Day 8 - September 9th 2004

Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Hawes- 14 miles


I slept well last night and awoke to a really beautiful morning with a lot of sun and clouds blowing across the back side of Pen-y-Ghent. After packing up and having a less than good breakfast, Connie took a photograph of Brian and me in front of the church. We then headed off up the road, promising to meet Connie in Hawes by mid afternoon. The morning was so lovely that we did not pay attention to where we were going and immediately went wrong at The Crown, walking through the parking area rather than in front of the pub and through the “other car park”. At least both of us had it wrong. Fortunately we righted ourselves quickly and headed up a pleasant path, finding the Way pretty easily despite the, by now well known, lack of markers.

This part of the day’s walk was quite nice and the weather certainly cooperated although there was the ever present wind which got worse as we climbed. The path through Ling Gill was very pretty and a welcome change from the open moorland. Leaving this lovely area we started to climb but pretty gradually with easy going. Where the Way leaves the Dales Way we paid close attention, not wishing to go wandering off again. Andrew and Evona, the couple I passed yesterday, were walking with us as we climbed to the top at Ten End. The only anomaly at this time was the sound of gunfire from a group of buildings off to the right and below us, probably Cam Houses.

At the top we elected to stop for lunch with Brian and me taking shelter from the wind by a dry stone wall. As we were eating, a young couple appeared from the right, apparently having walked up from Hawes. They were dressed for an outing in town, certainly not for any type of fell walking. They also were uncertain where they were, not even having a map. Evona spoke to them and set them straight, particularly the ill advised notion of taking an unprepared walk on the fells.

After lunch it was an easy walk down hill to Hawes. We arrived at 3 PM, a five hour and fifty minute walk. As we entered the village Andrew had a wonderful idea. Namely, see you in a few minutes at the Crown for a pint or two. I walked over to the pub where we were staying, found Connie in the pub reading room and told her where we could be found. As it was still a lovely day, the five of us sat outside and talked for over an hour while I enjoyed two pints of Theakston’s XB. I don’t know if it was the lubricating quality of the ale or not but I was not sore and my feet did not hurt. We parted company, agreeing to meet for a pint later on and then an Indian dinner.

Back at our room I was able to relax in a wonderful bath in the communal bathroom. I then reorganized my pack, wrote cards and topped up my journal. Following that I walked back to the area where Brian was staying to invite him for a pint and dinner. After knocking on some doors at B&B’s I found him in a telephone booth, calling home. It was agreed we would meet at half six at the Crown. Well, the time came and there was no room at the Crown but there was next door at a Theakston pub where Andrew introduced me to Ringwalter, a wonderful strong ale.

After the one pint we adjourned to dinner which was good. Connie, Brian and I split a bottle of red to assist in digestion. We all sat and talked and had an excellent time. This just reinforced my belief that distance walkers are usually really nice people. It was then back to our lodgings and lights out at ten. A good and pretty easy day with some very good ale and excellent company. It was agreed I would meet Brian at 9:15 in front of the White Hart. 

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