Day Six - Shap to Kirkby Stephen

    Saturday 2st  May 2009

Crosby Ravensworth Moor

At 7:30 I went to wake David, but he was already up.  We went down for breakfast at 8:00 where, chatting to one of the Magnificent Seven, we found out that they were from Cheshire and, of course, also doing the C2C.  They left a bit before us, but not before we found out that we’d be using the same B&B in Kirkby Stephen as well. 

We departed at 9:00 and briefly stopped at the Co-op to buy today's lunches. We walked down Shap's long main road then dived down a side street before following a green lane over the mainline railway then fields to the motorway.  We passed a quarry then started to cross some flat(ish) moorland.  The weather was fine, if a bit windy, and would remain the same for the rest of the day.

As this was access land we were required to keep Maggie on a lead.  I did so for three miles, but as she was showing no inclination to wander and there was no evidence of ground nesting birds, I let her off.  David, after yesterday’s exertions, was starting to find things hard.  Maggie was also struggling.  After the Lakes paths here front paws had become red raw.  I tried some paw wax, but it was perhaps too late.  Still she kept going, just not with her usual exuberance.

We followed the lanes around Orton and, shortly after being sent on our way by a yappy wire haired terrier we stopped at Sunbiggin Tarn for lunch.  The tarn was surprisingly devoid of birdlife, so we occupied ourselves watching someone launch a rowing boat.  30 minutes later we set off along a new section of path which cuts out a section of road walking.  This too was access land, but I didn't bother with the lead this time.  This new section was a bit wet at times, but straightforward, at least until the end, where some consultation of the map was needed. 

Back on the classic route we followed another section of farm tracks, usually to the left of a dry stone wall with higher ground on our left.  David was now tired and looking forward to tea at Kirkby Stephen.

We passed Severals then dropped down to Smardale Beck before the final modest climb up Smardale Fell.  This would be followed by two miles down to Kirkby Stephen.  The climb was modest, but with several false summits.  This did for David who now just wanted to finish.  I was tired too, but David really did look as if he had had enough.  Therefore there was a certain amount of relief when, 30 minutes later, we found ourselves walking down the main street.  Chris and Julie, our wives, were waiting just before the B&B sitting on a bench.  

Booking in David had his wish come true and the proprietor served up tea and scones.  We joined the Magnificent Seven from yesterday in the lounge and tucked in.  The following day they would continue to Gunnerside, we were taking a day off.