Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Pennine Way South - Keld to Kirkby Stephen - 22nd May 2014


I awoke to rain. The long promised 'weather' had finally arrived as if to signal the end of my trip along the Pennine Way and I was now faced with a walk to Kirkby Stephen along the Coast to Coast path to enable me to get transport home. Had the bus service still been running, I would have avoided walking in the rain for the duration of the trip. As it was, I left the guesthouse wearing my waterproofs for the first time and hoped that I could remember the way as I had no maps or guidebook for the Coast to Coast route and I was also faced with having to walk it in the reverse direction. As the section to Kirkby Stephen involved some fairly remote moorland, I was keen to make sure that I didn't stray off of the path. As it turned out, apart from one minor aberration, I managed to keep to the path for the whole trip, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I walked without stopping through heavy rain as I squelched through peat bogs, arriving very wet and bedraggled in Kirkby Stephen in a little under 4.5 hours. I walked to the far end of the town to a guesthouse I had used on the Coast to Coast walk in 1998 and was amazed when the door was answered by the same woman. Unfortunately, she had no rooms available but phoned a friend who soon arrived in her car and drove me to her guesthouse a short distance away. After cleaning up, I called home and later made my way into town for a meal in a local pub. My Pennine Way adventure was over for now at least.   

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