This walk was nearly over before it started. A few hundred yards down the final approach road from the north I hit a pothole with incredible impact, but thanks to Kia's engineering there seemed to be no damage - phew!
I have often walked and cycled sections of the large area north from the River Lune, and east to Kirkby Stephen, then north to Appleby and bounded to the west by the M6. Recently I have taken to exploring it in more detail - much of this is limestone country with ancient lanes and sheep-cropped turf, often with extensive views to the south of The Howgills, with the northern Pennines to the east and the Lake District to the west, with endless variations of footpaths - magnificent walking country.
At just over seven miles this was the furthest I have walked since the knee operation. As always knees stiffened up in the evening, but were back to normal next morning - all very encouraging.
The walking was perfection except for the steep road climb out of Crosby Ravensworth followed by a short section of tedious farmers' fields and tarmac. At one point I missed the departure point from road to track and walked a couple of hundred yards round a bend in the road, but tout à coup, serendipity: a welcome bench at exactly the moment I wanted a rest and a swig of coffee. I had lunched earlier using my new acquisition which I hardly dare confess to but here it is:
* I've just discovered the cycle ride with Pete was to Crosby Garrett which abounds with cafés.
|Ideal walking terrain|
|I was not sure if this feature was man-made or natural - the arrangement of the stones appeared to be natural|
|Left - High Street, the pointy one: Kidsty Pike|
|Wet Sleddale reservoir - scene of my recent walk and the Shap cement works in the foreground|
|Zoom to Jct. 39 on the M6. The car heading towards the pylons is on the way down into Shap village|
|More perfect walking - distant Howgills|
|Just before the steep road climb out of Crosby Ravensworth|
|Stone circle - looks like it was there before the wall|