The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday 28 May 2008

Day 44 - Horton to Gayle*

28 May
Distance: 14 miles

Just as the wind was beginning to ease last evening an organised group of Pennine Way walkers, whose bags and tents had been dropped off earlier by the Sherpa Van Project, arrived.

Things did not get off to a flying start with them, nor did they improve. You see, I have a bit of an issue with people camping so close that they may as well come in, so when one of the group had her tent touching ours (literally, and this was on a huge empty field) I stuck my head out, reminded her of fire risk and asked her if she was going to pitch a reasonable distance away.

She did not appreciate my request. Nor did she appreciate my offer of help when I realised that she was battling against the wind.

When Mick pointed out that I did sound like something of an officious cow, I felt bad. So bad that I had every intention of going to apologise to the woman and have the usual sort of a 'bit breezy, how's your walk been' sort of a chat.

However, when I did come to leave the tent I found that she had pitched within three feet of us (nylon to nylon that is, not guy to guy). Am I being unreasonable, or is that just too close? I could be in a double bed with someone and be further away.

Still, as long as we were all careful not to burn our tents down and as long as she wasn't going to make unreasonable noise then all would be fine.

As it turned out despite this woman's best efforts to find shelter by pitching on top of our tent (for we had of course taken the sheltered spot) she achieved no shelter at all. As a result her 2-second pop-up tent flapped like a flag all night. Plus this was a woman with a bad cough. Being charitable about it, I'm sure that the coughing was neither malicious nor for her own amusement, but it kept me awake when I wanted to sleep.

We crossed our fingers as we snuck quietly away at just before 7.30 this morning that the group was travelling south, not north.

As for our walk, there's not a lot to say, because we didn't see a thing all day.

For the first hour the wind (strong, but much calmer than yesterday) was head on and was again lashing rain into our faces. So, in our own little worlds of Underhood we kept our heads down and kept putting one foot in front of the other, having first made the navigational note that if we found ourselves in a forest then we had missed our turning.

The rain did stop and it stayed stopped until just as we were finishing second breakfast, but then we ascended into the cloud and that's where we stayed. In fact even when we pitched our tent we were still in the cloud.

At times visibility dropped to about 15 yards, at times we could see significantly further, but at no time was there any view. At no time could we see the lay of the land ahead.

Looking at the map, we felt sure that there would be 'oohs' to be had on other days.

Being another short day (we're specialising in them at the moment) we were at our campsite by 1.30 (and shortly thereafter, in sampling the facilities, discovered that our soap and shampoo are still in Malham). I confess that we did both groan on checking in when we were told that the bags and tents had arrived for a group of walkers who were coming in from Horton. We explained the cosiness of last night's pitching and the owner kindly said that he would put that group across the other side of the field. Somehow I don't think that they'll be popping by our corner for a chat...

As for Mick's feet, it's not good news. The pain is in the middle of the balls of both feet and is quite severe by the end of the day, even though these days are not long. We're contemplating taking a day off here to allow them to rest. I popped into the village/town earlier and it doesn't look like a bad place to spend a day.

1 comment:

  1. Years ago somewhere in Wales, my wife and I were the only ones camped in a field, later to be joined by a couple in a tent who, as in your case, pitched within inches of us. To cap it all, they spent the entire evening conversing loudly in Welsh.
    Keep on trekking! Despite your weather, I'd still rather be doing what you're doing than be at work.