My last day, where shall I go now? I have been eyeing up Penyghent, from a distance, I feel it beckoning me. But as it is further away from home, and I don't want to be getting back at midnight, I'll plan another walk. I've done north and east of Malham, so now I'll go south. It looks another fine day again, fingers crossed.
I head off down the Pennine Way towards Gargrave. This is going to be a flatish walk, but I don't mind because it's the last chance I'll have to up the mileage a bit, keeping in mind that I want to finish by 5pm.
A little bit of an ascent at the beginning, giving some nice views of the Dales.
The River Aire down in the bottom, looking back towards Kirkby Malham.
Just where the path crosses the road at Airton I spotted a Tesco van delivering the shopping, they get everywhere, don't they. I was speaking to a family at the hostel and they told me that they had ordered a weeks food for four to be delivered direct to the hostel, so it was there waiting for them when they arrived. I thought that was a bloomin good idea, saves all that traipsing and packing.
I have passed through lots of stiles on my walks. Some of them are up and over ladders, some are wooden steps through a fence, and some are a cut out in the wall with a little gate across.
You have to be carefull with the gated ones, they have such strong springs on them, you can easily get your leg trapped if you let go too soon. Keep your fingers out of the way as well.
I was amazed to see this new bridge over a little beck that you could easily stride across. The steps had been concreted in place at both sides, and the bridge attached to them with iron brackets and massive bolts. Perhaps the water level rises considerably in the winter.
About a mile from Gargrave I did a u turn and walked to Otterburn along the road, as there wasn't an alternative footpath. I looked for a bench to sit and eat my lunch but there wasn't one. How inconsiderate not to have a bench for weary travellers. I sat on the grass on a wide verge, and got some funny looks from people in massive four wheel drive vehicles. From there I picked up a track which took me further on past a pine tree plantation, and around the other side.
I found a sign for Kirkby Malham, that will do nicely. It comes out at the back of the church, the door was open so I had a look inside. I've never seen a church where the pews are boxed in before. Although they are quite big boxes there is only enough room for four thin people or three bigger people. I don't know what they do if they get a massive wedding or a big funeral.
The church clock says five past four, it's looking like I am on time.
At three minutes past five I arrive back at Malham, spot on. The village is buzzing, people have started arriving for the Bank Holiday weekend, the hostel will be full tonight. It is the day of the annual agricultural show on Saturday so the place will be packed out, a good time to leave methinks. Just a couple of minutes while I pop in the shop to pick up a small thank you gift for my cat sitters.
Now I'll tell you how far I have walked. Today was 15.18 miles, making a grand total of 62.02 miles. I'm well chuffed with that, and not an ache in sight, I'm ready to go again ;o)