Walk Day 48 – Crowden to Standedge

Wednesday 13th June 2018

13 miles today. 515.23 miles total.

The dawn was greeted by a cockerel at 3.20am – approximately. That’s keen. The dawn chorus itself started a bit later and the cuckoo joined in enthusiastically at around 5.20am.

Crowden camp site is a lightly forested area, which explains the gnats and midges, and my midge net is in use this morning. Such a fashionista with my gaiters and Tilly hat and now the ultimate accessory. 😉

The walk today has been a procession. The backpacking tents multiplied overnight. One couple has provoked tent envy in my neighbours with a 17foot two part tunnel tent. Ian, a bit further away, has a tent the same design as mine but with a different brand name. Jo and Alan have a lightweight version of our ‘little blue’.

Most of the walkers are challenging themselves to complete the Pennine Way, but today Jo and Alan were supporting Graham and Liz who are both LEJOGgers like me. They are covering more ground than me on each day.

We played tortoise and hare through the day and somehow all made it to the same (only) pub/b&b/campsite at Standedge tonight.

Walking over the last two days has been harder than I expected.

Although I’d read guidebooks and blogs I hadn’t expected to be scrambling up and down or across the scenery in quite the manner that a short person has to adopt when routes are devised by tall people. Or trying to reach stepping stones – some closer together than others.

If in doubt follow the walkers ahead.

Navigate by cairns.

There is always a walker in sight.

Graham, Jo, me, Liz, Alan at the cairn photostop.

The moors are beautiful but rather bleak.

Two of these planes flew low across the valley.

More beauty.

I stopped here to cool my hot feet in the water just before a steep climb out of the valley.

At the top of the climb I had a rest sitting next to a lady who was walking an adventurous circular route. I’d seen her earlier on a parallel path across the moor and wondered at the lone figure. She was very encouraging to me, effectively saying that the route was gentler ahead of me.

Then a few yards later I met a man and woman walking the Peak Boundary path in chunks. They gave me a donation for PCRF. Many thanks (edit – thank you for your subsequent online donation as well).

I had to take my pack off to slither backwards down the next set of ‘steps’ to a stream and puzzled for a good while about how they got ‘up’ them. I think I might have needed a ladder.

Three backpacker groups are now safely camped. Graham and Liz are sleeping in the pub, as is the couple I nicknamed ‘The Silverbacks’ because all I could see of them in the distance was the sun glinting off their foil-backed bed rolls.

There is also father and son team in the pub overnight. They are using a baggage transfer company and judging by the pile of large bags as yet unclaimed, there are more walkers to arrive.

It is something of a procession in these early days and I’ll be interested to see how many are still walking next week. Will I be one of them? I hope so. Its a rest day tomorrow.

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