May 16, 2008

Plodding Along

Leanne that the boys are out of Northumberland, I have a few days to catch everyone up on. I can also report that after seeing them myself last weekend, they both seemed fit, well and happy...and very trim as well!

Day 39-Tuesday 13th May:
A day spent in what can probably be best described as the middle of nowhere...although even in remote countryside, the lads managed to get themselves a few donations from walkers along the Pennine Way (they may have left Scotland, but the kindness of strangers certainly doesn't seem to be on the wane as of yet). Two interesting tales to tell: firstly, the lads came across a seemingly derelict house entirely on it's own amongst the hills, only to be completely amazed when a smart lady (complete with pearls), sounding like someone who should be stepping out of a fancy London apartment), emerged to welcome the lads and provide them with water. When the lads questioned her and her location, she laughingly stated that her son chooses to send letters to:

C Carter,
Where the F*** (note how Gill leaves me with the bad language blog!)

And apparently all post has managed to make its destination so far! Secondly, the lads made camp tonight (after walking from 8am to 7pm) outside the highest pub in Britain, the Tan Hill Inn-1732 feet above sea level. The pub was frequented by nothing but fellow walkers and sheep, with the little wooly things apparently causing the pub owners nothing but trouble if the 'Please don't let the Sheep in' signs are anything to go by. Saying that, the landlady inside was bottle feeding a lamb, so they couldn't be all that bad!

Day 40-Wednesday 14th May:

An easier day...the lads had a bit of a lazy morning and didn't set off until 10:30am. The weather was nice too-fine and breezy all day, which apparently constitutes good walking conditions (I wouldn't know!). The day took them through a tiny village called Keld which had only one shop, and alas for John S who had a letter to post, no post office. Luckily, a sweet old lady was on hand to help out, and brought him a stamped envelope from her home-the people of Keld can therefore be added to the list of kind strangers! If you look at the picture at the top of this entry, you can see a picture of part of the route taken by the lads today, through Keld and towards Hawes. Camp was made near a bridge by the River Ure, where a major midge invasion of the tents took place..but it didn't stop them enjoying a hearty tea of corned beef, onion, mushrooms, rice and curry powder. Yummy......?!

Day 41-Thursday 15th May:

The lads continued through into Hawes, home of the Wensleydale Cheese Factory (of course, the Johns couldn't resist popping in to have a look. There was a lot of climbing done today, as the route carried on through the Pennines and then onto the Dales Way, but the weather stayed fine (cool while climbing but sunny in the valleys). Most important fact of the day: the lads have now reached halfway! The original plan was for the walk to take 82 days...can you believe so much has passed already? It still seems like yesterday they were first discussing it! Anyway, camp was made near an old quarry at Ribblehead, with an evening meal at The Station Inn (as pictured).

Day 42-Friday 16th May:
Not the most interesting day of the trip...the lads continued through Horton and Settle (near the largest outcrop of limestone in the country, incase you're interested in that sort of thing) in grey, but dry, weather. More donations were gladly accepted: £2 and two smoothies from a nice (if strange) man early in the day, and then more generous contributions from the staff at 'Poppies Tea Room' in Settle. Breakfast consisted of a tasty bacon and egg sandwich in a cafe, while lunch was a rather less enjoyable meat and potato pie-less so, because it had been lying in the backpack for some time by this point! John S has unfortunately been having trouble with his Jet Boil (aka his personal cooking system) which has been making sounds of a jet engine nature...and so came up with the rather genius idea of buying a tea strainer and a sink drainer to take apart and use to fix the Jet Boil. With John D's swiss army knife the only tool at hand, the results should be rather interesting. For tea tonight: bacon grill, leek and rice.

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