Hawes to Keld (Sent 18th April from Tan Hill Inn)
Today: 12.9 miles
Total so far: 693.0 miles
Percentage Completed: 41.5%
(Click map to enlarge)
Leaving good friends is always hard, and after being looked after royally for four nights I feel sad to be leaving Rick & Lindsey. Nothing was too much trouble for them to make my stop-overs perfect. What with them, Russ, Rachael, Michael & Janet – I am being spoiled rotten!
But the Pennine Way has to be continued and I stride out to Hardraw and pay my two pounds to walk up to the falls. And very pretty they are too. On leaving the Green Dragon, two busfulls of the local constabulary arrive. I make a hasty get-away to the Tea-Room almost next door to review my options.
Perhaps they had spotted me sneaking behind the waterfall? Maybe I had spent too long at the foot of the falls and would be be charged with loitering with a tent? I mull over my escape plan with a coffee and flapjack and decide it is best to leg it into the next valley - there might be immunity there.
I positively dash up Great Shunner Fell and near the top meet an engaging couple with a plastic bag full of water and tadpoles they had rescued from a drying pool to transport to a larger more permanent pool lower down the ridge. The frogs further up in the peat hags are truly massive and keep eyeballing me. Perhaps they knew of my Hardraw misdemeanours?
Luncheon is taken at the top, in the corner of the shelter and as it was getting quite cold it was a rushed affair - not my usual leisurely repast.
After first a boggy then a stony descent, more coffee, cake and beer is consumed at Thwaite and then I press on to a glorious traverse on the steep slopes above the Swale on the way to Keld.
It is strange walking on my own after four days of being with friends, but at the same time there are more moments to just stand and take it all in quietly; watching the cloud shadows race over the opposite fell and stand watching a pair of skylarks chase each other in the sand of the path.