Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Day 6 Kirkby Stephen to Keld 12 ¾ Miles

We woke in an extremely warm room, which in fairness had been converted into drying room for the night to dry out our freshly washed gear. We headed down for breakfast at 8am, a bit later than usual as today was a little shorter than the days past, so we took the chance of a later start!
We had the usual cereal and toast whilst chatting to Ian and Charles over breakfast about their walk so far. Charles was still struggling with blisters, so their plan for today was to follow the B6270 all the way to Keld, avoiding too many climbs and hopefully keeping their feet dry, Charles was also going to try to see a Doctor in Kirkby Stephen before hitting the trail this morning.
After breakfast we set off towards Franks Bridge, as we did we spotted a small outdoors shop in the village which I wanted to visit, over the last few days of heavy rain my left boot had developed a small leak, whilst I knew that new boots would carry increased blister risk, I was still interested to see what was on offer. Before we entered the very small shop I said to Sarah “don’t mention my leaking boot for god’s sake” knowing I was a sucker for buying things I didn’t need at the best of times, and didn’t want the shop owner to know this.
After a quick look around I decided to press on with my old trusty boots, Sarah managed to pick up some warm leggings, so a beneficial visit overall.  As we walked over Franks Bridge we noticed a sign at the side of the bridge indicting it was still 108 miles to Robin Hoods Bay from this point, still a fair old way then we thought, with mixed emotions.
As we climbed the conditions stayed dry and actually improved with great scenery looking back towards Kirkby Stephen and the surrounding landscape, conditions improved to the point where the shorts were out and water proofs off, which was something of a novelty to us after the recent weather.
As we climbed towards Hartley Fell we could quite clearly make out the Nine Standards Rigg, which we were glad of as we had no intentions of climbing to see them. The bogs up and around the Nine Standards are notorious at the best of times, and with the recent rain fall and leaking boot I didn’t want to entertain them today. We followed the green route which was a nice walk with great views today, after a while the heavens inevitably opened so on went the water proofs, although nice and clean water proofs after our laundrette visit the night before.  
We continued to press on through the rain, eventually joining the B6270 road which would lead us directly to Keld. After taking a couple of photo’s as we crossed from Cumbria to Yorkshire, another milestone, we took shelter in a disused stone hut and shared a chicken and bacon butty we’d picked up in Kirkby Stephen last night, it wasn’t the most glamorous of lunch stops on route as the rain continued to poor from the broken slate tiles above us surrounded in sheep droppings....
 After a very short lunch stop we pressed on to Keld along the road, we arrived at our lodgings for the night, Park House B&B and bunk at around 14:00. Our bag which was been carried by Sherpa van’s hadn’t yet arrived, however we were able to make a brew and watch telly in the lovely living area which was available at the Park House (highly recommended).
Sarah went for an afternoon sleep whilst the opportunity was available, whilst I read my C2C book and watched the weather with detective like interest. Other walkers began to arrive; Wendy who we’d met at Shap’s New Ing Lodge arrived first, followed by Ian and Charles, all looking soaked through.
Park House provided evening meals and drinks, so there was no need to venture out in the rain which we were all pleased to know. Our bags soon arrived and myself and Sarah were able to get showered and changed before ordering dinner.
As we all sat chatting in the living area over a Black Sheep ale, two other walkers arrived, again completely soaked through, a father and daughter from Sussex (Astrix and Martin) who were walking C2C and wild camping, but thinking better of it tonight with the weather and upgraded to the bunk house.  
After a really nice dinner we all sat chatting in the living area, learning about our experiences so far and having a really nice night, with the laughter and chat instantly silenced as soon as the weather forecast popped up on the small TV in the corner of the room, with all eyes drawn to it.
Despite today’s weather and the heavy rain still pouring down outside we were once again assured on the forecast of sunny warm condition awaited us. Overall a really nice evening was had at Park House, good times....
We headed to bed at about 10pm, a late night on C2C, but we had another short day tomorrow with only about 11 miles to cover to Reeth, so we were in no rush to wake early and looked forward to a good night’s sleep. We fell asleep to the sound of the water fall crashing down just at the side of the B&B, channelling the huge amounts of rain from the fells, and now directing the water to the east coast and no longer the west coast, naturally confirming what we knew from our maps,....we are now half way on our Coast to Coast adventure.

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