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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Orton to Kirby Stephen

We started by walking over to see the stone circle by Knott Lane, which turned out to be not nearly as interesting as I'd hoped it would be. The stones were not very tall, even though they were broad, and clearly the work of men with intention to build the circle. But I estimate that three or four strong men could have done the work if they were so motivated, or perhaps less if they had horses and harnesses. Since nobody knows what the stone circle is there for, we went on and walked into Tarn Moor.

There were maps for Tarn Moor spaced at irregular intervals along the obvious trails, and with the help of my compass we made it over Sunbriggin Tarn. At this point, the weather had heated up, and we deployed our umbrellas for the first time as sunshade, something that would make us the subject of conversation for many a walker for the rest of our trip.

The long road walk wasn't very interesting, but soon enough, we came to the 3rd cattle guard, and turned off the road to walk through some farmland. Having gotten off the road, we quickly found a place to roll out our ground sheet and eat the one packed lunch we bought for both of us. The heat was unrelenting, however, so we ate as quickly as possible and moved on. After a steep descent alongside a farm, we got to Smardale Bridge and went up the steep incline afterwards, where there was supposed to be the Giant's Graves, another pre-historic monument that I missed. A few farms, a road, and then a railroad tunnel which in normal English weather would have been completely muddy but was indeed quite dry, and we were in Kirby Stephen.

A question about the Redmayne House at the first people we met yielded excellent directions. We arrived at the house, which looked rather ramshackle on the outside, but when we were brought in were delighted to find bright airy rooms with enormous bathrooms and lovely furnishings.

Laundry, grocery shopping, cash extraction from the nearest ATM later, we were found an excellent Fish and Chips place that served incredibly fresh fish. Satisfied, we went back to the Redmayne House and had a footbath before going to bed.

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