It was a fair Sunday afternoon when we arrived at YHA Hartington. The relatively-short drive up had been uneventful apart from a minor nav error when we missed a turn-off and had to make it up as we went along, but all was well in the end.
While Chris got us booked in I raced off towards our room, in need of a loo. We'd been assigned the "Short Horn" (no giggling at the back!) dorm in The Barn, and after crossing the courtyard and climbing the stairs I was pleased to find this promising sign on the corridor's fire-door:
Beyond that fire-door was a corridor with a locked private room, two dorms and then another fire-door, which I went through searching for the loo. I didn't find it, though, so I went back to the second fire-door and found that it bore this promising sign:
Of course, said loo wasn't in the corridor that time either. Seems that they'd changed the building layout but neglected to update the signs. Eejuts. In the nick of time Chris arrived with the dorm key and access to the en-suite, thus averting a colonic crisis and saving me an unpleasant evening in the laundry-room.
After we'd got settled into the dorm (about which there'll be more later) we dressed for an evening outdoors and met up with the Maynes in the main hostel building. Their plan was for us to head off to Matlock Bath to see the illuminations and the parade of illuminated boats. I'd invested in some A-Z Adventure Maps after the reading Alan's post about them, so we broke out the White Peak map to help us to get there:
Of course, most of Matlock Bath just had to be off the edge of the map 🙁
Anyway, Geoff did the driving and Sarah did the navigating using a proper atlas, so we got to Matlock Bath without getting lost or falling off the edge of the world. After a meal at the chippy there was time for the kids to have a session in the adventure playground down by the river:
The light from the illuminations made for some unusual pics, such as this long-exposure shot of some ghosts on the swings:
After that we bagged ourselves a good spot at the riverside so as to get an uninterrupted view of the parade of illuminated boats.
The first offering was a simple affair in the traditional style with proper candles in glass jars:
The others had battery-powered lighting and greater levels of complexity:
Not a boat
It started drizzling just as the parade ended so we called it a day and went back to the hostel.
Back in the hostel we chilled for a while. Well, the others did... I was busy getting annoyed at the state of the dorm. The window safety device had no lock and hence was useless for preventing the window from opening fully:
The window closures were also knackered, one good pull from the outside and the window would have opened easily:
This is the hook on the back of the toilet door:
That's the toilet door with the broken lock, BTW.
The towel-ring was holding on by the skin of its teeth:
It's a good job I don't shave, as this light didn't work:
The glass shelf was loose, sloping away from the wall at 20 degrees, and so was no use for items such as mouthwash bottles and stand-up toothpaste tubes:
Accessing the top bunks meant risking a nasty burn from the stupidly-located and unshaded hot light-bulb:
Talking of lights, two of the four bunk-lights didn't work. I suspect that the lack of bulbs was part of the problem:
The bodge to the shower-mixer was pure pragmatic genius - a triumph of plastic strapping over proper safe repair work. I pity the poor bugger who's in the shower when this lot falls apart:
And last of all there was a surplus of apostrophes:
Apart from that lot and the dangerously-loose radiator, all was well.
To be continued...