Thursday, 2 June 2011

Day 5 Shap to Kirkby Stephen 20 miles

the M6 footbridge

We woke up after a good nights sleep and had our breakfast of cereal, toast and tea, both preferring to avoid the full English option before a days hiking and set sail for Kirkby Stephen and saying goodbye to the Lake District, and I can say we were quite glad, as nice as it is those crags, rocks and climbs had taken there toll on my knee and Sarah’s feet.

We set off at 08:45 and once we crossed the M6 foot bridge navigation had to be closely watched as the exposed heather moor had no obvious path, and I have never walked outside the lakes on this walk from now on, the rain and wind stuck with us for the morning and we soon caught up with Martin who was studying his map with Sharon near a small forest.

elevation profile

 Martin and Sharon split off and headed for Orton to check in with their support team Kerry , Pedro and Paul, while we decided to press on over Ravenstonedale moor, as we did the weather improved and the rain and wind seemed to back off somewhat. As we stopped for lunch Roe and Hayden arrived and we chatted for a while and stuck with them for the remainder of the day. It was a pleasant but long walk on to Kirkby Stephen that afternoon as the sun even came out around 15:00 and we got a view of the nine standards rigg on the horizon.

a very welcome sight at the end of 20miles

We arrived in Kirkby Stephen at 17:15 after another long days walking, but in good sprits. We checked in to our lovely B&B Fletchers House and were shown around by Gillian the owner, we were offered tea and cake and had our own on suite, great stuff, Sarah was over the moon!!  We then popped out to wash some clothes at the laundrette.

Sean, Roe & Hayden
We ate at the Black Bull Hotel which to be honest was a little disappointing, in particular Sarah’s duck looked like it had been cooked for a week on a BBQ and was about as dry as a duck could get, whilst the potatoes would have looked more at home orbiting earth as meteorites.  We met up with Hayden and Roe for a few drinks afterwards in the Kings Arms which was nice, although also a little sad as our walk plans meant we would not see them again after today as they were pressing on a few more miles than us in the morning. So we ensured we had contact details so we could keep in touch, they also sponsored our charity Francis House which was extremely nice of them, thanks guys!!

The forecast for the next day was……….yep, you guessed it, storm force gales and heavy rain…great. So once again we changed our accommodation plans and upgraded to bunk house for tomorrow night, and felt quite lucky to be able to get in somewhere at such short notice.

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