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Pennine Way
Muker to Horton
Friday 29th August.
Day:9 - Distance:24 miles

Today is our resupply day. We have a meeting scheduled for 12.30 in Hawes which puts us under a time constraint for this mornings walking. The distance to Hawes is about 9 miles but that includes climbing up and over Great Shunner Fell. The weather was cloudy and there had been showers overnight so I was guessing we may see more rain during the day. We started out on our way around 08.00 heading east from Usha Gap to rejoin the Pennine Way at Thwaite about half a mile away. Through Thwaite the climb begins, following a rutted farm track for a mile before breaking out onto open moorland. My pack was now at its lightest since we started the walk. With only a couple of meals left in the food bag and very little fuel it weighed probably only 15 or 16 pounds so we moved quickly and steadily on up the climb. As we approached the short rocky climb up to The Beacon the wind really started to pick up in strength. The prevailing wind had been from the north or north west for several days and today this really played into our hands as it was directly behind us blowing us forward and upwards to the peak of Great Shunner fell.

Just a few more minutes walking and we arrived at the peak. The wind was now really strong and we ducked behind the stone shelter on summit to take a short stop and a drink. The views from the summit are excellent but with the wind gusting this strongly it was hard to appreciate them. We had made good time on the way up to the top, and the journey down along the slow fall of the ridge to Hardraw was going to quick as well as the wind continued to push us forward. In fact we arrived in Hardraw having covered 8 of our 9 miles for the morning by 10.50. With time to kill we called into the cafe by the river for a morning coffee and biscuits.

After this pleasant break we set of for the last mile through the meadows and along the road to Hawes. We headed first into the middle of the town to find a shop where we could purchase a half litre of fuel for our cooking stove and some extra plasters for the first aid kit. Once this was done we walked to the old railway station at the east end of town where we were meeting up in the car park to collect our resupply package. Anne was already there with the car and we suggested that we drive back to the cafe where we had stopped for morning coffee and have some lunch.
After a good lunch we drove back to Hawes and transferred our fresh supplies into our back packs. 6 days food added about 9 pounds to my pack weight, a noticeable difference as we said goodbye to Anne and headed south out of Hawes. The route follows the back streets out of the town and out onto the hills. Somewhere we missed a turn and were walking down into Sleddale rather than up to the ridge at Ten End. Having realised the mistake we stopped and assessed the situation. Navigation errors are easy to compound so when lost, stop and solve the problem properly. Trying to compensate will inevitably create more errors. It didn't take to long to identify our error and back track to find the right path up to Ten End.

The clouds cleared, the sun shone and the wind died to a gentle breeze as we started our walk along the ridge and passed the western side of Dodd fell. We had to make a decision on our final destination for the day. The map clearly shows a bunk barn at Cam Houses but we had been unable to gain no more information on it apart from this one reference. Did the bunk house still exist on the ground or was it just an out of date item on the map?
OS have added quite a few amenities to the maps of the UK, examples being some pubs and riding stables. Not all pubs just some pubs and in our home town 2 of those pubs have closed as have the riding stables. This makes the decision by OS to add these items look rather stupid.

The Pennine Way joins a farm track at Grove Head and we followed it south west to the turning to Cam Houses. There were no signs directing walkers to the bunk barn, just a single private property sign. We stopped to take a drink and make a decision about our destination for the day. The sun was still shining and a gentle breeze blowing. It was 16.40 and with ideal walking conditions, and 8 down hill miles to Horton in Ribblesdale we decided to walk through and make it our evening stop. The decent into Ribblesdale brings us into a limestone region with its distinct rock formations and sink holes. We knew this area as we had walked the Yorkshire 3 Peaks walk the previous summer. This walk starts and ends in Horton and runs for 25 miles climbing the 3 highest peaks in the Yorkshire Dales. Even though we knew the walk we had forgotten just how hard the limestone paths and tracks can be to walk on, but we soon re-discovered.
The last 8 miles were the hardest of the day. Route finding is easy but the limestone is in large slabs with boulders of 6" (150mm) diameter scattered around on top. Its easy to miss your footing and progress was slow. We stopped for a carbohydrate drink and snack at Cam Beck as a way to give us a boost for the last 4 miles. We were feeling pretty tired but knew we would find a hot shower at the camp site in Horton and the sooner we got moving the quicker we would be there. Like the Pub at Tan Hill you can see the Church in Horton from a couple of miles away but it doesn't appear to get any closer as you walk towards it. We finally arrived in Horton at 19.15 and walked up the main street to the camp site. We found a space and had the tent up in 2 minutes. The tent we are carrying is a lightweight single skin model which uses a single walking pole for support and 10 pegs to tension the fabric. We found a space and had the tent up in 2 minutes. It took another 2 minutes to empty our packs and then we were heading off to the shower. Dinner was pasta in cheese sauce followed by butterscotch desert with extra high calorie goodies. Cooking time 10 minutes and we were more than ready to eat. Dinner was interrupted by some young oinks playing football and trampling all over the tent. They were soon dispatched with a verbal clip round the ear and we washed up before heading to the pub to write up our note book and check the route for the following day.

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