Day 13 – The Inn Way – The Spaghetti Junction of Paths, Anti Wind Hat, The Highest Chapel in England, Blowing a Hoolie.

Post 271: 17th June 2018, Little Hunters Sleets to Kettlewell via Great Whernside

Having seen Dan successfully complete the Three Peaks of Yorkshire at ‘bus pass age’ the previous day, I had an early start next morning with breakfast at the excellent bed and breakfast at Middle Stud Farm near Horton-in-Ribblesdale. I wonder how it got its name? Were there Higher and Lower Stud Farms?

In any event I had to get to Kettlewell by 9.30am to meet up with Sid the Yorkshireman and Geordie Caz.

I set the sat nav and off I drove to Langcliffe which, after passing through, joined  a single track road with passing places. It went on for miles, through gates, hairpin bends, fabulous views of the Three Peaks, complete remoteness and steep drops to the side, eventually dropping down to Arncliffe. However,  the tarmac was of a very high standard, presumably because the Tour de Yorkshire cycling must have passed through there. P1120160I arrived at Kettlewell exactly at 9.30am but Sid the Yorkshireman and Geordie Caz had been delayed due to traffic. However, we soon passed three inns on The Inn Way, The King’s Head (21st on the walk), the Blue Bell Inn (22nd) and the Racehorses Hotel (24th).

P1120161P1120162IMG_E1993Kettlewell is the Spaghetti Junction of Wharfedale with two streams and numerous paths radiating from it. After some debate as to which side of the stream we should follow (either is possible) and which path, we eventually found a sign to Great Whernside and then the navigating is straightforward – head straight up! P1120163It is important to keep looking back to capture the views back to Kettlewell and Wharefdale and even me! With high winds forecast, I had deliberately worn my Rohan ‘anti- wind hat’, which would only blow off if my head blew off as well. IMG_E2760 P1120164Eventually after much climbing we reached Hag Dyke Hostel which, at 1533 feet, has the highest chapel in England. The hostel is one of the highest in England. However, the highest hostel accolade goes to Skiddaw House in the Lake District at 1550 feet (which I have stayed in). P1120166P1120168P1120169After our coffee and banana break on a sheltered bench next to the chapel, we continued our ascent with increasing winds.

Again the views were better looking backP1120172We arrived at the summit at 11.42am for a customary, but windy, photoshoot. Its summit is the highest point of the Eastern flank of Wharfedale at 2,310 feet (704 metres) which might explain the high winds. It was ‘blowing a hoolie’.

They say the camera never lies, but am I really so much bigger than Geordie Caz or have I been inflated by the wind? IMG_E2761 Continuing along the summit ridge we left it on a descending signed path just before a pile of stones. P1120177The wind was whistling up the valley and it was quite difficult to stand at times. It was certainly strength sapping.

We eventually descended to where we had got to on the last Inn Way walk and stopped for lunch in shelter from the wind. After lunch we resumed the Inn Way route above towards the Starbottom  Road (track) and Cam Head. The views along Wharfedale were stunning. P1120178We then had a lovely descent down the Top Mere Raod to KettlewellP1120179P1120181However, the stony track is a bit hard on the feet. But nature finds a way of surviving even on stony tracks.P1120182A really good circular walk. We now only had about 12 miles to walk to the end of the Inn Way at Grassington. We might even use our bus passes one way to do that section next time.

Of course I had an extra spring in my step on this walk as, after having been told I had skin cancer (sun related as walkers are in the high risk group) a few weeks ago and had minor surgery, I had since, after further post surgery tests, been told that in fact I hadn’t in fact had or got cancer. My good looks (what goods looks I hear you say?) might even return after a little healing in the winds of Yorkshire. I will of course continue to wear one of my 14 hats and apply sun cream liberally. And so should you in the sun.  

Miles Walked  10

Calories Burnt 3320

Steps 21,679 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Three Peaks of Yorkshire at ‘Bus Pass Age’.

Post 270: 16 June 2018

I sat quietly reading the Rescue 2018 booklet of Incidents Attended during 2017 in the area of the The Three Peaks of Yorkshire. The peaks are Pen-y-ghent (694 m or 2,277 fit), Whernside (736 m or 2,415 ft) and Ingleborough (723 m or 2,372 ft). The challenge is to walk to the summits of each of the peaks in less than 12 hours. The walk covers a distance of 23.3 (37.5km) to 26.1 Miles (42 km), depending on the route taken.

Here are some of the reports:

Male Age 68 – Walker was reported to have passed out and then regained consciousness…Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO) carried him by stretcher to a waiting air ambulance.

Male Age 79 – A walker was reported to be in difficulty near the summit of Whernside. It appeared he had tripped and fallen. He was assisted to an air ambulance.

