Langdon Beck to Dufton
“Would you like a cooked breakfast?”, Andrew Milnes asked me this morning. “No thank you, just toast and a roll of toilet paper”. But you don’t run a guest house and have a sense of humour.
There were two Danes at breakfast, father and son. They are also on the northbound Pennine Way but are following a different schedule to me. They skipped the cooked breakfast too. I have a feeling we might meet later next week. I like Danes.
I managed to find another pub last night for dinner, a much better experience than the previous night’s lamb chops. The waiter even had a COVID-19 approved pepper mill which conformed to the social distance recommendation (see photo).
The taxi dropped me off at the grid reference for the start of today’s walk, on the banks of the River Tees. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and there was no rain forecast. Today was a pleasure. The walk was more or less a straight line in a west south west direction with a well defined path and nice scenery. The highlight was the impressive High Cup Nick, a massive glacial valley, the sort of U shaped valley you’d draw at school in geography. It’s one of those natural wonders which cannot be adequately photographed. You just have to sit there with a KitKat looking at it.
A chap called Ian pedalled up beside me and decided to join me for the walk to High Cup Nick. It was nice to walk with someone, particularly through a military firing range, and hear their life story, even if I had to slow down. He told me he is a fast walker but I guess everything is relative.
The taxi driver said he had 821 bookings from Contours last year to ferry walkers between the trail and their accommodation. Of course this year has been a wipe out. The baggage transfer is handled by a specialist courier. Their service has been a marvel. My bag has my name on it and that’s all. I leave it in one place and when I arrive at the next place, cold and wet, there it is waiting for me. Except today. A message said “bag delayed until 4.30”. Fortunately it was a dry day today so I peeled off my wet socks and sat in the bar with a pint of Fosters. It’s amazing how sometimes people remember social distancing.
Cauldron Snout – yes it’s the River Tees showing off again
Years ago a Pennine Way walker would get wet feet here. But now there’s a bridge which is also good for a coffee break underneath
Tonight’s B&B pub. You can tell it’s a decent place