I had a bad night with indigestion from the Tandoori meal so I sat up to sleep half the night. Deborah slept soundly but woke up feeling stiff until she started to move around. We are all feeling stiff. Our pace is consistently fast but we are all getting fitter. Our breakfast at Croft house was delicious and presented so attractively with fine china and silverware. The breakfasts are generally very hearty so I suspect I am putting on weight even though I am doing hard walking.
The way markers for our track are few and quite arbitrary as to where they are placed. Our guide has helped several independent walkers to take the correct path.
We set off for Keld with a sharp, steep incline towards the 9 Standards. These are curious stone cairns that nobody seems to understand who, or what they were meant for. They are the border between the Lakes district and the Yorkshire Moors.
From the top of the hill( after about three false tops!) you can see how far we have come and how far we are going! Then we plunged into the notorious bogs. Some parts were so deep and mucky you could lose your boots. We had to be careful not to lose our footing. They have put in a new slate path, at great expense, over the worst of the bog but I still managed to drop my foot into a few. We are also walking across incredibly soggy grass which oozes muddy water with every step.
Finally we reach the end of the bog and are overlooking the valley with sheep and farmhouses. We are very happy to find ourselves at the Shepardess’s for tea and scones soon after. The Shepardess is Amanda Owen, from Ravenseat Farm. She is a real entrepreneur and has written two books about life on the farm with her 8 children, sheep and Cream teas business. She is friends with Paul our guide and brought out our scones and cream personally. Lyn bought her first book. It was then only a few miles to our hotel. On the way we saw two girls swimming(!) near a waterfall, some Yurts in a camping ground and a lot of campers beside the Swale river. This is a popular place for camping and walking but it seemed too cold for swimming!
Our hotel, Keld Lodge is very charming with good facilities (drying room) and a large bedroom. No more falling over our bags.
The weather is fine but cloudy and is supposed to get hotter over the week.
Dinner at the hotel needed to be preordered, so you have to remember what you ordered! Kingsley told us about his wife’s love of ice cream and decided to honour her by having a three scoop dessert.That was his excuse anyway!
Another successful day. It is hard to believe we have been walking for 7 days and will finish next Saturday. It has gone so fast. Alan and Stuart are resuming the walk tomorrow so all the South African contingent will be back.