Male Age 78 – suffered a lower leg injury and was unable to progress to the top of Whernside. He was carried on a stretcher back to team vehicles and driven to a road ambulance.

Male walker aged 82 – requested help due to feeling faint when trying to walk. He was reported to have fallen earlier. He was brought down in a private vehicle.

Male aged 70 – was reported to have collapsed on the path. The helicopter flew him to hospital.

Male aged 68 – felt unwell, approaching the summit of Pen-y-ghent but continued to the top. Very soon after beginning the descent, he collapsed and lost consciousness. Despite CPR he did not recover.

Female aged 66 – slipped, while descending the stone-pitched path from Ingleborough falling and rolling 30m to sustain head, hand and leg injuries. She was flown to hospital.

Male aged 68 collapsed with chest pains… he was carried by stretcher to a road ambulance.

Female aged 73 had fallen and injured her ankle. She was extracted by vehicle.

Dan, the next poor young and innocent ‘victim’, sat opposite me at breakfast quite unaware of the contents of the Rescue book. Actually he wasn’t even that young, being of ‘bus pass age’. 

IMG_2738I say ‘victim’ because I felt a little bit responsible for encouraging him to attempt the Three Peaks.  For many years I had cajoled him into attempting this great Yorkshire  Challenge, without success. He had lived in the ‘flatlands’ or ‘lowlands’ of Suffolk and Norwich, where the best thing to recently come out of the area, as far I can tell, is Ed Sheeran. 

I can only think that he was a late developer when it came to walking and now he was making up for lost time.  Males tend to have a lot of competitive ‘banter’ when walking, unlike when walking with females where I find there isn’t the competitive element. It is interesting that there are far fewer females who appear in the Rescue Reports.

After two previous successful Three Peak walks, I last completed the Three Peaks on 20 June 1998 in 7 hours 56 minutes, at the young age of 46. I felt I would never better that time and so retired from the activity! That’s my excuse.

However, in Dan’s favour he had a pretty impressive walking CV:

Trek to Everest Base Camp

Near summiting of Mont Blanc, only missing the summit because his walking partner, who he was roped to, was taken ill.

High route from Chamonix to Zermatt trek.

The second half of my ‘On Foot from Coast to Coast: The North of England Way’ 

Circuit of Mont Blanc. 

Climbed Kilminjaro

Critically, three weeks ago, he had completed Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast (192-200 miles depending on the route taken).

I pointed out to him in our ‘competitive banter’ that he couldn’t really be considered to be a ‘proper serious walker’, unless he completed The Three Peaks of Yorkshire.  After completing coast to coast he was probably as fit as he would ever be and the Three Peaks were as dry as they had ever been and therefore this was his best and possibly only ever chance.  The forecast was reasonable too – low cloud, if a little breezy. At least it wouldn’t be too hot!

At the last minute he booked his bed and breakfast at Middle Studford Farm (about a mile from the start Horton-in-Ribblesdale). This was an inspired choice as when I later joined him I thought it was one of, if not the best, bed and breakfast I had stayed in, especially for walkers (more of that later). .

We parked near the church with the first peak Pen- y- ghent looming in the background. P1120154Then Dan clocked in at the Pen-ghent Cafe at 8.30am.P1120153P1040689As we ascended a couple of youngsters had not got their dog on a lead and it ran off, uncontrolled, to chase sheep. We were very concerned about that. They did recover the dog so hopefully no damage was done to the sheep. Some people do need to take more control of their dogs.P1040690Standing below the increasingly steep path with rain starting I think Dan had some thoughts. Such as ‘What the heck am I doing here?”  P1120142However, with a bit of ‘winding up’ he soon started to smile again. P1120143Soon after I donned full waterproofs as the wind and rain increased, Dan confessed to having left his waterproof trousers at home. Several points deducted there and jokes and banter about living in the flat lowlands he wouldn’t be aware of the vagaries of the weather in the northern hills and how tough it is ‘Up North’.

There is then a steepish rock scramble where care is needed when it is wet. With the wind now making us both look like ‘Michelin Men’, we managed a quick photoshoot at the summit. P1120146P1120149Before descending amongst the mist and rain. Not what we had anticipated given the forecasts. P1120150At the bottom I departed for my bacon butties in the Pen-y-ghent Cafe and Dan carried on towards Whernside.  This was my second breakfast as I had got up at 4.45am and had a early breakfast to drive 2 hours to the bed and breakfast on time. The sun came out and all was well with the world again!

P1120151P1120152Except that a youngster was hobbling down the track a couple of inches every 5 minutes with two trekking poles either side. I asked if he  was okay and had he taken pain killers, which he had.  I asked if he was still in pain and he said, presumably referring to his girlfriend, she was the pain!

