DAY SIX – SHAP TO KIRKBY STEPHEN – 20 MILES
Wednesday 13th June
At breakfast today I saw a familiar face, it was Dutch Matthew. You may remember that he is doing the C2C in a rather unorthodox way. So, today, he had to catch two buses to take him back to Patterdale, where he would do the 16 mile walk I did yesterday. I worked out that he would not get back to Patterdale until about 10am. That would mean that he probably won’t get back to Shap until about 9pm. I tried very gently to suggest that this might be too much, but he was very insistent. I admire his courage and tenacity. I hope he is OK. There was also a English couple at breakfast, Perry and Angie, who were walking the C2C with their dog. Unfortunately, the dog was suffering somewhat and had a sore poor. Perry said that they might have to carry her in the rucksack part of the way.
As I walked along Shap’s sole major road, a passing car hooted me. I’m not altogether sure, but I think it must have been the cake2cakers, who, being driven back to Burbanks to pick up the walk where they stopped yesterday, spotted me and got the driver to hoot.
It wasnt long beofe I was out of Shap, and soon I came to my first obstacle. This cow was looking at me with very menacing eyes. I think it was because her calf was nearby. I didnt take the photo til I was safely on the other side of the stile.
The next obstacle, I could hear long before I could see it. It was the M6 motorway. The first of three arterial roads to be crossed during the C2C. This one was easy because of the footbridge.
From the bridge there was a final lookback to the the Lakes. In the middle of the picture you can see the pyramid shape point of Kidsty Pike, the high point of yesterday’s walk, just to the right of the telegraph pole.
Some new friends I made.
I pressed on past a working quarry and down a quiet road to the tiny secluded hamlet of Oddendale, which I skirted around. Near here I saw the first of many limestone pavements. These are natural geological features.
The guide book and the map showed that the Oddnedale stone circle was nearby. I would never have found it without using my GPS walkers satnav. It led me right to the spot.
To my left were the Pennines in the far distance.
Ahead were the Howgills, though I would be turning east long before reaching them.
I looked back and was surprised to see some blue sky. It lasted on and off for much of the morning.
Another limestone pavement.
The guide book and the map assured me that this grassy track was once a Roman road. Apparently, the first known Roman road between London and Scotland.
I could see a solo walker and a pair of walkers up ahead, but they were too far on for me to see if I recognised them.
This lonely boulder was a remnant of the last ice age, left here by a glacier.
This was lonely, strangely deserted country. It felt very different from the Lake District, but it had a special beauty and serenity of its own.
After quite a bit more walking I was faced with my next dilemna: namely, whether or not to go into Orton, with its shops and facilities, and most significantly it’s chocolate factory and chocolate shop – or to take the alternative route that by-passed the village. It decided on the later course; after all, I did have a Mars bar in my backpack waiting to be consumed at lunchtime (other chociolate bars are available). This is a good moment to thank Yvonne, one of my parishioners, who generously provided me with 13 Mars bars, one for each day of the walk.
The Village of Orton tantalisingly close below. I could almost smell the chocolate!
Shortly after this I passed this lime- burning kiln.
The temptations were not yet over.
Someone obviously doesn’t like moles.
A little further on the map showed that there was another stone circle, more impressive than the earlier one. I photographed it from the stile,…well, it was hardly Stonehenge.
I passed through this field of wild flowers.
I passed these sheep and lambs without disturbing them at all.
At Sunbiggin Tarn, I stopped for lunch.
While I was there Dave and Pam from Berkshire came by. I had first met them on the path to Grasmere. They were the two I had seen ahead of me, but they had stopped at the ‘last refreshments’ place, as had Manhattan Pete, though he had headed back to Orton, where he was stopping for the night.
Pam and Dave found another spot to have their lunch. Having allowed myself a half hour rest, I pressed on across the moor. It was bleak and featureless, without the GPS I would surely have gone wrong. I thought I had probably left Pat and Dave far behind, but then suddenly they appeared off another path. Their guide book had taken them another way. It was shorter, hence them catching me up, but I had the soft turf of the moor to walk on, while they were mostly on road. We all walked on together.
The Pennines, closer now, looking dark and brooding on the horizon.
An old railway building by a disused railway.
A beautiful little bridge.
The Smardalegill Aqueduct
Getting closer to Kirkby Stephen ( the second r is not sounded) we pushed on, though we did stop to admire these cute little ponies and their foals. Later we had to pass a bull. Dave suggested I should take a photo for the blog, I prefer to keep moving!
Finally, after 8 hours of walking, we arrived in Kirkby Stephen. We were all staying at the same B&B.
Kirkby Stephen church, which is used jointly by Roman Catholics and Anglicans.
Two very hard days, 16 miles yesterday and 20 today, have taken a bit of a toll on me. My legs are aching tonight for the first time in the walk. Pam just told me that hers are the same. But more serious for me, is that a small blister on my right little toe has burst. I had it well plastered up, but I felt it go right near the end of the walk. When I examined it later it was a bit of a mess. I have done a repair job on it as best I could and wrapped it up protectively. Fortunately, there is a chemist here in the town, so I can go and get some advice tomorrow morning, but it is bound to be painful and I will have to take things a bit slower tomorrow. I have to confess this has been a bit of a blow to my high spirits and confidence. I thought I was doing so well with blister management. I will have to be extra careful about the other hotspots. Whatever happens, I am pressing on – even if I have to hobble all the way to Robin Hood’s Bay.