Area: Yorkshire Dales
Starting point: Malham
Ending point: Hawes
Date of walk: 10th May 2016
Trails: Pennine Way, Dales way, A Pennine Journey
Distance: 22.49 miles
Terrain: Straight up Dales, mountains, road walking
Weather: Sun, light clouds
Spending time alone, walking, walking, and more walking, up and down through the hills & valleys. Expectably people ask on the way why I go for such long walks. The short answer is, because is brings me true happiness. And this day, reflects strongly this. Spending time alone can get more and more difficult by the untold amount of reasons, especially in this day and age. However, ultimately in the end the choice is ours as to what we do. If we are not there in person with another, we are there on the phone, connected via some sort of device. Which is great. However, whats often forgotten, is that everything is contained in spirit. Walking alone, step by step, being present & focused is good walking & a good way to be reminded of those things which are truly important. When walking through bleak moors and the sometimes annoying dales, I personally learn a lot about myself & my connections with people and how they affect me. Know Thy Self. The body is alone, with none other but the sheep, cows and beetles on the floor. But in spirit all is connected.
For no particular reason, today is a day I’ll never forget. One of those days, that by the end of it, you tap yourself on the back and say well done. I woke up at the crack of dawn, feet are getting more blistered by the day. But today that doesn’t seem to matter. A long walk ahead, but today I’m not focused on the end, or how many miles I need to cover, I’m focused on the now. The present moment.
Malham itself is a popular village located in the heart of the Pennines. As I exit Malham on the Pennine Way I first reach Malham Cove, which is a steep climb upto the top. Today, thank god for clouds. Today they nicely block the scorching sun, and that gentle breeze well needed. I walk amongst 3 major trails, and alot of unmarked one’s today. It’s one of those as the crow flies days, up and over a few mountains.
For another couple of miles I come across a glacial lake called Malham Tarn which is the highest lake in England. Pretty windy up here & the lake does look grand..
From Malham Tarn, we only go higher, onto our first mountain of the day, Fountains Fell. This is spectacular, a beautiful mountain in a beautiful part of the world..
I bump into some helpful locals on top of Cross fells, they help me plan out a good route on my map to my destination of Hawes. They also kindly offer to take a photo of me by the Cairn..
On the way down, Pen – Y – Ghant seen in the distance..
At the foot of Cross fells, I turn right with a bit of road walking, my 1st time off the Pennine way and get out the map and compass for some orienteering across unmarked, barely pathed moors. I walk down the road less traveled, crossing more bleakness, through territory people rarely walk down. You can generally tell by the way the animals behave. The sheep are acting strange, extremely defensive, and giving it the large. I don’t think I’ve ever been moved on by sheep before! well what do you know, Fearless sheep. It’s lambing season, so they are protecting their young.
I reach the tiny hamlet of Halton Gill, near enough the half way point for the day. I sit and rest, eat some oatbran cake and head out of the village on a trail called A Pennine Journey. Although I’m only this for 10 minute until I branch off over the fells back down into another little village called Oughtershaw. I bump into 3 ladies walking the Dales Way, we slowly walk together. It’s moments like this, that really give you a push and bursts of energy come from nowhere. The 3 lovely ladies are from Matlock, Tansley to be more precise. They offer some encouragement, which I am grateful for. Than we part ways, I find out later on that evening they have donated for the cause. Puts a big smile on my face, 2 people so far on just passing by walking have now donated. They must see the weary look on my face, and my strange limping walk due to my blistered feet. Perhaps they take pity. haha. The rest of today is the road in Hawes for 5 miles, up and down again. Road walking is tricky, as it burns the feet a lot. But I grit and bear it, as I hoddle into another wonderful North Yorkshire village…