Friday, 14 December 2012

My Advent Calendar - Day 14

December 14th

Welcome to Day 14 of my Advent Calendar, where I am reliving my Coast to Coast adventure!

Day 8 – Part 1

~ Morning, We commiserate with an old man who has an amazing story, and a group of DofEers, Is it dry? We are in rural Yorkshire by lunch time ~

Morning came and we were still in the same place; the wind had failed to move us, in fact our tent had survived well. Sadly the same could not be said for our neighbour, a man, walking alone, who must have been over 70. We’d seen him the night before and had wondered how he was even still on his feet. Over breakfast though he told us an incredible story.
            A few years before he’d been backpacking in the Alps (again by himself) when he slipped and fell down a crevice. His bag cushioned him and certainly saved his life. He climbed into his sleeping bag and waited to be found. It took a day or two, by which time he finished his food, but he was found and it didn’t stop him walking!
            That night in Keld, however, had proven too much for his tent, which had ripped beyond repair in the wind. He did seem somewhat relieved to be going home and was pleased that he had a real reason.
            We also spent the early morning commiserating with a group of teenagers doing their silver Duke of Edinburgh. Half of them had spent the night in the minibus and all of them were pretty miserable.

The wind had dropped, and although it was still raining the fog cleared and we could see more of the valley ahead. Our gear, though was sodden and we hung around undecided on what to do. A bus timetable pinned in the shed revealed that there were buses from Keld to Reeth (our next stop).
            By eleven we had packed all our kit and with the rain almost gone we pulled our feet into wet boots again and headed out the door. As we reached the road a few rays of sunshine crept through the clouds and that made up our minds; we would stick it out and see how far we got.
            We expected the river to be swollen from the days before so we took the high route for a while, which gave us good views of the Swaledale Valley. After an hour or so, though, we began to drop back down as we approached the village of Muker. We wandered through it and found what we were looking for: a good pub. We entered and ordered two solid Yorkshire meals. It was warm inside and we began to steam. Around us was plenty of good rural chat and for the first time in days we were enjoying ourselves again.

 Coming into the Swaledale Valley.

 Looking back towards Nine Standards, the hill that nearly defeated us.

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