Edited post: Pics now included!
Perhaps it’s the scout in me but I try to make it a point to go hiking once a year during the spring/summer time. I went last year when I was about 2 or 3 months pregnant, nothing strenuous but just enough walking in the woods to get the nature-lover in me going.
This time, I made it no exception. Except of course, we have a 4 1/2 month old baby in tow. So there are a few modifications to be made. A back up plan in case it rains. Careful thought on feeding and how to change him in the middle of the hike, if the need ever arise (which it did, of course). A trail that is exciting enough for the adults but not dangerous/slippery to bring a baby with.
In the end, after much googling, I chose a trail that was based near Chatsworth house, with the thinking that if it rains, we can spend our time in the Chatsworth house. The weather forecast predicted showers with 70% precipitation, bummer right. But since last weekend was the only weekend we and Lutfi&Azimah (fellow hiking couple) were free, so I was determined to make a Peak District weekend getaway out of it.
We stayed at this cottage called Swallow Cottage in a village called Pilhough. Village might be too big a word for it. Lane? Tiny piece of Land? We arrived in the evening, so couldn’t orientate much of where we were. In the morning, we could see how picturesque the place is. Our cottage (when we EVENTUALLY found it) is on top of a hill kinda. It has a great view, the kind of view that lets out sharp intake of breath when I look out of the window in the early morning.
The cottage is actually pretty small – nice word: cosy. I didn’t mind it but the doorways are actually low for some of us (M bumped into it a few times). But after 2 days and a bit there, I was happy when we’re back at our place. Our spacious, airy place! See, one good thing from traveling is that you appreciate more of what you have. The place was pretty well equipped but I was disappointed when it didn’t have a shower (errr oooopppps, should’ve read the bit where it said what the toilet facilities are) and there was no iron!!! Kumuh berabis my tudung and I felt irate at myself over it.
Let me start by mentioning that the trail is 7 miles long and was supposed to take us TWO hours ….in the end, it took us almost five hours. There were a lot of pit stops though. Restroom pitstop at Chatsworth house, followed by food fair that so happened to be there that weekend. And of course, we had to buy the well-advertised Churros. Nyum. Never had churros, loving it now. (Isn’t it kinda like pretzel though? Just greasier and less doughy)
The good things of the trip were:
1. Baby slept almost the whole time. Only to wake up for a feed and later for a nappy change. If he was older, it would be nice to have him awake but he’s not at an age that appreciates the nature much. He did wake up in the very end and gawked at the duck near our car.
2. It didn’t rain – much – during the hike. It rained for less than 10 minutes, and it was more of those pitter-patter kinda rain. By that time, we finished lunch (and baby stopped feeding) and our trail brought us to an area full of tall trees, somehow shading us from the rain. Alhamdulillah.
3. Although it felt like we couldn’t make sense of the trail directions and unknowingly did a detour, we got to our original point in the end. Yeeha!
4. Whatever pregnancy weight I’ve been harbouring, the walk – with some slightly steep climb – has done me some good. It also made me feel less guilty on all the eating we did the whole weekend.
5. The scenery and being at one with nature (hehe)
I love the English countryside actually. Especially when you’re high up in altitude. You can see land after land of greenery, the cliffs so high. MasyaAllah, teringat how we are so little compared to this big picture that we call Earth. And then excited each time terliat some animal – Oooo sheep! Oooo lamb! Haha. Actually each time I see them, the carnivore in me drool like a Pavlovian dog.
6. The food!! We packed food that could last us at least a week! Haha, bruneian tab banar.
The weekend menu:
Marylands (greasy fried chicken and chips) for Friday dinner.
Waffles for saturday breakfast.
Salmon&cream cheese and egg&mayo for lunch.
BBQ lamb chop and chicken with some sort of moroccan-inspired marinade. With potato salad, aubergines and corn to go with it. *and some left over lamb pasta hehe*
Dessert that night: egg tarts and tiramisu cake.
Sunday breakfast was a bit of a let down I think cos we (M and I) were in charge of it and we were gonna make pancakes. But I forgot to pack flour – Dohhh. And we were in the middle of nowhere. No tesco express to save us (I googled). I made french toast with whatever remaining bread we have – not much – and we ate the leftover strawberries and pancakes.
The weekend ended with venturing around Heights of Abraham, but the pouring rain dampened things a bit. But hey ho! A good weekend after all.
….Actually, the weekend ended with eating of course! At Kayal, a South Indian restaurant that M and I love. It probably is our favourite Indian restaurant. We’ve been there countless of times and I love that the food is different from the usual Indian restaurants. The fish curry and crab sauce is finger-lickin good. Banar sampai mau wipe the plate clean bah!
Anyway, as we went to bed yesterday, tired but happy to be back to our lil abode, M said ‘Ok when’s the next hike?’ Errr, I think my body needs to recover from this one first!
To Lutfi & Azimah, thanks for a great weekend!!! You have conquered Zayan’s heart, what with him laughing a lot in the end! Hehe.
Next post: More pics of our trail!
Ps. The other thing different this time – I forgot that after the hike, not only will I be exhausted, I STILL have to meet the needs of a baby.