Saturday, 26th July.
So that was the cloudy day, was it? Well it was for about an hour, then it turned into the last 6 days again! Anyway...
Ta dah! The nice lady in Appleby tourist information made this for me and rolled it up like a scroll. I want it changed to my faffing about total of 101.7 miles though.
I've finished my main target, the Dales High Way, and just have my three bonus days remaining up to Hadrian's Wall. This includes Cross Fell tomorrow, the highest point on the entire walk. More on that later though. Today would have been a stroll but the heat put paid to that during the last five miles (hottest average temp at 28.9 today). Basically the final stretch was low level and alongside streams, which meant sweaty, itchy, prickly, etc. I'm sure it's delightful for most of the year!
The first 8 miles were great though. I had only walked a mile from my seat on Brownber Hall terrace (behind the balustrade) when I joined the Coast to Coast Path near Sunbiggin Tarn. I've done the C2C in one go in the past, and am currently doing it again with a group of friends over the course of a ridiculous number of weekends. It's taken us about 4 years to do about two thirds of it so far. Anyway it was at exactly the point I joined it today that I am pretty certain I dropped my guide book last October. I had a quick look but couldn't see it. As I was going the other way to the 'normal' C2C direction I passed a number of people doing it. In fact during the 2 miles the paths shared I passed 11 people. Then after the routes had split I met 3 more. They were very confused, possibly because they didn't have a map and were relying on waymarkers (there aren't many!) and following other people.
Cotton growing just off the path! It's that hot!
I was soon back on my beloved limestone, and as the sun had gone for an hour's rest I was able to hop from clint to clint and frolic amongst the grikes. Not sure if this is geologically correct actually, but it was fun.
How do I love thee, limestone? Let me count the ways.
There was a pub at Great Asby, my half way point, so I had a drink and a lie on the grass outside. Then came the hot stuff through to Appleby. I stayed in Appleby with Jen a couple of years ago. I had wanted to treat her to something a little bit special and was delighted to find that we could use our Tesco Clubcard points to stay at Appleby Manor. However I was a bit disappointed Tesco didn't pay for meals and drinks as well.
Tomorrow, then. The forecast is for this weather to finally break, which is fine I suppose (looks at floor sulkily). But it's all about how it breaks. I've got my longest day tomorrow (over 21 miles) and pass over Cross Fell, which is the highest point on my entire walk and goes on forever. I don't mind trudging across featureless high level moorland in the rain, but if it's worse than that I'm likely to make an excellent lightning conductor. Should be fun!
So a few quick ruminations on the Dales High Way now it's behind me:
1. It's brilliant. I'd say it's better than the Coast to Coast.
2. This is because it crosses the Howgills.
3. And though both walks have varied landscapes, this one doesn't have any long, flat boring bits.
4. Though parts of the first day were a bit boring.
5. The places I've stayed in have been really friendly.
6. Except maybe not the first one in Shipley.
7. The Dales High Way is 68.4 times better than the Dales (low) Way.
8. And 3.8 times easier than the Cambrian Way.
9. If you like walking I would highly recommend the Dales High Way.
10. If you don't like walking I would not highly recommend the Dales High Way.
11. If you do decide to do the Dales High Way it appears that you are guaranteed sunny weather throughout, with a minimum temperature whilst walking of 21.1 degrees.
12. The most flustered, overheated people you will meet will be in Appleby, hence this:
Window display in the Spar.
Very nice gammon and chips at the Royal Oak over the road. Looks like it's about to rain though...
-- Posted from Kev's iPhone