Distance: 30,6 km (19 mi) for a total of 1098,7 km (682,7 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 825 m (2710 ft)
Weather: Rain in the morning, later drying out with only occasional drizzle
The rain had set in sometime in the night and not stopped until it was time to pack up. So we donned our waterproofs and set off. Plodding over fields without much to see on the left or the right because of the rain and the fog we soon reached Lothersdale – much too early for the only remarkable feature (the pub) to be open for a tea or coffee.
Not long and the next stretch of moorland began. We made good progress, the uncomfortable weather helped speeding us up a bit. Thornton-in-Craven at least offered a place for a short break. Following the path across more fields brought us to East Marton, where we skated round the possible refreshment stops because we knew we would make it to Gargrave in time for lunch.
We had joined the Leeds and Liverpool Canal a bit earlier and as usual the towpath allowed comfortable walking. During this piece of our route we passed the double arched bridge where Geoff played a little quiz with me about the reason for this unusual construction.
Perhaps because of the bank holiday Gargrave didn’t make the impression of a vibrant town, the cafe we passed was closed as most other shops, but at least we were able to buy some provisions before we entered one of the two pubs. Getting something to eat proved to be a complicated matter as our first choice and Geoff’s second weren’t available anymore, but even this obstacle was overcome.
The last few miles to Malham were mainly a nice and level walk, even pleasant as soon as the River Aire was reached. A last short, steep ascent preceded a leisurely stroll into Malham where a very special safari could be undertaken.