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]

Tuesday 23 September 2008

Day 6 - Kirkby Stephen to Keld

22 Sept
Distance: a mere 11 miles

It has been a day more about people than places.

The walk itself was, of course, lovely. Rather wet underfoot, but nobody was lost in a bog, which is always a bonus.

Nine Standards was experienced in the cloud with something of a cold wind, but it's an interesting place (anyone know if there's a story behind those cairns?).

The walk down to Keld was wet and did feel like we were in a procession. Having left Kirkby Stephen later than our usual hour this morning we discovered that there really are quite a lot of people walking this route.

A cup of tea at a farm on the way (just as the farmer's wife was having a drama with a chimney fire) meant that most of the other people got ahead of us. Even without people to follow, no navigation was needed; the route was still clear, being as well trodden as it is.

Keld, once we reached it, was as lovely as ever. It's a village (hamlet?) that I like a lot.

But, as I say, it was the people that made today notable.

First off was Martin (, who got up at ohcorblimey this morning, drove to just up the road from Keld, cycled over to Kirkby Stephen and met us there at 8.30.

We chatted away happily the whole walk (and enjoyed some of his excellent home made brownies too!), which not only made the day fly by, but perhaps was also a contributory factor (by way of distraction) that meant that my body did not protest so much today.

Martin left us just before Keld (he is mine of useful information about many places we would like to walk, so we will be imposing ourselves on him at some point to continue conversations about those places), and on we continued.

At Park Lodge in Keld we ordered tea, a pitch for the night, and asked if they had our food parcel for us. Over the tea we chatted to a very nice couple, Carole and Geoff, who we had first met on our way up Nine Standards this morning. They are doing the C2C in stages and gave us very good company until their taxi arrived to take them back to Kirkby.

We may have expected a quiet evening with just our own company at that point, except that in the camping field there was another backpacker, Duncan, who is walking the Pennine Way.

He's a gear-freak (and a fan of, which has got to be a good recommendation), so as I type we're sitting with him in Keld Lodge supping tasty pints and having just eaten a rather nice meal, whilst talking ourselves hoarse.

All in all it's been a mighty fine day.

Post script: Three days ago, in Longthwaite we left our tents in daylight to walk to the half a mile to the pub and gave no thought to the fact that it would be dark when we returned. Neither Mick nor I had a torch with us as we made our way back in the pitch black. Did we learn our lesson? Patently not (or I wouldn't be making this PS). We left Keld Lodge in the dark, which may not have been a problem, except that there are no street lights here. We walked across the field in the general direction of our tent hoping that it's dark shape may loom out of the darkness before we over-shot it. Thankfully it did and we're now tucked up inside with torches on. We're in for a cold night. It's a clear sky. With that lack of light pollution there are a million stars.

1 comment:

  1. I had my torch with me that night, but only used it to warn a couple of on-coming cars of our presence, and back at the campsite it picked out the reflective strips on the Atko long before we could see your tent.

    Thanks Gayle for letting me try your Pacer Poles for a an hour or so. I got used to them after a while, but they're not yet on my shopping list. They did make my triceps ache for a couple of days afterwards!