A good breakfast and rain outside. I could have stayed all day to chat with Hazel. At the last minute our conversation uncovered a remarkable coincidence, bearing in mind the isolated location of Raisgill and distances involved - it transpired that when looking for a property ending up with Raisgill it had been a debate between Raisgill and another property nestled under the northern Pennines not far from Appleby which is the same house that my life long friend "gimmer" (frequent commenter here) bought and is refurbishing after Hazel and her husband had opted out.
A long steep climb direct from the back of Raisgill on a well defined but wet and muddy path, often rocky took me up to Horse Head Gate. There were showers occurring every fifteen minutes or so and violent wind driving the rain hard onto my light side, but in between bright sunshine and high white fluffy clouds. Although somewhat tiresome that weather added more drama to the grand views in these Yorkshire Dales - my favourite general area in the UK.
The descent down to Halton Gill was a contrast in terrain, largely on cropped green turf. At one time a mountain biker glided swiftly past me at some speed over very steep, soaking wet turf, rocks, and mud - how they don't crash off is difficult to comprehend.
At Halton Gill there was the delight of Katie's Cuppas - an old farm building with tea/coffee making facilities and cakes etc. with an honesty box, and of course I couldn't resist a morning coffee.
A short walk up a cul-de-sac Tarmac road took me to Foxup, then another fell side climb to Foxup Moor and a traverse before another steep ascent to Plover Hill - all this in the aforementioned lashing rain and gale force wind, interspersed with sunshine and blue sky.
Plover Hill leads across a quagmire to Pen-y-Ghent summit - there must have been twenty people there. The descent was horrific for me down a long series of steep rocky steps streaming with water, and really difficult with my now inreasingly painful knee problems. I was oh so careful, and it took me ages, but safety was the priority.
At the meeting with the Ribble Way I varied from my gpx route and walked out to the road. It was getting late and still another four miles to my b and b at Settle - it would have been after seven before I got there. I walked and decided to hitch. After a mile a car stopped, precariously up a very steep hill and gave me a lift down into Settle.
The Oast Guest House was well appointed and comfortable, but I had already had a slighly bristly phone conversation about their cancellation policy when I'd booked. The lady lived up to that, showing irritation when I asked for the wi-fi code when it was available in my bedroom. Then in the morning I was admonished for using a hot water machine for making a cup of tea before she arrived with my breakfast and of course a pot of tea. I think she had four rooms and all booked and trying to do everything on her own.
|Hazel outside Raisgill - it is much more spacious than appears on the photo.|
|Looking down to Raisgill - the highlighted roof amongst the trees. Birdlife was prolific down there. I sat eating breakfast watching a woodpecker have a long feast on the bird table|
|Foxup caught in patch of sunlight during my descent to Halton Gill. Note the steep path (steeper than it looks) path where the mountain biker went past at speed. My route went up the left hand fell side above Foxup|
|Foxup - end of the road, but there is yet another farm at Cosh up another mile long track from Foxup - it must qualify as one of the most isolated anywhere|