He said he had sprained his ankle, a reminder that 3 Peaks walks are a serious challenge even for the young, perhaps more so because of their inexperience. Even though he had good boots on, I thought he had broken his ankle as his foot was at a very extreme ankle. He then said a land-rover was coming to pick him up and I suggested he stop and wait for it to arrive. I passed the land-rover about 10 minutes later on the way down and advised them where I had last seen him.

I met up with Dan in a lay-by after Nether Lodge and Hunter Hill, which looks up towards the second peak, Whernside. It is sometimes described as a beached whale and who would ever want to climb a beached whale? P1040692Dan was going well and would go even better after he had some of my home-made Mary Berry fruit cake. It has miraculous properties (brandy) and would guarantee he got to the end. It is even rumoured it got me a free holiday in Bavaria, but that is another story…. P1050618_9627_edited-1I was then able to track him on his ascent of Whernside using my big zoom camera lens. P1040691P1040692That’s Dan with the bright orange rucksack cover and white trousers (well they were white when he started). P1040693P1040694I did photograph some walkers on the summit ridge at 14.05. This reminded me of the last sightings of Mallory going to the top of Everest, to perish there. P1040695P1040696Dan indicated he summited with this photograph at 14.35. Crucial evidence if he was to satisfy the Ethic’s Committee of his completion of the 3 peaks.IMG_20180617_143734517It was to be several hours before I was to see him again. I waited in the car (catching up on sleep) just after the pub, north-east of Chapel le Dale.

I wandered over to look at the local bull and cows, a lime kiln and the last peak, Ingleborough.

P1120157P1120155P1120156P1120158However, Dan took the lower route directly opposite Chapel le Dale. I had no telephone signal and so at 16.40 I decided to head to the next rendezvous point after his descent from Ingleborough.

Dan later confirmed he summited Ingleborough at 17.20pm. I need to give him some photography training for, when under pressure and tired, his photograph is a bit out of focus.  IMG_20180617_172437682_HDRHis final summit time came in just after I had started a sweepstake amongst walking friends as to what time he would finish. Huge stakes of £1 per bet. Bets of finishing time ranged from mine of 10 hours 30 minutes (too optimistic as the weather closed in) up to 11 hours 45 minutes. No one bet on him not finishing!

However, given the weather conditions as seen from my car (and no doubt much worse at higher altitude) I starting working on a contingency plan – Plan B. After 10 hours 30 mins I had lost my sweepstake and so put my mind to less urgent matters.

What happens if he slips on the wet rock or grass or gets lost in the poor visibility? I decided I would make a decision after 12 hours, that is 20.30. If the conditions were still bad and he hadn’t turned up I would contact Mountain Rescue. He could be appearing in next years Rescue booklet! Fame at last. IMG_2743 But Then, like a mole appearing from the ground, a little head appeared! P1040698Then a very determined person. P1040699Then on spotting my Volvo a tired smile (I keep telling him to swop his VW for a Volvo).P1040700All that remained now was to walk another 10 minutes to the Pen-y-ghent Cafe to book in at the end, whilst I drove there!

Every picture tells a story and what a story this was. He finished at 19.28. Total time of a very respectable 10 hours 58 minutes given the poor conditions at the start and finish. At least one much younger group gave up after Whernside because of the weather conditions. IMG_2750The evening was finished off with a fabulous meal at the bed and breakfast cooked to order by the excellent chef owner. Even fruit crumble and ice-cream one of my favourites, not forgetting our first courses of delicious sweet potato soup and mushrooms garlic and tomato, all washed down with a well earned bottle of wine. I had been up since 4.45am! IMG_2751IMG_2753

IMG_2754As I said one of the best bed and breakfasts I have stayed in.

Did I think Dan would complete the walk in 12 hours? I put my prediction in his birthday card which he will open on Saturday. Another year gone past the ‘bus pass age’.

Miles Walked:

Dan 23 to 26

Me 10     

I was saving myself for Great Whernside on the Inn Way next day with Carol Caz and Sid the Yorkshireman – blog to follow.

PS I have suggested that Dan HAS to now to climb Great Whernside and Little Whernside (the boggy one). No doubt he will accept the challenge before he is 70, by which time we might have him trained as a serious walker.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 12 – The Inn Way – Intermarrying, Oh deer, Bale Jail, No Potholes, The Tour de Yorkshire, Nearly a Mountain, Deadman’s Hill.

Post 269: 13 June 2018

We arrived at Horsehouse in Coverdale at about 8.45am and started walking at just after 9.00am. Horseshouse developed as an overnight stop for packhorses and stage coaches and once had two inns. This is now a remote valley little visited. It is not surprising that in years gone by there would have been a lot of intermarrying. We passed the Thwaite Arms, which is the 21st pub on the Inn Way route.

