Today started (for me anyway) with an increasing apprehension about the next two days (12 & 13). As a result I was probably not the best company for walking. We’re facing two days of 20 miles a piece – tomorrow is a gentle climb from Middleton to High Cup for the first 15 miles, then a dramatic descent into Dufton, but Dufton to Alston is a little more uppy and downy (up and down fells). I’m concerned about our ability to complete (certainly day 13), and the potential collateral damage.
But, we set off from Bowes, along the road over the A66, which took us through an ex-military establishment. It had signs warning of unexploded ordnance and potential chemical agents, but among the rotting concrete remains, sheep were happily grazing. Not that we ventured any further than the road which passed by the site.
Then the rest of the day very much consisted of descending into a valley, usually with a reservoir involved, then climbing out of said valley. After Deep Dale, there was Baldersdale – where, 20 years ago, we stayed at the youth hostel which proclaimed itself to be at the halfway point of the Pennine Way. This was also where we rejoined the “main” Way after the excursion of the Bowes loop. Then there was Lune Dale, and a sudden and noisy influx of air force jets tearing the beautiful tranquility apart.
On leaving Lune Dale, on Wythes Hill we came across a wonderful sight – a farmer had organised a Pennine Way walker’s tuck shop. There were energy boosting sweets and drinks, plus an outside tap to refill water bottles for free. The owner happened to see us passing by and checked if we needed a water refill. We chatted with him about what we were doing, and it all felt marvelously counter-intuitive. The normal walker-farmer relationship is tense at best, but it was fantastic to hear him enthusing about our route, particularly how close we were to Middleton.
What will tomorrow bring? I don’t know. I hope it won’t be as painful as I’m imagining. But we won’t know until we try.
|Day #||Date||Start||Destination||Miles Walked||Cumulative Miles Walked|
|5||11/07/2018||Ponden||Thornton in Craven||11.5||71.2|
|6||12/07/2018||Thornton in Craven||Malham||11.9||83.1|
|7||13/07/2018||Malham||Horton in Ribblesdale||15.2||98.3|
|8||14/07/2018||Horton in Ribblesdale||Hawes||14.9||113.2|
|19||25/07/2018||Trows Farm||Kirk Yetholm||14.7||279.1|