Walk Day 36 – Laneshawbridge to Malham

Day 36 – May 14 Laneshawbridge to Malham
 Weather: Cloudy  B&B: Beck Hall B&B (£55)
 Departed: 8:55 Arrived: 16:00  Walked: 6h 09m Rested: 1 hr 00m
 Distance Today: 19.0 mi / 30.58 km  Total Distance: 577 mi / 928.59 km
 % Complete: ~ 50.44%  Pint of the Day: Thwaites Original Ale
 GPS Track for: Day 36

The moment I stepped out of my extremely comfortable b&b it started to rain. On went the pack cover, gaiters, jacket and rain trousers. Moments later it stopped and it would prove to be the only rain I experienced all day.

My plan was to make my way back to the Pennine Way in the most direct way possible. This involved climbing the hill behind Laneshawfield to a road and then following it for over 4 miles as it wound around and up and over the moors. About half way along I left Lancashire and entered North Yorkshire, my umpteenth county (I gave up county counting a week ago).

Shortly before I regained the Pennine Way I was passed by a little Mini Cooper all decked out in Rally gear. It bombed past me, abruptly stopped, reversed, and with a quick wave from the driver, shot down a tiny lane. Moments later two more Minis appeared and then another and then another. The first thing I noticed that these were left-hand drive Minis and second thing I noticed was the “Dutch Mini Rally” stickers they were all sporting. For the next 20 minutes I was passed by a couple of dozen Minis, all searching for their next checkpoint down that tiny little lane. They all looked to be having a great time and most waved as they motored past.

The Pennine Way left the moor and descended through lush farmland to the village of Thornton-in-Craven. I was thinking of taking a break here but I was on the edge of the village and decided to carry on to Gargrave instead. The landscape in this area is very unusual and rolling hills is not an accurate description. It’s more severely dimpled than rolling, like walking over a giant golf ball, down one crater and up the next. Extremely lush but odd.

Just before East Marton I emerged from a very muddy section of wood to the Liverpool & Leeds canal. I was somewhat surprised to see it despite having spent some time studying my map last night. I’ve been on this canal before and it was a shame my walk along it only lasted 10 minutes. Along the way I met a German walker who is walking the Pennine Way for a couple of weeks. We had a good chat about walking and sport before we parted company in Gargrave. I was making good time but was still a couple of hours away from Malham and so I decided to stop for a rest and a pint at The Swan Inn.

The walk from Gargrave to Malham was pretty and followed the River Aire for the last third or so. I walked the last half hour with an Englishman who was walking from Thornton-in-Craven to Malham and who passed along a lot of interesting information on the Orkney islands (which I mentioned I would be visiting at the end of June).

That makes four different walking partners in the last two days. Not surprising considering I am now in prime walking country. I suspect I will pass dozens of walkers over the weekend as I make my way to Hawes via Wharfdale.

I was in my b&b just after 4pm and followed my normal post-walk routine: jot down gps info, shower, laundry, tea, upload gps info, upload photos, charge batteries, start blog entry, find some supper, study maps for tomorrow, finish blog entry, tea, check emails, crash.

I had an excellent lamb dinner at the Lister Arms tonight. Some might wonder if its difficult to eat lamb after trudging through fields of them all day long. I know, I know, they’re so cute. And indeed they are. Unfortunately for them they taste even better than they look. More to the point they’re the main reason why the hillsides are covered in sheep (wool production pales in comparison).

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