Orton to Kirkby Stephen - 22 km, 400 metres ascent, 8.1 hours.
Brenda provided an excellent breakfast and told us how the old MF tractor outside was her son's first love. We needed to hasten a car to Kirkby Stephen, then drive to Orton to start our day's assault on the C2C route, so photography time was at a premium, and the tractor sadly missed out. Sorry Alan.
Anyway, despite the faffing with cars we managed to start walking by 9.30, on a 22 km stroll that would have taken Naismith about 5 hours. Our pace was rather slower.
It was a lovely sunny day, as confirmed by the stinging bath water earlier tonight, and the red colouration of my arms and neck.
Despite the glorious weather, we saw nobody all morning and hardly anyone in the afternoon. There were a few rather cute Shetland ponies to say hello to - see top picture.
A short cut on good field paths proved a good means of returning to the C2C path from Orton. Further on we stopped for elevenses in view of Sunbiggin Tarn, which others failed to notice. They did however notice the proliferation of 'biggins' hereabouts. Apparently it means 'building' or 'dwelling', though I'm not sure how that relates to the tarn.
At the road near the tarn we turned right and followed the Dales High Way for a while, that being an easier and more scenic way of getting to Ewefell Mire. Meanwhile, a herd of cows leered at us from the heights of the extensive limestone pavements of the Asby Scars.
We enjoyed lunch beyond Bents Farm then headed past peewits and a dismantled railway line to Smardale Bridge (pictured), where Sue completed a Reverse Ice Bucket Challenge by jumping into the beck, which was full of fish. The local heron flew off in disgust. My camera is still in shock, so no photos I'm afraid. A video may come later.
Continuing soggily on, Sue was able to point out a magnificent viaduct on the Settle to Carlisle railway line.
We then ambled gently on to reach Kirkby Stephen by 5.30, in time to see the last of some sheep being auctioned.
There followed another jolly evening with Andrew and Rosemary (still at the Black Swan) and Anna and Dale (still at Tranna Hill) at the Black Swan, where we have relocated to the 'Four Poster Suite'. Very nice it is too.