The long path to recovery – Muggington to Darley Abbey

Muggington to Darley Abbey

6.8 miles – this the end, the end my friend, the end….of my old knee

Petes view -

Well all long walks have a start and a finish and this was no exception. The weather certainly rained on our parade today, but we arrived back in Darley Abbey to close the loop after 143 miles through the Derbyshire countryside. We passed through some sublime landscapes, and had great days out. I have to thank Kerry for keeping me going and having the patience to wait for me to catch up when really it would have been more joy for her to stride out at her pace. It’s been fun though and great companionship along the way, with lots of tea, a bit of cake and lots of chats.

My recovery wasn’t to be, and I’m booked into Chesterfield Royal Hospital for a full knee replacement in August. I would have gone earlier but my AirBNB in Matlock is very busy in July, which is good for me. I’m not looking forward to the pain side of things but I am looking forward to getting back on two feet, with straight legs and hoping to recover fully this time round for another adventure out into the landscape, and continue a long path to full recovery.

Only seventeen pictures on this final day, and the route again took us across undulating farmland, along track and field, with all of it unremarkable in the wet weather. The final stretch into Derby took us across Allestree Golf course where I marvelled at a very long uphill Par 5 golf hole, daydreaming of playing again when I have two good knees – time will tell. We didn’t have too much urban walking and soon returned to our start point by the weirs at Darley Abbey. The walk done and dusted, as is the blog about it.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed some of the pictures of our journey

Kerrys view -

The final day had finally arrived. We did our usual car shunting, one at each end and set off from Mugginton in the dry but with several blankets of cloud hiding the sun. After 20 walks and 135 miles each step was taking us nearer to the beginning of our Long Path to Recovery. Looking at how Pete was coping with this walk and all the others I would conclude that his recovery was far from over. The right knee desperately needs replacing. Pain was etched in mood and on his face. We walked ever slower, through the next village of Weston Underwood, stopping on a roadside bench for sarnies, then pushing on along a sweeping hillside where rain finally caught up with us. Backpacks off and waterproofs on. The rain remained with us across to posh Quarndon and down through Allestree Park. Hoods up and heads down, only stopping to admire Allestree golf course. Pete was impressed. It was too wet to dwell so we hurried as fast as knees would allow swapping rural landscapes for the city, noise of traffic, busy roads to cross, children coming out of school, hustling parents, lines of cars, until the River Derwent at Darley Abbey, our start, came into view.

The end was, maybe, a bit of an anticlimax, no marching bands or gun salute but at least the rain stopped. But what a journey we’d shared. 143 miles of walking through wonderful Derbyshire and sneaking into bits of Staffordshire. The joy of simply walking. Disappearing into the landscape and exploring footpaths, history, geology, life. It was an adventure. Life should have a few of those at any age, even with tricky knees and hopefully our next adventure will be post knee operation, another Long Path to Full Recovery.


walk twenty one

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