Kim needed to get another backpack under her belt. She’s done two in the Peak District now, but I felt we needed to go a bit further afield this time. Somewhere a bit quieter, without the hordes.
It still needed to be something fairly easy mind, and as she’d not yet done anything out of summer either, somewhere near a bothy (ie a psychological bolthole) seemed to fit the bill.
So, a linear route from Blencarn to Garrigill, crossing the Pennines on the flanks of Cross Fell, was suggested. This meant that we could spend the night near Greg’s Hut. Kim was happy with that.
There was one condition, though. I wasn’t allowed to tell her any spooky stories.
We were dropped off in Kirkland. This meant a mile up the tarmac to Blencarn, but this also meant that the walk in wasn’t too short. It was very quiet from the word go.
The clouds were scudding across the hills on the horizon and we were convinced that at some point it was going to rain.
It didn’t. It stayed dry for the whole afternoon.
This particular Corpse Road used to be used to take bodies from Garrigill, across the Pennines, to consecrated ground in Blencarn. And despite my promise not to say anything spooky, Kim was the one who kept muttering about ghosts passing us on the way….
After the first couple of miles, the track deteriorates into a bit of a boggy mess. This was the point at which Tilly found a nice pile of fox poo to roll in. Luckily, I’d put a small pack of baby wipes in her panniers for just such emergencies.
Still no rain, but the temperature was starting to drop with the height gained.
As we crested the route and passed the junction where the Pennine Way comes in from the summit of Cross Fell, I was surprised to see a newish looking gate and fence cutting right across the hillside.
I have no memory of this whatsoever from when I walked the Pennine Way a few years ago.
This pretty much coincides with the point at which the track becomes a well used route again, and Greg’s Hut was only a couple of minutes further on.
I don’t think Kim was particularly impressed at the idea of using it as a place of repose.
Anyway, tents were soon up, brews made and water sorted for the evening.
As dusk approached, the temperature started to drop, and this was when we finally had a fairly heavy, short-lived shower. This was also the time when Tilly decided to refuse to come into the tent and I had to go out in the rain – getting thoroughly wet in the process – to get hold of her and shove her in.
And it was a cold night. The hubbies back in the vans over at Nenthead said it went just below freezing over there. And I was up four times to answer the call of nature. That’s going some, even for me.
Sunday morning dawned suitably bright and sunny, with the temperature slowly rising as we took our time over breakfast. We were in no hurry.
When I did the Pennine Way, it was thick clag the morning I walked down from Greg’s Hut to Garrigill, but this morning was bright and clear, with far-reaching views.
Unfortunately, the views also included a couple of diggers in the distance – presumably doing something connected with tracks and grouse shooting – and there was also another fenced off section where we had to keep the dogs on their leads due to the large number of traps lining the route.
So, despite the fact that we had fun, I think it might be a while before I return here.
And we didn’t see any ghosts, either.