Monday, 8 August 2011

Day 38- Garrigill to Langdon Beck

It was lovely to have Luke with us this morning, even if it was a bit of a sweaty night night! We all awoke at 9 to an extremely sweaty tent so we had an emergency open all vents! I had a pretty rubbish night sleep because of hayfever and Becks kept waking up because she had a sore ankle but Luke seemed to sleep well! It was midge city when we got out of the tent this morning, it was like they were waiting outside of the door waiting for us to get out so they could strike! Luke seemed to struggle with them as he wasn't used to them and got well acquainted with the Midge dance but myself and Becks seemed to ignore them as we had managed to cope with those in Fort William.

The village hall toilets were open so it was 'wild camping' with benefits, today was going to be a bit of an experiment in terms of route finding as we didn't have a map...... Luke looked slightly concerned and we couldn't even say 'its fine, we've done this before' because we haven't we have never followed route instructions via text on the moors before, but the route text was from Chris Heaney so we had faith, if Chris Heaney said you don't need a map, then you don't need a map!

Today we were supposed to tackle cross fell and other hideous hills above 800m, which i have been dreading for about 3 weeks, Becks keeps telling me not to worry about a hill 3 weeks in advance, and as it turns out, i needn't have worried as we missed it out anyway! We missed this section out as it was going to be really tiring and we wern't Pennine Way keenos, our aim was not to complete the Pennine Way but to walk North to South, which we did, the alternative route given was more low level however we did have to cross a raging river!

So we started walking at 10am following the South Tyne Trail, it was one of the longest 3 and a half miles ever as it was a continuous obstacle course of styles! I am no mountain goat especially with a full rucksack, i looked like a giant slug trying to get over most of them! We managed to stay on course of the text instructions but it all went to pot when we got to the source of the Tyne, we must have missed the turning and ended up at a junction, I didn't want to make the call, so Luke took an executive decision and chose a path which 'looked good', good enough for us :) Far up on the hill in front we could see a large group of people walking, we put two and two together, i thought it looked like a large group on a circular walk meaning we weren't too far away from Cow Green reservoir and the car park, there was no path leading to them, so we went off piste!

Things were looking good until we discovered a river, quite a big fast flowing river blocking us to get to the other side! Luke the mountain goat just leaped across to the other side making it look far too easy - he did have a day sack! Myself and Becks walked further down to find a suitable place to cross, annoying Becks jumped across too! I have serious issues with balance and co-ordination and there was no way i was going to get to the other side without taking a swim! It wasn't a brilliantly warm day and i had clean socks (rarity)on so didn't fancy taking a swim. Luke came to my rescue and carried my bag over, i then manned up but had a bit jump in the middle of the river and wasn't 100% committed to it, your either 100% committed to a jump, or you don't do it! I was a mess in the middle of the river, Becks and Luke gave up on me and had lunch on the other side of the bank, Becks also decided to be official photographer to document the situation which was very thoughtful of her!

Finally made it across the other side and got a victory photo, it was a boggy off-piste walk to the path on the side of the hill and in no time we caught up with the people we could see when we were at the bottom on the other side of the river, turned out to be some kind of young mum convention, i don't know how they were all pushing prams on the path it was really rocky! We now had absolutely no idea where we were and as we were about to turn the corner we all prayed there would be a massive reservoir, we were up high so were in a good position to look around for obvious features, however not so useful with no map.........

Wohoo! A reservoir! We were the best non map navigators in the land! Thanks Chris!  This was as far as Luke could hack so he said his farewells a couple of miles south of the reservoir, we asked him how he was planning on getting back as his van was in Garrigill.....he said he would hitch hike! What a mission! We had a group picture and 3 became 2, we papped him leaving so he could live up to his lone ranger name, he got all embarrassed! We only had a couple of miles to Langdon Beck but it was so dramatic! First off, people living in Langdon Beck need to know what facilities they have, no one really knew of a campsite even though it was definatly in the area! Tarmac walking is no good for my sensituve toes and within minutes i went from wlakingunfortunatly there was no mobile phone signal so i made an arrow out of rocks pointing to the farm i went to incase she came back and i was gone, the farm turned out to be a really strange experience, it was full of random birds staring at me! No luck anyway so had to tuen back and there was no sign of Becks.

Next thing i know Becks is sat in front of a van waving at me! My first thought was that she found the campsite owner and he had drove to pick me up but on closer inspection it was Luke! Luke had come to our rescue! He said the second car that drive past him picked him up and dropped him in to Garrigill, as it only took him 15 minutes to get back he decided to drive to Langdon beck to see if we got there okay, what a hero! He chucked our bags in the back and i rode in the back of the van! No seat belt, how exciting! He dropped us off backtracking at the Youth Hostel

The owners of the Langdon Beck YH were amazingly wonderful people, he said we could pitch the tent outside of the YH and we could come in and used toilets,showers,drying room,kitchen and the lounge, so basically everything apart from the bedroom, we pretty much stayed in a youth hostel for free! We love standing up cooking and for once in 38 days we had toasted pitta breads!

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