Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Pennine Way

Ickornshaw → Malham

leaving-cowling.jpg Distance: 18.36 miles
Ascent: 746 metres
Duration: 7 hours 6 minutes

Muck and Manure
« Not walked | Not walked »

Our guidebook tells us that Wainwright suggested this leg of the walk was "mostly muck and manure." For once, we're inclined to agree with the much-overrated grouse. Today has been spent walking through rolling farmland, but that doesn't sum up the grubbiness of what we've encountered. (As we left last night's B&B we were advised to don gaiters. It was good advice.)

east-marton.jpgThe first mucky moment was an ill-judged footing near a field gate. What I expected to be a veneer of mud on top of a concrete track revealed itself as a thin crust on an ankle-deep soup of cattle effluent. Later we crossed a field which was in the process of being sprayed with liquid manure. The stench was so laden with ammonia that we had to work hard to suppress our gag reflexes as we dashed for the other side. For the rest of the day the smell of cattle seemed to follow us everywhere, and each cow we passed seemed to be in on a joke from which we were excluded.

approaching-malham.jpgThere were of course highlights. Among them were crossing into the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the walk along the River Aire. But by far the best moment when the limestone escarpment finally came into view, revealing Malham village above the bubbling Aire, framed by the dominating backdrop of Malham Cove and Goredale Scar.

At last we've reached that we've both visited before. Tomorrow the familiar scenery should continue, hopefully with a little less muck. (Thank goodness for YHAs with outdoor taps and drying rooms.)

Posted by pab at 18:43 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!