Day 20 Ribblehead to Dent
A Dent breakfast takes a bit of beating, and no trouble eating. We were then chauffeured up the fearsome Dent Station hill and caught the train back to Ribblehead and its magnificent viaduct. We went into the station buffet and had a coke talking to the very friendly and informative volunteers, one of whom was once a teacher at the Priory School in Shrewsbury
Then, having refreshed ourselves and been entertained, we set out upwards in the hot sizzling sun.
The landscape looked parched. It was quite obvious that, at times, this landscape is a boggy bog. Today everyone walking was smeared in sun cream. I can’t imagine that this is always the case.
The path before us was clear. Walkers of all shapes and sizes were moving resolutely up the hill. We resolutely followed these experienced and athletic walkers. Unfortunately for us everyone, apart from ourselves, was engaged on a different walk to that on which we had set our hearts. Discovering our mistake we had two choices. One, retrace our steps to the error point or two, strike out over tussocky moorland and hope for the best. We could see our target, a railway tunnel breather tower, so headed for it
The path was long and steep.
Arriving at the breather tower we stopped for a breather ourselves. We were delighted when we could hear the rushing air in the tower as a train approached underneath. It grew to a crescendo and then changed tone as the train moved on and air was sucked back in.
That first tower led to others, all higher up the hill than the last one.
The map showed us that we would pass through a wood on our descent. We were looking forward to sitting in the shade and enjoying some cheese and an apple. Imagine our disappointment when we discovered that the wood was a wood no more.
We had dawdled so much at Ribblehead Station and at other beauty spots that our intended destination was not manageable in the time. We decided to make for Dent Station in order not to make the day too long. It became fairly obvious that we might not even get to Dent station in time to catch the train so we had to really pick up the pace. If anyone knows the hill to Dent Station then they would agree, I think, that haring up there with a heavy pack is taxing.
Finally, at the station, on time, we sat and waited. The time passed and no train came. It is at this time that one starts to doubt first the timetable, then the reading of the timetable. I rang the signalbox man at the box prior to Dent who gave me the glad news that the train was late but on its way.