Normally ‘horizon’ travel memories for me are all about blue on blue. Sea meets sky. Or if I’m somewhere with cooler weather and less than sparkling waters, grey meets grey! But this week the wild English moorlands of Staffordshire are fresh in my mind. I seem to be on a roll these past few days with pinky-purply posts, so this one for Ailsa’s ‘horizon’ travel theme continues in that vein.
Driving along the winding road, traversing the moorlands en route for the beautiful spa town of Buxton, I couldn’t help noticing the purple blanket draped across the rolling hills. Heather. And lots of it! It was the most amazing sight. The sun was high in a cloudless cobalt blue sky; the colours of the heather and yellow gorse on the hills were intense and incredible. I so desperately wanted to stop the car and get my camera out.
Unfortunately for me a hysterical, toddler tantrum going on in the back of the car for much of the journey meant that it was far more sensible (and less stressful!) to keep pushing on to our destination. Photography moment shelved; but with a promise to ourselves to leave our little one with the grandparents the next day and make a return visit for unfettered photography indulgence. Sometimes ‘seize the moment’ just doesn’t work when there’s a toddler involved!
Well, true to form, the British weather had flipped completely by the next morning. Grey skies, mist rolling off the hillsides, and intermittent light drizzle were the order of the day. Not the conditions I had hoped for. But still quite captivating, in a brooding ‘Wuthering Heights’ kind of way. It’s not always (or even often) true, but in this case, every horizon held a breath-taking view.
I clambered my way along the footpath, surrounded by knee-high heather, gorse and wild blueberry bushes, pushing higher towards the amazing rock formations on the crest of the hill. There was no sound other than birdsong and the buzzing of bees. Although the car was just out of sight less than a kilometre down the hill, the feeling of remote isolation and serenity up there was so calming, and yet invigorating at the same time.
Eventually the weather won. I was wet-through all the way up to my thighs, from continually brushing past dew and rain-drenched heather and foliage, and the drizzle was becoming increasingly insistent. Time to go. Just the chance to take one last photo of a nosy local peeking over one last horizon before getting back in the car, soaked but smiling.