.

We go downhill through a field of cows, calves and a large brown bull and pick up Highfield Lane which leads on to Dale End. We walk through Biggin Dale under a burning sky. The hills are dry and dusty and there is not a drop of water and hardly any shade. We enter Wolfscote Dale and the cooling sight of the River Dove that flows through it.

Darrell feeds a flotilla of ducks that paddle about in the crystal clear water. Millie reluctantly goes swimming but does not enjoy it one bit.

We walk up the Dale between steep rocky slopes dotted with trees and then follow sunken lanes that are lined with purple scabious and alive with insects. The fields are full of rolled straw, a rich gold against the deep blue of the sky.

Back in camp Millie rearranges the bed and after some heartfelt sighing falls into a dreamless sleep.

We take tea in the shade behind the van.

Later we have a barbecue and then take an evening walk through the fields and along the Trail to Ruby Woods.

The day ends with a sunset of Cistine Chapel proportions and Millie and Darrell playing out until the last possible minute.

So just ‘how lucky are we?’.

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