Another lovely day yesterday before my friend left back to the States. Hopefully not another 9 years before we see each other again!
The plan yesterday was to climb the hill that I can see from my window. It started out a little frustrating, because, armed with my OS map, we set off on the path that was shown, but time after time we were thwarted by lack of signs, lack of path and too many brick walls that it was impossible to get over. Finally, after climbing over a fallen down dry stone wall from the cemetery, we found ourselves on one of the paths shown - well it was all worth it. Once we were beyond the houses and farms we found ourselves in open moorland, hills and rivers with breathtaking beauty and unbelievable views. Our plan was to walk to Watergrove Reservoir and after 2 and a half hours of wrong turns we got there, after a break dipping our tired feet in a beautiful river. Watergrove reservoir is really lovely, with small beaches and little groves of trees all around it. It took us 2 and a half hours to get there, but only 1 and a half hours to get back, once we knew where we were going - I've stored the route away in my head for the future. On the way home, we met a charming old couple who had lived here in Whitworth all their lives and knew the hills like the back of their hands and were able to give us a great route back that comes out really near my home. They also told us an interesting tale of how during the 2nd World War, the army had used two old ruined farms as target practice and how, as a boy, he had dug around the ruins and found all the old shells, using them to add weight to his home made bows and arrows. He pointed out so many different walks and routes in the area to us that my head was spinning and I was unable to remember most of them.
While we were out, I came across the tell tale smell of wild garlic and there was acres of it. We gathered a few handfuls to bring back for the evening.
We decided to make a sort of bacon pasta carbonara using the wild garlic and some pink peppercorns that I had picked and dried when I was working in the South of France last year and it was really lovely. The wild garlic gives such a wonderful and subtle flavour offset by the sharp taste of the peppercorns. A meal to be proud of and one made all the nicer by the foraged ingredients, the good company, the fresh air of the day and our sun-pink and happy faces!