(You can see all the pictures by clicking the above photo).
Alan as ever gets me up, my batteries needed recharging and his let them. Thankgod we didn’t go clubbing after all, I would have probably been asleep by midnight myself.
The plan of going to Lyme Park is cancelled well for us anyway. It is wet outside and not nice. That though doesn’t stop a plan to do something else.
So we have breakfast and then
Jump in the Zoe mobile and cruse the streets of Stockport. Soon though the street lined roads turn into
green grassy hills.
We enter the village of Castleton and here it is wet too.
We park up and I go and pay the display ticket machine. There a woman is having a nightmare with it eating all her money. Something you don’t like at the best of times but this is a fiver for parking. I find another machine and use that. She wanders over and asks if this one is working and I show her my ticket with a smug smile.
So we get some info on where we are and then
await Alan as he needs the gents. I can only presume he knows something we don’t.
Perhaps its the fact we are heading into the Three Roofs Full Licensed Cafe.
We order tea, hot chocolate and coffee, ad of course irresistibly lovely looking cake.
Hands now full we head towards the caves that are furthest away. I consider how I’m meant to be eating this large slice of cake that's hidden in tin foil.
They set their usual fast pace and I wander slowly behind enjoying the cool air and wet splodges of water on my face.
Eating the cake takes my mind off just how far we have now walked, that is walked in the rain.
And once here the excitement is about to begin.
We arrive at Speedwell Cavern, the queue is short and to bonus there is a double ticket available so we can go to Peak Cavern too.
We mull over if we will have time.
Whilst waiting we check out the leaflet.
Yep now I’m even more excited.
Alan, we are going on a boat trip yeah.
The cashier says we will just make both as they look at there watch and with that we are the last in our group to make it through the gate before they announce that this boat is now full.
We head in through the door, put a helmet on each and head down and down some wet slippery steps.
ooohhhh this is so exciting,
At the bottom the group gathers to get in a boat, which is harder than you think, especially as the boat is full.
All in the boat rocks from side to side. The water looks cold and very very close to the rim of the boat.
And then we were off down the tight tunnels into the darkness.
And as we float down the tunnel, knocking into the wall every few seconds, the guide tells us about the history and haunting facts of those who worked and lived down there.
At the far end we all get off and the boat fills with people already here and sails off. We pose at the map of the tunnel system, a vast underground network that one wants to see, why I don’t know, for it will be miles and miles of the same, but still my soul wants to seek adventure on the limits.
Well here we get to see the cavern that's here, and that's what we have come to see. Its meant to be spectacular. Is it? Well its a big cave, and all it did for me was wanting to see more caves in areas we weren’t allowed to go into. Not unless we became cavers and potholers.
So here we stayed put and admire the rock.
If only Zoe had brought the self stick!
I a way it is amazing, in a way it is good to be here, away from the rain.
I study the map, I study where I want to go.
Would they miss me? Would I make it back alive?
The guide shows us the worst ever stalagmites.
And the bottomless hole, which as it happens is 11111mm deep!
Totally unbelievable as they stand there working it out.
Who needs a selfie stick I say and reach out.
One moment we flash and smile,
The next one wanders what is going on!
Eventually a boat comes, people get off and we get on, it rocking and looking like its ready to sink again.
We float merrily merrily down the stream with the guide desperate for us to ask some questions.
At the other end no one wants to get out of the boat in fear it will topple and sink, but somehow we all do it, the boat rocking away dangerously merrily. We make our way slowly up the never ending slippery stairs, every now ad again banging our heads on the low rock roof.
Outside it is still grim, but at least the walk is down hill.
And so off to find Peak Cavern quick before its closing time.
It this way through the gate, and Alan is off.
The only way to get wetter is to take a shower
Soon we will be in a cave and it will be dry, that I’m sure.
Come on before it closes.
And we make it to the ticket office.
Now I thought this was Peak Cavern, but it would appear not. But more on that latter.
Alan this looks very educational, I think they are going to tell us how to make rope.
We hung about waiting for the guide.
Which of course gave us time to learn a couple of things.
Like I want to go to the Titan cave!
We wandered deeper to
where there is a gate blocking our way and where many, many candles have been burning.
Probably the only view no one else would take a photo of.
The guide returned up and did give us a demonstration on the history of the cavern entrance and how the rope makers made rope here. And you know what, I now know what money for old rope means!
Then the tour of the cavern started and we were lead through the gate.
deeper into the cave we went.
Stopping to admire the BBC prop of father Christmas that was left down there from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
And here is the Devils Arse, the hole the cavern is named after and yes it is also know as Peak Cavern, but only for when the Queen visited!
The tour didn’t stop here though and we went deeper in, as we ducked to go further forward.
And so we had a tour on the history of tours of the cavern.
And deeper we went.
It would seem never ending
we were at the end, but also the beginning. The beginning of a slide, another BBC prop that would lead to more caverns. We though are not allowed to go any further.
And so we head back stopping here and there, admiring the water fall.
Getting wet under the waterfall.
And generally being daft in the waterfall.
See my point.
The guide though was eager to get us out and switch out the lights.
And so we made the journey back.
And we return to the main cavern entrance.
Here the best view of day light
the rains had died down and we set off back towards the car.
Zoe announced she was hungry and therefore we went in search of food.
A hard tsk to find any, well not really, that's all there is in this village.
We settle in a pub, order beer, tea, and food at the lowest table we could find, in front of a log burning fire and some comfy sofas.
My pizza comes,
Zoe Lasagnes comes, oh wow
Alan’s dinner comes, well he thought oh wow.
What we could have done with though was bigger table.
Our stomachs very full, we head back to the car, for a pee in the toilets first and then
a wonderful drive
in some wonder countryside and end up at
the wonderful Hazel grove Sainsbury's.
There is a mad rush for beer and snacks.
Well be me maybe.
Once back we get changed and prepare.
For drinking, and insane as it may be, this is beer from the Lake District, isn’t that meant to be where I’m meant to be right now? That's the KFL for you.
and game playing.
We are graced with Rosie’s lovely company and all sit around the big table to play the game I got for Alan on his Birthday.
Zoe reads out the never ending instructions, whilst Alan grabs the whiskey and challenges Alan to a Raiders of the Lost Ark drinking contest with her. I warn him not to forget how it ends in the film and to be weary.
Whilst Zoe is still rambling on through the never ending instructions the game pieces are prepared.
And at some point the game might begin, but only Zoe is the wiser about how the game is to be played.
I hope Spiderman is going to help me.
As it happens he does, but not at first.
Only when you are so far into the game do you realise
We should have used different tactics!
To late now all for one and all for all. As it happens the game is simple, the game is enjoyable, I like the game. I don’t win though that's for sure, Mr Spiderman let me down after all.
And with that we change game to Love Letter and I am once more the clown,
but hold on, I’m not alone this time, have we all had too much to drink? Maybe, goodtimes, unexpected goodtimes, let there be so many more, and with that we all slide off to bed