Walk Day 53a – Thornton-in-Craven to Gargrave

Tuesday 19th June 2018

5 miles so far today. 561.99 miles total.

Moving onto Malham after this coffee break.

My energy and health have returned with the sunshine, and easy walking this morning has helped.

The longhorn cattle and the donkey were in the fields at the campsite this morning.

As I was leaving the campsite Steve the dry-stone waller arrived and gave me a donation to PCRF. Thank you. I commented on the flat stones he was using for his wall compared to some other walls I’d seen and he indicated he worked with all sorts. The work I saw looked very smart.

Today, just as I needed it, I’ve encountered gentler hills, a walk along a canal bank and many meadows with lots of soft grass. Lest I get too bucolic I’ve also walked through a slurry bog and now have ‘wet swamp’ shoes and socks again!

Sheep and cattle to admire, and distant views of hills.

On the animal front I watched with astonishment as a black ewe leapt right over a sheep gate, leaving her twin lambs behind! They leapt too but fell back. As instructed I went through the metal gate and closed it securely, smiling at the relative pointlessness of my rule-keeping.

I also had one of those ‘unsure’ moo-ments in one field of ‘teenage’ heifers where a squealing sound rather like the bovine equivalent of ‘yippee, entertainment’ greeted my arrival.

It really doesn’t matter how many times I tell myself they are harmless; when they are running towards me, it’s quite intimidating.

I’ve refined my approach to cattle following the advice received after the field of bullocks in Herefordshire and spoke rather than shouted, and tried not to frighten them. They did move, and I didn’t get kicked or jostled, but they all sniffed at my arms and I received a gentle shove in the back from one.

Once I was safely on the other side of the gate they all looked gorgeous and were sniffing and trying to lick me.

The next field contained rams but they seemed unaffected by my presence.

I’m writing this from ‘The Dalesman’ tea rooms where John has just given me a donation to PCRF. Thank you.

Thank you also to Linda and to Jean for your donations.

More later.

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