P1120086We then passed an old Wesleyan Chapel that had been converted to 3 bedroomed accommodation and was on the market for £389,950. P1120087A lime kiln, built before 1850, was in excellent condition. Lime burning required a temperature of 800-900 degrees centigrade.  Lime was mostly spread on the land (usually moorland) for creating new pasture or for improving existing pasture. P1120088P1120089Ponies and highland cattle are grazed at ArklesideP1120093P1120094As we headed up the valley we crossed the River Cover a couple of times.

There were a couple of oystercatchers hidden amongst the rocks (look carefully).P1120099Some sheep had taken up residence in a barn.

I suggested we stop by the river for our coffee and banana break away from the cool wind. I also said we might see some more wildlife. We were delighted when a deer came and fed in front of us for some considerable time, unaware we were there. P1120113Delaying our departure until it had passed we continued along past Woodale Farm to join the quiet lane.P1120114It was time to find some entertainment as road walking can be hard on the feet and distractions take the mind off it. Also it is one way of stopping intermarrying. P1120115 We noticed there were no potholes and the road was perfect.P1120117P1120118Then we remembered the Tour de Yorkshire came through here recently and I had come over from the ‘t’other’ side of the hill ahead at Park Rash. I was there! P1040148P1040200The roads are re-tarmaced for the cycling. So if you have potholes just need to get the Tour to go through your roads.

The road used to be an important monastic route before becoming a part of the busy packhorse route from London to Richmond. It was changed due to the hairy, scary experience of going up Park Rash, which incidentally was also the steepest climb of the Tour de Yorkshire. There is such a history in these hills, which is still being added to now with the now annual iconic Tour de Yorkshire! This is now the second most viewed cycle race in Europe after the Tour de France and its seems strange that it follows old packhorse routes. 

We only had to walk up the hill, which reaches a height of  1650 feet (503 metres)!  

We eventually reached Hunter’s Stone, believed to have ben placed there by the monks of of Coverham Abbey to help guide them over the moorland. The stone reputably has strange powers. When the clock strikes 12 at nearby Hunters Hall, also known as Coverhead Farm, the stone spins round!

We reached the bridleway at Little Hunters Sleet about 6 miles from Horsehouse and now had to find a route back to the car. We decided on the scenic, high route over Little Whernside at 1981 feet  (604 metres). Only 19 feet short of a mountain, and only 11 feet short if you include my 6 foot height.

We would also head over Dead Man’s Hill where the odd murder takes place now and again.

It can only be described as a demanding route and not to be recommended in winter or early spring when the peat bogs can be very difficult. Believe I know from past experiences up there! However, after the fine weather we had been having recently it was tiring, but enjoyable.

P1120123P1120124P1120125P1120127The views to Scar House Reservoir made it worth it. The height of the water in the reservoir reflects the dry weather we have had recently. IMG_2708P1120128By the time I got to Deadman’s Hill I was ‘dead on my feet’.

P1120134IMG_2712Little Whernside looks quite flat topped when your dead. P1120129At least Sid the Yorkshireman didn’t chop my head off as happened to these poor folks. He realised I don’t carry much money on walks. P1110941All that remained was a descent to Horsehouse and a visit to the church.

An excellent if somewhat tiring walk. It was an early bath when I got home.

Miles Walked 13.5

Calories 4,171

Steps 30,161

Day 2 – The Keswick Mountain Festival 2018 – Derwentwater Circuit, Mel C Tops the Bill.

Post 268: 8th June 2018

The forecast for Saturday was again good and having noticed this walk on a noticeboard near Derwentwater I decided I would attempt it and perhaps add on Cat Bells.

IMG_E2657After a hearty full English Breakfast I set off and bought tuna and salad wholemeal bread and oat and date slice from the Laura in the Lakes Cafe just before the main pedestrianised street rises to the Moot Hall. This proved to be a good choice as both were delicious and they were well packed so that they didn’t get damaged in my rucksack. I would strongly recommend it, particularly for walkers.  I went back the following day. IMG_2684I arrived lakeside at 9.30am.

P1120075P1120077The walk continues to Friar’s Crag. P1120044Where there are fine views across Derwentwater towards the Jaws of Borrowdale.P1120046I passed a beach area where sheep were ambling to get water. P1120047P1120048I then encountered runners heading in the opposite direction to me. P1120050Further delightful lakeside views appeared. The walking was a lot easier than Skiddaw the previous day.P1120051P1120054I passed the Lodore Falls Hotel, which is undergoing considerable improvement. Maybe UNESCO World Heritage status is encouraging more wealthy visitors to the area. P1120058

P1120061Opposite some outdoor types were ‘hanging around’.P1120060I then crossed over to the other side of Derwentwater.

