walking and writing

Trails and trials of the writer who walks

Pennine Way – Sep 25 – Day 15

somewhere between Dufton and Alston

My handwritten notes for today are missing – perhaps I wanted to forget it! After passing through Dufton yesterday, I made the ascent to Great Dun Fell (with the spooky spherical listening station on top) and then Little Dun Fell where, as dusk drew near, I decided to camp in the same spot as the previous year – half a sheepfold near a bit of a stream on the lee side of the fell. I had planned, this morning, to skip the summit of Cross Fell, and take the lower footpath to rejoin the PW for the tedious descent into Garrigill. I awoke to an all-encompassing mist, but it seemed simple enough to head directly north (although off-piste). My intended footpath ran west-east, so I was bound to meet it. I did, indeed, meet a footpath and duly turned right. What happened next is still a mystery to me. After perhaps half an hour of walking, I realised the wind was now blowing into my face.  I checked my compass. I was going south west – completely the wrong direction. I back-tracked, still in thick mist, to where I had first joined the path.  This time, against all my instincts, I turned left and sure enough, this was a northerly direction. Eventually I met another wide track which turned out to be the good old Pennine Way (and I checked my compass before deciding whether to turn left or right! Instincts can be so wrong!)

Garrigill has a pretty village green with lots of benches. The pub is closed down and the post office doesn’t really sell anything worth eating, just snacks and sweets. I made a brew, scoffed an entire Snickers bar and booked a bed at Alston Youth Hostel before continuing. My steps were greatly re-sprung by the thought of a warm bed so close to the delightful Cumberland Arms – a haven of real ale and good food. The chalkboard sign outside says it all: ‘Beer …Mmm … you know you want it!’


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This entry was posted on November 6, 2014 by in Walking and tagged , , .
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