Distance: 30,5 km (19 mi) for a total of 1209,6 km (751,7 mi)
Ascent (ca.): 650 m (2135 ft)
Weather: Showers in the morning, clearing up over the day, sunny in the evening
It already had been raining during the night as I recognised when I woke up once. By the time I wanted to get up and pack it started again so it was a heavier tent with all the water on it to carry as well. The views were not only restricted because of the rain but also because of the mist although this gave some interesting effects.
Yesterday evening in the pub I had enquired about the likely condition of the path across Sleightholme Moor because Geoff had warned me that it has a reputation for being very wet and boggy which was also confirmed by Paddy Dillon in his guidebook. The answers I got weren’t too promising and with the rain it was settled that I would take the bad weather alternative. When the PW finally left the good track to make its way through the fields again unmistakable signs that I’m getting nearer to Scotland appeared. Of course, there had been thistles before but not that beautiful 😉
There are two alternative routes for the PW, separating shortly before the A66. I wanted to use the one which underpasses the road to get onto the moors again. The second one does a loop through Bowes, but I was not interested in paying a visit to the town today. Not sure whether I was distracted or if signage was poor around the fork, but I missed my route at first. When I recognised that the signs would lead me parallel to the A66 I rapidly retraced my steps to the right track.
The path across Cotherstone Moor didn’t give the impression of being used by as many walkers as the PW usually does. I didn’t met a single person and not even saw somebody in the distance, so it felt really remote. Thus said I wondered who would need pink wrapping up here or what purpose it was thought to serve on the signpost …?
In Baldersdale I rounded the western end of Blackton Reservoir and crossed a nature reserve. Here I found a very impressive gate closing mechanism.
The rest of the day included some up and down to Grassholme Reservoir and then some up and down to Middleton-in-Teesdale, this last bit passing this picturesque ruin.
As soon as I had pitched my tent on the campsite and made myself a bit more presentable (not that I care too much about it) I walked into town to get something to eat. The meal was good and followed by an even better chat at the bar with Sarah and John. It was a pleasure meeting you!