After a good nights sleep in the tent I was up at 6:30 to make the morning brews and porridge. A convenient park bench next to our tent made an excellent kitchen worktop and breakfast bar in the morning sun.
Ruth's feet were still sore and her ankles swollen with what we assumed was a case of prickly heat. As we packed up I transferred some of the weight from Ruth's rucksack to my own and we set off in search of a pharmacy.
The pharmacist's opinion was the same as our own, which was unfortunate because it meant not much could be done. So Ruth bought more painkillers.
There is a small outdoor store in Kirkby Stephen. This morning he did a roaring trade with coast to coasters. Ruth went in for some more gas and returned with gas and some walking poles, having tried a pair belonging to Jason on our last day in the Lakes. Jason went in to replace his lost C to C guide book and replaced his lost sunglasses as well. Another chap we met on the walk up to Nine Standards Rigg had also paid the shop a visit. Apparently his right boot had had enough of being walked such distances as the coast to coast demands on a consecutive basis and committed Hari-Kari by ejecting its own sole mid way through a 20mile walk... His gaiter was the only thing holding the boot together. He bought new boots.
The walk up to the Nine Standards was easy enough going and the weather was once again fine. Clear skies and heat haze rising up from the heather. The Standards are a group of cairns of dubious origin, no one really knows what they are or why they are there. However this represents a landmark for today's walk. This is where we cross the watershed. Until this point all rivers were flowing to the Irish Sea, from this point on we are walking with the grain. All water from now on flows to our destination, the North Sea.
The walk down was via a barely there track through the peat bogs and marshland. The lack of rain in recent weeks meant that the trail was dry and firn enough but it was still very much wet in places. I found this out to my detriment while attempting to cross one such section, my left foot started to sink and in my panic trying to get back to firm ground, my right leg disappeared up to the knee. Ruth, laughing hysterically, was unable (or unwilling) to help. It's a good job my boot was on tight, or I may have been hopping back to the shop in Kirkby Stephen to offer him more trade.
We had covered Wainwright's suggested mileage to Keld by 3pm. While RAF jets were doing ever lower altitude circuits of the Swale Valley. We decided we could push on further but departed from Wainwright's suggested route over the moors past ruinous lead mines to follow the river through the verdant Swaledale.
We managed to make Gunnerside before our feet began to protest. Having asked at the pub about campsites we discovered that the nearest were 3 miles away.
Luckily we found alternative accommodation in the form of a single roomed B&B with a very welcoming host. Tonight we sleep in luxury.
I am writing this in a very good pub, that serves fantastic food and great beers (Gunnerside Gold from the Yordshire Dales Brewery and Copper Dragon from the Skipton Brewery) I will soon be heading to bed a happy boy.
Mum (Rosemary) What exciting reading! I was beginning to think that I was driving up to rescue you both with a bowl of warm water to soak your sore feet. Well done so far both, and love too. XX
Apr 28, 2011
Dad Well done so far you two. It all sounds terrific - apart from the sore feet! Keep going and make the most of it. Are you getting/able to see all the messages and comments from people writing in the blog? Love Dad
Apr 28, 2011
Ken and Joan I think we told Ruth about our problem with the peat bog early on our, north to south, Penine Way trek. After nagging Julian to watch where he was putting his feet Mom stepped up to her thigh in a stinking bog and it was me who had to stick his arm down the 2ft hole to retrieve a more than usual smelly boot. It's what makes the effort memorable. Keep it up and good luck for the next few days.
Apr 28, 2011
Chris & Sue Have you both lost your bikes! Minds! Did you say this was a hoilday and you went of your own accord. Great accomplishment so far. Good luck and best wishes for the rest of your journey. Chris likes the sound of the beer ;-)
Apr 28, 2011