Tuesday, 20th August 2002
After eating yet another sumptuous breakfast, this time at Brookfield, Shap, where the proprietress, Mrs. Brunskill, is very helpful and accommodating, we set off for Kirkby Stephen (a distance of approximately 20 miles) with our newly acquired Australian friends, Peter and Melva.
The departure time was 9.35 a.m. from the Kings Arms which is located a few hundred metres down the main street from Brookfield. I forgot to say two significant things yesterday – firstly because I had told Tina how well the walking sticks that Tony (from Urmston) had loaned to me the day before had helped me, particularly on ascents and descents, she had bought me a new pair in Patterdale and I used them very successfully. Secondly, Roger, Joyce and Audrey had decided to split the walk from Patterdale to Keld into three parts and they left us to stay at Bampton the previous day and were scheduled to stay at Orton tonight. We are unlikely to see them again on this trip unless we stay to see them at Robin Hood’s Bay although Roger has to go back to work on Tuesday and he will be leaving the sisters as they walk through Shap.
We offered Tina’s services to drive Roger to Kirkby Stephen, where he had left his car, and this she did during the late morning. It was a fairly uneventful start to the day with the terrain reasonably flat and we made our way towards the Chocolate Factory at Orton (approximately 8 miles) where we had arranged to meet Tina for a snack which we eventually did at 1.15 p.m. We had soups/ice cream and I had a mug of “hot chocolate” made with pure chocolate. The visit to the Chocolate Factory went on too long and we did not leave until 2.45 p.m.
I do not think we realised how far there was still to go, particularly with the slight diversion we had made to Orton, a beautiful village with very desirable properties. The scenery was still excellent with the rolling hills in the background although obviously not as spectacular as that of the Lake District. However I do not want to see the latter again except from the ground.
The ascents into Kirkby Stephen were quite demanding and we did not get to our destination until 7.50 p.m. We had decided, en route, to ask Tina if she could arrange a meal for us all as soon as we got back and we ate in a rather bedraggled state in the Coglan Castle Hotel about a mile up the road from the Jolly Farmer’s Guest House where we were staying for the night.
We had a good meal, Pat drank too much and for too long a time and it was his turn to get a real ear-bending from Mary who was very tired and wanted nothing else other than a shower and get to bed. We managed to get him out of the Coglan Castle at just after 10 p.m. and we took them back to the Jolly Farmer’s. Another good, hard but satisfying day with a further 20 miles under our belts, a distance which none of us had ever walked in a single day previously.