Spreading a bit of light and pleasure to those confined by the current crisis. See post 1, here, for an explanation.
This is the 19th post.
Hidden in part of the forest not easily accessed and unknown to many locals, lies a little patch of fantasy. The old quarry is approached along one of four paths. The easy one is up a short climb and through a stretch cleared of trees, but, in summer this one is unusable due to the prolific growth of bracken (disease-carrying ticks often reside on such plants, so walking through it is not advised!). Two of the other paths require a knowledge of their routes, as they follow animal tracks and make walkers twist and turn, bend and duck for much of the way. The fourth path, which is the one we used today, is invisible to the uninitiated and involves a very steep climb (a scramble in parts) up to the first level of the quarry; mind your head, as there are tree branches out to knock it off! There follows a slightly hairy walk around the contour with the land slipping a hundred or so feet below and rising just as steeply above. The narrow track resembles the ways used by mountain goats!
When you arrive at the destination, which we found by accident during our explorations when we first arrived in the forest, you discover a setting fit for a scene from Tolkien. A circle of flat stones lies within an outer horseshoe of larger flat stones. This is a small hearth, surrounded by a seating area, and one can imagine hobbits and dwarves settling down here with their pipes, and some conies roasting on the flames from the fire. But one can also imagine it on a wild winter night, with wind howling through the boughs above and stirring those fallen leaves into whirling figures of nightmare.
Today, as on previous visits, we were the only humans present. The sun shone from a clear blue sky, casting stark shadows from the mature beech trees over the russet carpet of last year’s leaves and shading the rugged face of the disused quarry. The place has its own magic and, well away from civilisation, it remained peaceful and calm for our stay.
Keep safe and well, everyone!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. It’ll help others enjoy this bit of nature if you could spread the word with the ‘share’ buttons below. Let’s all do what we can for each other during this testing and trying time, please. Thank you.