To begin the ascent of Cat Bells. 

P1120066P1120067IMG_E2660I stopped on the summit for lunch, at which points the rains came. I donned full waterproofs and carried on with my lunch, whilst everyone else seemed to depart quickly.

The descent on the Keswick side is quite steep, rocky and, when wet, slippy, so I decided to descend on the gentler but longer walk I had just come up (Borrowdale side).

The walk along the lakeside seemed very long and it was very tempting to catch a boat back to Keswick but I resisted as I wanted to complete the circuit of Derwentwater.

After a rest and shower I headed for the traditional fish and chips outside and did they taste nice. An ice-cream restored energy too and it was concert time again. d5b4c651-9576-48ca-8053-bfd8e33ba32dI got an uncomfortable patch of grass on my walking mat. IMG_2663IMG_2664Then the fun started.

P1040650P1040651P1040652P1040653Finally, the ‘star’ singer arrived Mel C. and although I would not specifically choose to go and see her she certainly had a presence on stage, given her Spice Girl CV. She even sang an Ed Sheeran song (see earlier video on Secret Diaries).

The large crowd liked her.

Another good day finishing again at 10.30pm.

Miles Walked 15

Calories Burnt 3995

Steps 31,825

Day 3, 9 June 2019 

I was awake at about 7am to go and get the Sunday papers and Keswick was pretty quiet.

P1120073P1120074P1120080

P1040685It was such a lovely morning I wandered down to the lake where it was far from quiet. Triathlon participants were getting ready! e7c45132-4038-4bc1-aee4-48f5657a6de7P1120079Exhausted by the sight I popped back to the bed and breakfast for breakfast, packed the car and then returned to the festival area.P1120081It was warming up and I was delighted to get a free iced frocunut.

I had my final talk at just after 11.00am by Emma Brennand who was a producer for Planet Earth II. P1120082IMG_E2683She covered Mountains and Islands and was excellent. P1120084I finish with some of her good advice – Don’t Look Down! P1120085I then headed to the Midlands to visit my mother.

A very enjoyable weekend. They had by now had about 5 weeks of dry weather.

Apparently the previous year was a washout. Now that’s the Keswick I used to visit when I worked on one dry day for every two wet days.

Global Warming? 

 

 

 

 

Day 1 – The Keswick Mountain Festival 2018 – an Operation First, Climbing Skiddaw, Inspirational Talks, A Concert, an 18 Hour Day, The Cancer that Wasn’t.

Post 267: 8 June 2018

I woke up at 4.45am having set my alarm clock for 5.00am.  A certain madness was creeping into my life again as who in their right minds would get up at 4.45am to go for a walk?

You guessed it me – I was off to the Mountain Festival in Keswick. I had tried to go a few years ago but had to cancel due to family illness. My daughter and son-in-law had been able to use our tickets on that occasion.

The trip was in jeopardy again as I had to have minor surgery on 5 June on my nose (it always was too big, but this seemed a bit drastic). I had been advised it was to remove the dreaded cancer. During the surgery I had received a local anaesthetic and sedative and I think it is the only time in my life when I had an experience which must be akin to taking drugs (I have never taken drugs so I am guessing). I had one surreal moment, when presumably the surgeon was cutting out the cancer, when I asked if I could have some Ed Sheeran songs on and the nurses happily obliged. I had no pain and with all the smiling chatty nurses it was quite an enjoyable experience. That is until I saw the stitched in dressing on my nose which looked like a ‘carbuncle’ and which I would have to ‘wear’ for 2 weeks during the healing process.

The one consolation about going to the festival is that I wouldn’t meet anyone I knew and so no one I knew would see my good looks temporarily affected (what good looks? I hear to say). Of course sod’s law I did meet someone I knew at the festival and they asked me how I was and I said ‘fine’, not giving any explanation as to why I had what looked like a ‘carbuncle’ on my nose. They didn’t like to ask so the conversation was very short.

I left York at 5.55am and with traffic free roads and Ed Sheeran blasting out on my car CD arrived at Latrigg Car Park (free parking unlike in Keswick and it saves a few hundred feet of ascent – Sid the Yorkshireman would approve it) in bright warm sunshine at 8am. I took some photographs of my intended walk – Skiddaw. The fourth highest mountain in the Lake District at 3054 feet.

Given that I had last summited Skiddaw on 5 August 1989 and that I am a ‘wee bit older’ now this would be a challenge. However, I had not long come back from the Bavarian Alps, had climbed a mountain of 5650 feet there, had mild altitude sickness three times   and hence had some ‘altitude training’ which is supposed to help.

I had a brief chat with someone in the car park who had not long taken up wild camping using his car and a tent. He seemed to think that he could continue doing it in winter! I was not so sure.

