A naughty backpack from Clapham to Dent
This was all Mike’s idea, me Dawn, Lucky and Chrissie just went along for the ride. And the beer, there may have been beer involved.
Mike, for reasons that will become clear, is henceforth to be referred to as The Kilted Pieman. If I remember, which I probably won’t.
Anyroadup, me and Chrissie (who just happened to be on the same train as me) alighted at Clapham in t’Yorkshire Dales and wandered over to the pub – always a good move.
We were supposed to meet up with Lucky and his Dad plus Dawn at Lancaster station, but train delays and cancellations severely buggered-up their arrangements – hence the pub visit.
The New Inn is a fine establishment that serves, amongst other stuff, TT Landlord. A couple of beers after arriving the pub door flung open and LTD marched purposefully into the bar ahead of his Dad and Dawn and demanded beer with menaces.
It was raining and the latecomers were a tad soggy and damp.
It was still raining, but only a bit, as we left the pub and headed up to our camping spot at Gaping Gill.
A fine set of knees near Clapham Bottoms. Honest.
The area around Gaping Gill was quite murky and much of the ground was nicely adorned with sheep-poo – a clean(ish) pitch was hard to find.
Murk at Gaping Gill
The weather didn’t encourage outside-of-tent socialising so I stayed in for the evening and read a book (The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe) and listened to the wireless-type radio to catch up on the usual depressing news.
More depression followed when my NeoAir decided it would be a wizard prank to deflate slowly but quite surely. Lovely. I couldn’t find the puncture so ended up kipping on the teensiest bit of 5mm thick (thin?) foam mat. It wasn’t a comfortable night.
One dog and his man
Next morning we headed Ribbleheadwards, towards Ribblehead, famous for the Ribblehead Viaduct and a pretty decent pub, more of which later.
A gentle bimble, at daunder pace (not that we were daundering – heaven forbid) to the foot of Ingleborough where it was a bit wet and the breeze was getting up. Dawn & Chrissie, being the sensible sorts they are, bravely volunteered to single-handedly guard The Kilted Pieman’s (see, I remembered) and my rucksacks whilst we ventured forth and upwards to conquer the peak’s lofty, er, peak.
This was a good ascent, we fought the elements and refused to falter – until eventually, exhausted and almost out of oxygen, we got to the top.
I’d like to say how fantastic the fantastic views were, how you could see the snow-covered Southern Uplands of Scotland, how clear Blackpool Tower was, and how we could easily see fellow walkers ascending neighbouring Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside. Except you couldn’t. You couldn’t see a damned thing, such was the thick cloud that enveloped us.
On top of Ingleborough
We descended to find our rucksacks abandoned in the rain whilst our brave guards sheltered in a tent – hastily erected as a last-ditch defence against marauding Swaledales. Their cunning plan worked, both they and our rucksacks were unharmed.
These girls are clever.
Next stop was the Station Inn at Ribblehead, purveyors of very good beer and magnificent pork pies. We drank the pies and ate the beer, all was well with the world.
Approaching The Station at Ribblehead
After beer and pies we escaped the pub and, in between the rain showers, hurried to get the tents up.
Camping here is currently free but for how long I don’t know – there are some campers who don’t treat the area with respect. Broken glass, fires, rubbish left behind etc is all evidence of the irresponsibility of SOME visitors. They obviously don’t get the idea of ‘Leave no trace’. The farmer who owns the land isn’t going to put up with that sort of behaviour for long.
End of whinge.
Back to the pub for more food and even more beer….the food looked generally good although my pie could have been better. The good news was the landlord took my criticism on board and did something about it. I’m happy about that – I’ll certainly eat there again.
Another uncomfortable night followed. The wind and rain got windier and rainier and my NeoAir only held enough air for about 90 minutes of relative comfort before my bum and other bits came in contact with the cold ground. I had spare clothing which I was also lying on but it wasn’t enough.
I repaired the NeoAir when I got home….more later.
It must have been very windy overnight, one of my tentpegs had become dislodged.
The intended 9am start was rescheduled to 11am ‘cos the weather forecast was pretty awful. Poor Chrissie had an attack of the flashing lights and had elected to bale out early – Ribblehead railway station was a very short walk from our camp spot and trains ran fairly regularly to get he back home so it was an easy decision.
Leaving Chrissie behind we wandered alongside the Ribblehead viaduct to walk up to Blea Moor. The promised foul weather didn’t arrive, not in the Dales anyway – although I gather it was pretty grim dahn sarf.
A military-looking tracked vehicle had been spotted going up the hill earlier in the day. As we ascended it came back down to meet us.
Onward, upwards and over Blea Moor, we were planning on the hoof. We’d pretty well decided that we’d just make our way to Dent by the prettiest way possible – that included a lovely Mossy Bottom picnic spot by the railway line and a wander down a section of the Dales Way.
It would have been nice to stop for a beer….
…but the pub was shut
The weather remained fine as we trundled down the road to Dent, only to find that we’d just missed a train. Being as wot the sun was sort of shining we found a nice little spot on the banks of the River Dee (no, not THAT River Dee) where we just chilled. In fact we chilled so much that we needed to wrap up, the sun may have been shing but the breeze wasn’t so warm.
A lot of contour lines were crossed in rapid succession as we wandered up to Dent Station, where, incidently, it was bloody freezing.
A wall heater in the waiting room did the neccesary, as long as you didn’t sit on it. The heater that is, not the waiting room.
Then we all went home via Leeds.
It was good, very laid back and a lot of fun. I don’t know how far we walked but it wasn’t too far – it didn’t need to be.
Thanks to Lucky for inviting me along and to Mike, Chrissie and Dawn for putting up with me.
One last thing….for Alan, ‘cos he likes this sort of thing:
So that was it. A great little trip that definitely wasn’t a Daunder.
What actually happened can be read:
Oh, and another last thing: the punctured NeoAir.
It was pure coincidence that last week, my mate John B from Bramhall, who’s currently walking LeJoG, phoned me with a SitRep and to report a similarly punctured NeoAir and consequent cold bum.
He tried to repair it with the repair kit supplied by Thermarest but it just didn’t do the job. He ended up using E6000 glue. Two applications were used: the first one to actually seal the puncture, the second as a reinforcement.
That was over two weeks ago and the repair has held, certainly up to a couple of days ago.
I didn’t have any E6000 to hand but I nipped over to Go Outdoors and bought a tune of SeamGrip
This stuff is recommended for all sorts of repairs – including puncturedsleeping mats.
Two layers of the stuff on my NeoAir seems to have done the trick – although I’ll be carrying the tube of SeamGrip with me on the Challenge – just in case.