Total so Far: 666.1 miles
Percentage Completed: 39.9%
(Click map to enlarge)
We arrive at Malham on time for Heather (who is walking with Phil, Tini & me) and she arrives promptly as a wonderful woman should. So, we walk up the road, spurning her local advice to walk along the pretty riverside and make it successfully to the cove. Phantasmagorical. (Let's see if Stu Savory's spellchecker catches that one! - Sorry Stu!)
We clamber up to the clints & grikes and take pictures. It is a paradise; a karst landscape beyond your Geography Teacher's Dreams (the capitals are very important here.)
We stroll all day through fine weather albeit with a slight petrochemical haze (thank you for the explanation, Waggy) and have leisurely stops scoffing Rick's sandwiches and having boot-breaks to die for.(Tini & Heather gorging themselves!)
Heather teaches me about peregrines, wheatears and small owls as we make our way inevitably up Fountains Fell and then to the base of Pen-y-Ghent, where Lord Elpus gallantly accompanies Miss Whiplash down to Horton as Heather leads me gingerly up the two giant steps of the monster.
We arrive at Hilary's Step (sorry, that should read Shirley's Step) (readers of PeeWiglet’s Pennine Way diary will understand this - keep up at the back) and Heather steps through it like a mountain goat and hauls me through - mentally and physically.
It was worth it. There were children, small dogs, parakeets and the occasional pet elephant who had managed it to the top, so my minor triumph felt belittled. I let this huge personal problem pass as I sank the last of Rick's sandwiches and Lindsey's cake, and we made our way down to the Crown (marked as the New Inn on the map)
And now, safely back at Rick & Lindsey’s, the Warres 66 port is going down well, and Lord Elpus is fast asleep on the lazyboy, grinning and dribbling slightly as he recreates Tini’s fantasies of the night before.
Tomorrow is another day....