I started the long climb up Skiddaw at about 8.30am. I adopted the technique my ‘guide’ Victoria in Bavaria has for climbing mountains, which is a steady slow pace (well that’s my excuse). This seemed to work well and I was able to admire the views at the same time.

As I got higher the views got better towards the Lakeland Fells, Keswick and Derwentwater.  With the fine weather I felt almost as though I was back in Tegernsee and the Bavarian Alps (described by Holiday Fellowship quite rightly as the German Lake District) . What had happened to the windy, colder wet weather that I had more often than not experienced in the past on the Lakeland Fells?

As well as Derwentwater, there were breathtaking views towards the Helvellyn range – I was in for a good day! ‘The early bird catches the worm’ and it was not too hot yet either.

P1110998P1120001Even the sheep were admiring the views instead of eating grass!

Little Man came into view, my first destination. P1120010I soon reached the top and again the views were stunning. I had hit the jackpot! Also I felt very strong and full of energy. P1120012P1120014I descended Little Man to pick up the ridge to the summit of Skiddaw with Bassenthwaite lake coming into view.

At 11.20am I reached the summit of Skiddaw, waved to some friends who live on the coast (they reckoned that can see the summit from their house) and fortunately managed to find someone to take a photograph whilst I tried to hide my ‘carbuncle’.  I think the altitude training had worked as I didn’t feel tired. P1120024P1120027Then it was time for an early lunch whilst looking at Blencathra in the distance. I put extra clothing on as it was a tad cooler. I was very happy.

P1120026I then descended past the sheep to book into my bed and breakfast in the centre of Keswick. P1120029It was very convenient in the centre of Keswick, with parking included (saving about £10 a day). c237cf29-523b-462b-9673-8c3a53a239ddThere are excellent views from the bedrooms and the full English Breakfasts are very good too (not necessarily for my waistline however).

At about 3.30pm I suddenly remembered that I had some booked talks to go to. Alan Hinkes at 4.00pm.

IMG_2675Alan Hinkes, OBE, a Yorkshireman of course, remains the ONLY British person to have climbed the world’s 14 highest mountains at over 8,000 metres. Many people who attempt it die. A simply remarkable achievement. Had he been Italian, German or Swiss he would be a national hero and a millionaire.  Our national sporting heroes tend to be David Beckham’s or Olympians.

His talk was as inspiring and funny as ever. His book 8,000 Metres is a remarkable record of a remarkable achievement. He has not only climbed these incredible mountains he also takes stunning photographs, whilst in the ‘Death Zone’.

p1050518I then just had time before the next talk by Adam Humphreys to head to one of my favourite pubs The Dog and Gun for one of my favourite post walk meals, Ghoulash. 

I had burnt up a lot of calories and it was consumed very quickly, followed by chocolate fudge cake and ice-cream. IMG_E2630I then had some inspirational talks to go to. IMG_2676Namely Mark Beaumont who has the World record for cycling around the World in 80 days and has done it twice! Quite remarkable. I still have to read his book, which I already have at home, when I can find the time!

P1120036P1120037Surely having been up at 4.45am and it now being 9pm, I could ‘retire’ quietly to my bed and breakfast for a snooze? Of course not –  there was an outdoor concert to go to.IMG_E2674I needed a seat and found one!IMG_E2646 Despite my ‘carbuncle’ a very chatty Swiss lady, now living in Leicester, came and sat next to me. She was keen to move to somewhere in the country like the Lake District but had a new job in Derby and so was tied to that area for sometime yet. She was due to run in a 10k race next day.

Unfortunately, the ‘stand’ was fenced off later in the evening and we lost our ideal seat.

The views were again fabulous towards Cat Bells as the sun dropped in the sky.

 

IMG_E2641The concert finished at about 10.30pm and I headed off for some sleep!

It had been quite a day!  An 18 hour fun packed day in fact.

Miles Walked 9.34

Steps 19,746

Calories Burnt 9.34

Update: on the 12 June my ‘carbuncle’ dressing was removed and the ‘surgery wound’ was healing well.  The good but surprising news was that I had not and did not have any cancer!!! 

Even more surprising was it hadn’t even been necessary to have had an operation and it had been a clinical misdiagnosis! I was in a state of shock. 

However, I am pretty optimistic that my good looks will return! 

 

 

Day 11 – The Inn Way – Bavarian Rhubarb Cake in the Dales?! A Symphony from Curlews, A Couple of Fairies amongst the Cotton Grass ‘Snow’, The Yorkshire Disappearing Drinks Trick, A Cuckoo, ‘The Real Angel of the North’.

