Today was Shap to Kirkby Stephen. Breakfast was taken at 08:00 whilst watching waves of rain sweeping across the windows, so it became another day where wet weather gear was donned from the outset. I finally got off at just after 08:30.
The rain was actually fairly light, but still incessant and wet! When it’s like that the coat’s hood goes up, and it becomes so easy to just plod on only looking about 10 ft forward – I don’t think I missed any spectacular views but I’ll never know. This was a fairly level day with gentler undulations rather than big hills, and progress was thus faster.
I went slightly wrong at about mile 8, but again I only got about 100 yds before I was put right – this time by a game-keeper who caught me unawares rushing up from behind on a quad bike. He was also very obviouly carrying a gun, so I didn’t argue. And annoyingly he was right – I was indeed going the wrong way.
At the halfway point two things happened – it finally stopped raining, and I caught up with two earlier starters from Shap. They were actually stopped and the bloke was trying to help the woman devise a road route to KS; her feet were apparently in need of a doctor.
I walked briefly with the bloke, but quickly got the feeling he’d rather be alone. So at the first suitable spot (well a wall anyhow) I made my excuses and stopped for lunch. Which incidentally was a few pounds very well spent at Brookfield.
The going was pretty boggy again today, and my feet were swimming from about mile 5 onwards. It looks like a seam is failing in both boots. (So that was nearly £100 not well spent then!). The predominant scenery was pastureland, often complete with delightful lambs, the odd medium tarn and about 3 million smaller ones (puddles!).
I’m afraid I sort of played a game with the bloke ahead, nearly catching him up again, when I’m sure he sped up, then dropping back (most of the piccies in this post were taken to facilitate that process!), then repeat, etc. He didn’t stop once in the last 8 miles, so in the end we both made good time and so reached KS by just after15:30.




My running watch says today was 19.5 miles door to door – the furthest yet, and in just over 7 hours which bodes well for the even longer days to come. No blisters, but I am more tired tonight.
Tea was once again from a Chippy, but not the one pictured because it’s closed on Wednesdays.


KS hostel – the old church – is proving to be a strange experience. I was told I’m the only person stopping tonight – and even Denise the Warden was only around for an hour or so. I do generally like the freedoms that you get with hostels, but going into the communal areas this time just feels spooky.
It’s a shorter day tomorrow – 14 miles to Keld, but likely to be the worst bog fest yet.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 at 19:26 and is filed under The CtoC. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “CtoC Day 6”

  1. Lone Walker (@LoneWalkerUK) on April 25th, 2013 at 07:27

    I have my fingers crossed for you on the crossing of Nine Standards Rigg tomorrow, I wouldn’t expect it to be dry, but it shouldn’t be too bad. KS to Keld is actually one of my favourite sections of the walk – you’re entering the Dales and Keld is a wonderful oasis filled with walkers. Keld Lodge has changed hands since I was last there, so be interested to know how you get on.
    Enjoying your reports and I’ll follow the last half of your walk from the first half of mine as I walk Coast to Coast across Scotland :)

  2. zella Arbouys on April 25th, 2013 at 16:59

    I can’t believe your Paramo leaked! I have had mine 6 years and not a drop has penetrated to my underclothes! I have heard that Keld YHA is haunted. I will look forward to any reports of ‘sightings’…!

  3. rich jane and the boys on April 25th, 2013 at 19:13

    hi neil

    nice to hear from you today, you are doing great….
    all being well i will be at the start tomorrow and am thoroughly looking forward to it.
    any change and i will be in touch..



  4. Mum and Dad on April 26th, 2013 at 10:40

    You have got a long slog today Neil, putting two of Arthur Wainwrights parts together – lets hope for better weather for you – got to say its fairly dry here and could do with some of your rain on the garden. (it did rain on the golf course a bit yesterday) You have passed the half way mark now, keep going, its all downhil to the coast and you can wash your blisters in the salt water in RHB.