Day 22 Kirkby Stephen to Appleby
Today was hot, hot hot.
We ate breakfast with a group of four blokes setting out on the coast to coast walk. They were intending to carry their stuff every day and not use the bag moving services which everyone else seems to be using. One bloke said that he had two litres of water in his pack, ie two extra kilos in addition to his ten kilo pack.
Today was another day in which we did not have to carry full packs ie just one lightish one between us, taking it in turns to be the donkey.
The walk can be divided into three sections. The first part followed a narrow lane from Kirkby Stephen to Soulby. On the map this looked like a good option. The lane turned out to have quite a lot of traffic passing along it, presumably taking children to school and others to work, so wasn’t really very pleasant particularly as the narrow verges were filled with nettles. We sped along the lane as quickly as we could to get out of the danger area.
Having moaned about the lack of footpath markers we did find an exemplary farmer. All his/her stiles and gates were a delight to behold. I wanted to go through them two or three times in order to enjoy their stile style.
At the beginning of this account I mentioned a bloke who had decided to carry two litres of water as the day would be hot, hot, hot. About seven miles into the walk we encountered a steep upward climb. This must have been at about 11:30 ish and came after being in the open with no shade for some time. This was followed for another hour of heat and no breeze in a farm lane. I suddenly realised that the bloke with his two litres of water wasn’t so daft after all. Thank goodness for a stone bridge on which to sit and serve up half a delicious camembert each and some bacon. I must have been worn out as I left my shades on the bridge’s welcoming flank.
The final section of the day was probably the most enjoyable, following the course of the Eden into Appleby. The path was shaded by trees, dry underfoot, full of wild garlic, with the ever widening Eden at one side.