Post 266: 7 June 2018: The Inn Way, Yorkshire Dales, West Burton to Horsehouse

After 10 fabulous days in Upper Bavaria and some minor surgery on my face (which I have since learnt wasn’t necessary!) my feet were just starting to get back on the ground again, even if my good looks were temporarily affected by the surgery (or more the dressing). “What good looks?”, I hear you say.

So after a slightly later than normal start (8.15am) due to Alf’s car repair Geordie Caz, Sid the Yorkshireman, Alf and myself left for West Burton to resume The Inn Way.

There was some discussion as to the route out of West Burton as surprisingly The Inn Way route doesn’t include the beautiful waterfall there, although it is mentioned in the guide book as a ‘detour’ there and back. We decided we would visit it on our route on the way back. We climbed a very quiet lane above the lovely Valley of Walden (Valley of the Welsh as native tribes were known) and Walden Beck. IMG_2596We stopped for some Bavarian rhubarb crumble cake, a recipe I had picked up from Victoria’s mother in Bavaria. It seemed to go down well. IMG_2598It is an incredibly quiet valley as the road leads to nowhere except to the end of the road at Nell Bank and the flanks of Buckden Pike. 

 

Leaving the lane and ascending further, we came to an area that in 1992 James Herriot described as:

‘It was an empty landscape where no creature stirred and it was silent except for the cry of a distant bird, yet I felt a further surge of excitement in the solitude, a tingling sense of the nearness of all creation.”

Alf and Sid the Yorkshireman got excited (it doesn’t take much to excite them) at the swathes of cotton grass, which seemed like falling snow.  P1110927P1110928However, what got us all excited was the symphony of haunting curlew and lapwing calls, which were to remain with us for the rest of the day. In this remote area I think we had found the curlew centre of the UK.

As we descended towards Coverdale some rhododrendons came in view, quite out of character in the remote wilderness.P1110931 P1110932P1110933Again the cotton grass ‘snow’ appeared:P1110934James Herriot’s wife Helen said that it is one of her favourite places:

“…high above the tree-lined Walden Beck, is to escape easily from the workaday world. And if you leave your car and walk the old path over the moor till the fell tilts into Coverdale and the vast stream-furrowed face of Little Whernside rears up across the valley you will be richly rewarded.” P1110936P1110937One of the rewards is the pub the Thwaite Arms at our Inn Way destination of Horsehouse. Not to mention lunch. Sid the Yorkshireman came up with the great idea of buying us a drink in the pub, only to ‘discover’ he hadn’t brought any money! It’s an old Yorkshire trick.

P1110938 There is a lot of history to the tiny and little known village.P1110939P1110940P1110941P1110942P1110943P1110944P1110945P1110946The church offers prayer for cyclists. No wonder northern cyclists are so good!

 

The peonies in the village were out, but mine in York weren’t. They were also out in Bavaria!IMG_2599 On the route back to the car the ‘white’ turned to ‘yellow’ as we headed through meadows towards the River Cover (which eventually leads to my North of England Way walk). Simply stunning. P1110950P1110951P1110952Ascending from the river we came across a remote lime kiln in excellent condition. P1110955The views back to the secluded Coverdale were glorious. P1110956I don’t think I have ever seen a hedgehog on a walk before, which the local sheep found fascinating. P1110963After speaking to a local farmer the ascent was relentless towards the Howden Shooting Lodge, where a cuckoo welcomed our arrival to add to the symphony from the curlews. Quite incredible sounds in this remote wilderness. P1110965P1110968We then descended to Bowber End,P1110974P1110975where we found ‘The Real Angel of the North’Goerdie Caz. P1110976Looking back there was a lot of tree planting going on. P1110977Near the bottom we encountered, a lead smelting mill in good condition,

sheep being herded to pensP1110980and the lovely West Burton Falls, also known as Cauldron Falls, where Walden Beck cascades over rocks in an amphitheatre. It is a favourite among photographers as it is near parking and many photographers don’t like to walk far to get a shot – they miss so much! P1110985Entering West Burton there were welcoming coloursP1110987 and the Cat Pottery!

A fine walk indeed in good weather.

A traffic jam on the way home.

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Miles Walked 12.7

Calories Burnt 4,382

Steps 29,377

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 10 – ’10 Days of Walking in Bavaria’ – A Dawn Start, The Royal Wedding, Another Wedding, Auf Wiedersehen Pet

Post 265: 19/20 May 2018. 

I was now on such a high after a great holiday that I didn’t want to miss any photographic opportunities in the little time left. I had one full day left.

However, Victoria and myself had planned to have a relaxing last day as the forecast for later wasn’t brilliant and we thought we would watch The Royal Wedding, also known as The Wedding of the Year, as Victoria knew I was an expert on such matters (author’s licence).

