Tim Scotts Coast to Coast walk September 2017 travel blog

The Nine standards at 2170 feet

Members of the flock en route to Nine Standards

View from my bedroom window in Keld

Day 9 Lockholme B & B Kirkby Stephen to Butt House in Keld 14 miles To-day was to be my first time back in Swaledale since my sons Paul and Glen stayed in a holiday cottage in nearby Gunnerside in April 2017. I left the excellent B & B to the South of the town walking to the centre noticing my very good friends Annamiek and Jets car was still parked outside their hotel, their flight from Manchester being early afternoon I felt sure they would get off ok. Across the old market place and river Eden I began a long climb out of Kirkby Stephen past the quarry where a wasp landed on my hand and entangled with my hiking glove decided to sting me, fortunately the majority of his venom stayed on the glove and the discomfort was not too bad.

The early part of the climb was decent under foot and it was here I decided to cease my pastoral work with my flock, sheep I've decided are like the Biblical philistines.

It took most of the morning to climb to what is known as 'Nine Standards' huge cairns that are visible from miles away

The terrain became boggy marshland as I climbed, alone to-day, and just making polite conversation with other walkers encountered as few were really known to me. Even on the recommended route via 'Whitsun Dale' one had to make long detours around the mire and I wasn't alone with the squelchy higher moorland mud reaching above my knees on the slow descent to Ravenseat where a few people were having a break there were many stories of falling face first into the mud....delightful. Peters sister from Australia was there and thanked me and the Dutch ladies for keeping an eye on Peter.

The muddy terrain continued until I hit the road into Keld. As a celebration I took a self portrait using a selfie stick and mobile 'phone. A word to the wise though £1 Poundland selfie sticks are a false economy. Why do I do it? I bought one for this holiday and decided I'd better get a couple of spares. Number 1 and 2 broke when putting on the phone and so there was just a remaining one. The pictures taken were in any event pretty unflattering so I decided to use my camera for future 'selfies'

Anyway arrived safely at Butt house a small but beautifully appointed place despite its unfortunate name. With the hardest part behind me I was now about half way on the 'coast to coast' walk The rest of the guests were a group of Aussies I met at breakfast.

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