Tuesday 21st April
Early morning ride through Bolton. I didn't want to see Bolton School. That's where my late wife went and I didn't want to go through the memory trail in my head at that moment.
There was Bolton School!
On nearing Radcliffe I came across a visitor's centre for the Merseyside, Lancashire and something else Wildlife Trust. Got to have a drink, I went in. There was a fantastic group of old age pensioners there for a social and a walk around the local nature reserve. Brilliant idea and wonderful people.
Next it was through Oldham, meeting a lovely Muslim girl pushing a pushchair beside me as I pushed up the hill to the town centre. She was a Brummie and she put a donation in the robin. Great!
Now I had just bought a pair of cycling sunglasses and after I reached Dovestone RSPB reserve, I realised I had left them in a Nationwide branch in Oldham! I'd had them for all of 20 minutes. Twit.
Oh I forgot to mention stopping for lunch in Heaton park, the largest council-run park in Europe I was told.
Dovestone is a large pair of reservoirs surrounded on all sides by high hills with steep rocky cliffs, very imposing and impressive. I cycled along the dam wall and the pathway around to the second dam where a road took me back to the Holmfirth Road.
A long push to get to the top, is this a photo of a turkey?
Over the moor and down into Last of the Summer Wine country, I camped up after enjoying chips and fish from Compo's cafe.
Wednesday 22nd April
A long up and down cycle ride to Hathersage where I spent the night at the youth hostel there.
Now why can't the whole of the country lane network be treated as if it were part of the Tour De France? The tarmac along the sections that had been used in such a way had perfect, smooth tarmac and painted slogans of support for the fans favourite cyclists.
On one downward stretch of such tarmac I came across a group of 4 OAP birders who were looking for pied flycatchers. We didn't see one but I did find a beautiful male redstart, bird number 189.
Next highlight of the day was meeting two walkers both before the pub and at the pub. Andy and Kevin were obviously brilliant best mates to each other and their company and banter for over an hour was superb. A pub, The Strines, with over 40 peacocks, strange how the carbon twitching world went crazy over one Lady Amhurst's pheasant when there are breeding Indian Blue peacocks everywhere.
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