|© Crown Copyright 2010 |
Image produced from Ordnance Survey's Get-a-map service.
Image reproduced with permission of Ordnance Survey and
Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.
There was very little chance of us getting lost, of course. We just had to keep turning left to get back to where we started from. But it was great to wander around off the path, with no names for the places we found ourselves in, and no idea of the time. I realised I was conditioned to know exactly where I was and when it was most of the time and to be without this information felt good, liberating.
We began with a conventional, anticlockwise circuit of the reservoir from the car park, setting off East-ish into the woods once we'd crossed the dam. A faint track leading off the hard-core path was irresistible. There were some interesting ruins, still standing among the pine trees, and the trees were far enough apart for it to be possible to walk between them. It was a magical place: and a great place to lie down, as we did, on the soft pine needles of the forest floor and look up at the light filtering through the high branches. Break over, we continued up through the woods to the fence at the edge (although we didn't know it at the time) of Pamperdale Moor. From there we turned back into the forest and kept exploring until we came to a gate further up the same fence. Here was a sign: there was to be no camping and no walking off the way-marked track. It's amusing to come upon these signs from behind - only to then examine the front to see what it is you shouldn't have done.
We followed a path back to the dam and continued the conventional circuit, singing a Syd Barrett song:
I've got a bikeWe came to a very climbable tree at the water's edge, so we climbed it. We sat in it's branches for a while singing snatches of the song, like hippie birds.
You can ride it if you like
It's got a basket, a bell that rings
And things to make it look good.
I'd give it to you if I could,
But I borrowed it.