Friday, June 02, 2006

Day 9 - Malham

Martin began the call this evening by apologising for not being here on my birthday, but he was with me in spirit – or at least his credit card was, when I took the kids out for dinner! He began his day at a very low ebb, purely because he was so totally exhausted, mainly mentally. After breakfast and de-camping he set off to find that with a bit of ibuprofen gel in the right place (the Sudocreme has been ditched), the bruising from the saddle was slightly better, and that raised his spirits considerably.
At 9.30pm he set up his tent at Malham campsite, happy to be amongst people, after the hottest day so far. He camped at the very same site 30 years ago with his father when they walked the Pennine Way together, and has been on his own a few times since; the site owners are still the same people.
He has willed himself through another 69.41 miles today over hill and dale – literally. He said it’s been a tough day, then acknowledged that every day has been a tough day. He lost his way twice, once because of the map (“I’ll never follow another Sustrans map!”) and once because he was enjoying the view and wasn’t paying attention to the signs. At Sowerby Bridge he met a female cyclist, whom he found very friendly. He chatted about his route with Claire, and she showed him a much better route than the mapped one, to Hebden Bridge where she lived, which followed a canal. So he was very pleased to have met her.
His lasting impression of today has to be the fantastic countryside and views, the familiar stone walls, the blue skies reflecting in the reservoirs which were ‘spectacular.’ He enjoyed passing through the Derbyshire countryside (his Mum’s favourite area) and Lancashire towns. Also the many reminders of his Pennine Way walks.
I reckon he has completed 642.25 miles to date, with approximately 685.75 to go, so tomorrow should be the half way point. He is averaging 71.36 miles per day. (Well, what else would I be doing at 01:23 am at the end of a blog?). He hopes to get to Dufton tomorrow evening, and three of his friends plan to meet up with him.


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