Tuesday 10 July 2007

West and North Yorkshire: Marsden - Keld [5th-10th July]

[Update 7]

Yep, it's still raining. Sorry if you're sick of hearing about the wet stuff, but in the simple life of backpacking, food, feet and the weather dominates the day. I think we've hit our lowest point in the journey (hopefully)!

We started the day with food bags in between our socks and trainers in a n attempt to keep dry feet. Quickly failing, we passed a tempting train station, some scary village dogs and a creepy farm with police warning signs "Cottaging and Cruising is illegal"!? We raced to the Post Office to collect the next set of maps posted from home (thank you nice lady at Mytholmroyd PO for your donation), then, exhausted and soaked we reached Heptenstall.

Here the emotional roller coaster of our journey was thankfully raised by two offers of tea and one offer of a warm house for the night (unfortunately Daisy hates cats [I'm assuming they had a cat here!]) before hitting rock bottom at High Greenwood Farm where after about 28 miles we were turned away at 8pm as the weather was so 'bad'. We tried the charity bit but clearly her lush green grass was more important - fair enough, but she proceeded to blame the situation on us and that we were being cruel to the dog (a choice of walkies or being home alone all day? - hmm). We bit our tongues (until further up the road) in the hope of finding a friendly farm whilst questioning our sanity.
Thank you Jon and the Blakedean Scouts who were having a BBQ and let us stay in the graveyard next to their hut. We flopped into our tent and slept well despite realising that we were in a coffin shaped tent. There was no sign of 'The Green Lady' who supposedly haunts the ground, although Daisy seemed to bark at one of the showers in the morning!!! Perhaps she just wanted a bath? Jon's mum made us tea in the morning and lifted our spirits some more :) The simple pleasure of brushing my teeth whilst sat on a radiator was heaven.

Out in the wind and rain again we crossed the bleak moors to Top Withens ruin, supposedly Emily Bronte's inspiration for Wuthering Heights, so the sounds of Kate Bush stayed in our minds a while on the flagstones and bog.

Then...it stopped raining!
Despite Will receiving an unwanted collagen injection in his lip from a local midge, things were looking up. In Cowling, dripping cooked fish 'n' chips were marvelous and I finally had a bit of power in my phone after the solar panel had been waterproofed and strapped to my back for days.

A dry 4 days followed which made the moody moors more hospitable, then canal and limestone valleys led us to nostalgic locals and passionate Pennine Way walkers. Busy looking at the only canal, river and train crossing point we missed the shop, but Daisy seemed happy with pork scratchings and pasta. After climbing Pen-y-ghent, Horton-in-Ribblesdale was our half way point which we celebrated with cider and pork and apple burgers.

Then, two days following the stench of dead rabbits and dodging 'Bulls in Field' we had marshmallows around a midge expelling campfire in Keld with some new fellow backpackers who we'd see along the Pennine Way, Jonathon, Rachel and Adam. But whatever happened to Pete?


Anonymous said...

Hi Guys! You don't know me - I'm a Nikki too, and I'm taking excerpts from your blog to keep Paulsgrovians updated on your journey in Insight Newspaper back home!
Just wanted to comment that you probably DID meet the green lady - of 'High GREENwood Fam' who was seeking to preserve her GREEN grass.
Keep your chins up guys - guess you must be almost there now? Well done!

Nikki, Will and Daisy said...

HI Nikki, it's Nikki! Great to see someone is following our adventure. Can we see a copy of Insight?
Yes, actually the lady did look 'green' with anger and a little wild haired!!
Thanks :-)