Finish: Horton in Ribblesdale
Miles walked today: 23
Total miles: 518
Imagine if you will, gentle reader (all five of you) that you are sat in a Bedouin tent. The walls are hung with rich tapestries and works of art. The carpet underfoot is thick and luxurious. The tent is furnished with all the trappings any nomadic desert dweller could wish for, including two large fridges.
This was the scene which awaited me at Horton in Ribblesdale campsite at around 7.30 pm tonight.
The tent has double glazed windows, and the door of the tent is solid wood. I knock timidly.
"Come in, come in" cried a disembodied voice from within.
I open the door to be greeted by a blast of lovely warm air and, if I wasn't mistaken, the aroma of the only grouse I really like - the famous one.
"Get your pack off lad, take a seat" says the older of the two occupants. "What would you like to drink?"
I have to say this is the best greeting I've ever had at a campsite. I'm rendered speechless for a moment.
"Whisky? Brandy? Or something long and cool?"
"Errr, do you think I could have a coffee?" I ask. I'm cold and long for a hot drink.
My benefactor seems taken aback, then laughs.
"Coffee? Why not."
While my drink is prepared, I'm quizzed about my walk, and own up to doing LEJOG.
"****ing hell" is the response. I note that the accent is more east Yorkshire, with the second and third letters of the expletive both "o"
As I sit sipping coffee and admiring the fantastic interior of the tent, Chris, the proprietor, enters. A large gentleman dressed in an immaculate three piece suit. His two friends update him about me.
"Have a biscuit, lad" Chris says, offering me a packet of large ginger nuts, "Take two - one gets lonely"
I wish I could have sat there all night but time was passing and my tent won't put itself up.
Tent erected, I make for the pub. Chris is in there, with his wife and son, Isobel and Jonathan. They invite me to sit with them and my resolve to go easy on the beer evaporates along with my beef sandwich and chips.
That morning when I leave Jenny's lovely B&B she gives me a donation. Thank you so much Jenny. We hug and say goodbye.
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal takes me to Gargrave, where I rejoin the Pennine Way to Malham. It's a bank holiday and packed with people. I walked a mile or two with Martin, a PWer who is wild camping all the way. We get a snack in the village hall and I walk on.
Malham Cove is a huge natural amphitheatre, very busy with bank holiday people, then later Malham Tarn, a large lake. The area is porous limestone, but the Tarn sits in a saucer of older slate, which traps the water.
The weather improves, and I catch Mancunian Mike. We ascend the 2277 feet of Pen-y-Ghent together, a bit of a slog with back packs and involving a bit of scrambling up rocks. The views are wonderful at the trig point.
The last word to Kenonymous:
"As you trudge the PW, do you find yourself hankering for a Ramsbottom??? You can grab a pint of it at Dent Brewery :-) .... baa!!!"