Sunday, 5 July 2009

Thursday 2 July

A brilliantly sunny day with only high-level clouds in the sky, and even those disappeared after lunchtime. We set off for a walk that was billed as being only 7.5 miles long, but turned into 11 miles. Reason being that it passed within a mile of Hurst, meaning we had to walk to a point to intersect with it. Going down the Goats Road was the easy bit; finding the shortcut to Prys Farm was the orienteering gamble. But we got there. A herd of cows and calves came stampeding out of a meadow, clearing the way for us. The animals were a bit skittish. Ascended through the meadows to bypass the farms of Low and High Greenas. Had to divert around a dead and decomposing sheep that had decided to breathe its last right in front of a gate. Crows and other carrion eaters had already been at it, so I went to a different gate. Finally came out on top of the Skelton Moor to head down towards Marske, the turning point for the walk. Nice views, although it was a tad hazy in the distance. On leaving the moor, we came across some chaps wielding guns who professed to be hunting for rabbits. If you were to see the numbers of dead, flattened and decomposing bunnies plastering the roads here, you’d be quickly convinced of the need to keep down their numbers. We continued downhill and crossed a packhorse bridge (the Pirrimire Bridge) into Marske nice and on time at 1pm. After a bite of lunch outside the village phonebox, we left heading north again at 1.30. It was very peaceful there, but also getting quite warm. We passed through a forest by the hamlet of Clints, then on, out of the trees into the heat of the valley towards Orgate Farm. The water brought along went down nice and fast, and I had to refill my bottle just after Orgate. One couple was standing at the bridge there, casting longing glances at the water. Telfit Farm, which was baling hay, came next and boy was it getting hot. We sneaked into the valley leading towards Helwith, which is a strange hamlet with no main road to it. Only a rough track and a ford. Carried on up the valley, past some old lead minings and finally heaved ourselves up back to Prys Farm. I could by that stage, 4pm, only think of one thing: get back to Shiney Row a.s.a.p. Which we duly did at 4.30pm. A shower worked miracles, as did a nice ready-made pie. I tried sitting outside, but the flies drove me up the wall. Shame.

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