I can feel the welling up of excitement both by the dog and myself as we turn up the quiet single track lane. We've not been up here in a little while, certainly since lockdown and now we can drive somewhere to walk - this was the first place Himself wanted to go. Very often we are the only ones at the top on the old quarry car park and we hoped that today, it would be the same. Understandably there are several cars already parked but not a person in sight - all were out on the hills either on foot or on bikes, we park up in wonderful solitude. I fling the door open and listen ....
The cry of a curlew - an eerie mewling sound - rolls over the moorland grasses carried by the whispering breath of a light breeze. Further away the repetitive 'pewit ...pewit ... pewit' of the lapwing fade as the bird drops down into a shallow valley. Above, the duelling melodic song of territorial skylarks fills the air. (As I type this, I close my eyes and I can hear the breeze wrapping around birds song and I find I am smiling).
As soon as our boots are on, Moss's lead is ready, our haversacs packed, we set off - each step a wonderful release - this is our first 'proper' hill walk for over three months. Oh - we've walked nearly every day, some times multiple short dogs loops, sometimes longer jaunts but they have all been from home. But this, this was a 'proper' walk!
I look over at Himself, he is grinning - as am I. There and then, we stop and laughing hug each other, and Moss, sensing our pleasure at being 'out' and on the hills seems to understand and shuffles closely, wagging happily as she tries to get as close as possible to the 'pack group hug'. She understands.
Although the sky is heavy with dark clouds, both the weather report and our good moods suggest that today is going to be amazing - and it is.
The miles steadily fall beneath our feet, the paths feel both familiar yet new - the views are old friends and we want to reach out and say hello. At our first break, we find a rocky outcrop to perch on, stretching out our legs on the summer grass and share a scone and icy cold water.
The last of the scone crumbs are brushed off our chins and our warm feet now well rested, we get up and continue towards the horizon.
Our walk, a huge meandering circle finally stops at Zeb. Boots off, biscuits and water for Moss, tea for us and then - luxury of luxuries, we lounge on the double bed watching the view we had just walked through.
We quietly tick off what we'd seen and heard ....
Curlews, lapwings, skylarks, buzzards, kestrels, corvids, starlings, sparrows, mallards, gulls, meadow pipits, chaffinch, stonechat, oystercatchers, pied wagtails, hares, squirrels (grey) ...
....I am not sure if I mentioned it was a good day xx
#30dayswild #staywild #walk1000miles