Like bit part players in Apocaplypse Now, we headed down below the car park at the Glen. The evocative smell of roll your own herbal cigarettes drifted through the warm, sticky air and took you back to another decade, another summer of love. The humidity was high, every now and then rain condensed out of the very air you where breathing wetting you though and making you feel unclean.
Conditions where beyond belief in this new Heart of Darkness in which we found ourselves. We climbed, well we tried but the impetus was elsewhere, we stuttered, slipped and fell. A strange brooding presence sapped our will leaving us spent and empty as the trees closed in over our heads dimming the feeble light. Resistance was hopeless our fate sealed, we were to become one with the forest.
Now becoming edgy, a little paranoid and with madness knocking on the door, it seemed time to escape with some of our minds intact. The forest was winning we were no longer welcome, we were becoming victims. Only a 100 yards from the road but lost in another time we blundered around in the woods heading down instead of up, going deeper towards the main vein the very epicentre, the pulsing dark heart.
A short, balding guy with a facial tattoo in the shape of a tear drop below his left eye. Stripped to the waist and moody looking, appeared from behind a mossy boulder. He had what could have been a blowpipe or maybe a pool cue in it's case slung over one shoulder. His shell-suited legs overhung by his pregnant beer belly. Toward us he staggered, eyes wide, staring beyond. A half empty Stella can in one hand and what looked suspiciously like an underfed, ill-tempered dangerous dog breed in the other. We turned around in a hurry and left at a trot.
The harsh rock flayed our skin and cut in at the ankles as we made it back to the edge via the first rocky gully we saw. Pursued by the urban pygmy, his crazed dog snarling and drooling and snapping at our heels. Then back at the lip where worlds collide, were the cars, Civilisation, Salvation.
Shipley Glen in the Summer is a little more serious.