In the morning my mind had different ideas and I sensed at about 5.00am, when the birds were singing, that it was going to be a good dawn. Victoria would be snoozing until at least 8am and so I had some time to myself and headed down to the lake taking this first photograph at about 5.48am.  P1110882This time of the day when you have the world to yourself, in a peaceful setting, is awe inspiring. I wandered quietly along the lake. A tear or two fell, not for the first time on this holiday.

I felt so lucky to be able to visit this lovely location and that Victoria and her family had been so kind and welcoming to me. P1110883P1040570P1040571P1040569

5e4c2369-e9d9-4f0d-b9f4-10db7bba1247P1040566It was simply gorgeous. Even at this time of the morning there was glorious colourful meadows and the sun was warming me. I was spellbound. P1110884P1040575P1040576P1040577However, I was not completely alone and I was surprised to see people paddling in the lake. I enquired if it was possible to join them but, not being a member of the nearby orthopaedic clinic, I was advised to try further down the lake. It was members only! So even the Lake here has healing properties! P1040573 So I carried on with my photography as the light grew stronger.52ef290e-6c8d-435e-b307-f4a99f2245b9P1040578P1040579P1040572 IMG_2432As it got towards 8.30am, I decided the best of the day, photographically, was over and decided to head back to ‘my flat’ (Victoria’s) for my warming porridge, blueberries and cinnamon all cooked in a saucepan.

I passed the chess pieces in the grounds of the clinic, one of my favourite activities when I was younger.f35708fb-2bcb-48b0-aa4c-22267b4d5be2A bit later on Victoria emerged and I can’t remember for the life me what my second breakfast was!

It was not long until the beer was opened as the Royal Wedding appeared on TV. My excuse is that I was in Bavaria, a home of beer, and there was a Royal Wedding to celebrate!

After the wedding Victoria had a bit of fresh food shopping to do and so I had a word with her mother and borrowed a hoover to clean Victoria’s flat, which I had been using. Victoria would not have given me permission.

After lunch we went for a final walk around Tegernsee to see the church and of course have a final ice-cream (or so I thought).

There was a wedding on at the church, the latter being beautifully decorated! For this couple it was their wedding of the year, indeed of a life-time. P1040580P1040581It looked like a little child had enough of weddings for the day and was trying to escape – not like me of course! IMG_2443

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It was time for the final ice-cream sitting by the lake.

Victoria had an easy walk planned going back to her flat, but it was somewhat higher level than I was expecting for a ‘restful day’! But very beautiful. P1040572

IMG_2445P1040584P1040586I was then told that Victoria’s parents had invited myself and all the family for a final evening meal of slow cooked roast pork, and beer of course.

As well as enjoying fabulous food, we had many laughs about the funny incidents and ‘lost in translations’ of the holiday, not least Victoria’s car, an Astra, being mistaken back in the UK for a secret child (well these are Secret Diaries). Also “Where had the time gone?”. “We left it on the street”.

The surprise came at the end – a delicious ice-cream selection with that ‘stimulating’ egg liquor on top. I must get some!

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20 May 2018

The next morning it was time to head home with much thankfulness, but sadness too. There seemed to be one traditional dish I had forgot to have. White sausage, pretzels (breze in German) and mustard sauce.

But no – Victoria came up with the goods and showed me how to cook and skin the sausage. It was delicious.a77e2ce0-0183-4b40-9a5e-550bcf0f4f6dThere were even some pretzels left to take to the airport. They originated possibly amongst the monks in Europe in the Middle Ages.

All that remained was for Victoria to drive me to Munich Airport and say farewell and for me to land at Manchester Airport, where there was train chaos due to timetabling changes! It was so good to be back in England!

In conclusion, I would just like to thank Victoria and her family, without whom and their incredible kindness and hospitality, this memorable and throughly enjoyable holiday would not have taken place. It is a holiday that will live with me for the remainder of my life, due partly to the fantastic landscapes and experiences but mainly the kindness and thoughtfulness of my hosts.

Not forgetting my thanks to the cat who avoided me most of the time and was very pleased when I had left so as to be able to reclaim its favourite location!c0d1f99a-fdd3-4cb6-abc8-ccaa54b243f3I intend next time I visit to get a Lederhosen! Honest! With my legs Bavaria will be set alight! IMG_2089I do hope the ‘Bavarian Sagas’ will continue. After I got back to England, Victoria sent me a photograph of the peony I had given her Mom and it had flowered. That is a start…ef170dc6-431c-4d36-99b0-19e8e6155402I will end with a great thanks to Victoria who was my driver, guide, chef, organiser, walk route planner, accommodation provider and friend. Without her the holiday would not have taken place. 

Miles Walked 7.2

Total Miles Walked for the Whole Journey 80.6 

“One photograph can be the start – but a series of photographs can make a journey.”

Who said that?

Me of course.