Almost immediately after returning from the TGO Challenge, I was off up Teesdale for the reccy for this eleven mile trundle around the Teesdale/Lunedale fells. I did get back a bit late – on Sunday, in fact, and the reccy was Monday followed by the actual guided walk on Wednesday.
I found no special problems on the reccy and had a nice chat with an Irish and very tweedy Pennine-Wayer heading South. The long-distant gait and gaze is a bit of a giveaway and he was obviously up for a natter, so we natterred. He seemed to be enjoying himself and had a nice, relaxed approach to the job in hand, unlike the Lejogger with a dog on WEdnesday who seemed irritated by the fact that other people were using the path and getting in his way. He spoke not but hurtled on, probably on some kind of tight schedule. Each to his own y’know, but I much prefer the more Celtic approach which, for me, in the end, often provides actual fun and enjoyment to the task of walking a long way over a long time…
On the day, despite a horrid weather forecast involving the words “persistent” and “heavy”, twenty-six people turned up for the walk, including the three stewards, Dave (i.e. Compulsory Dave), Neville and Eric. Eric was the backstop and Neville was the whipper-in, and, when unleashed, towards the end of the walk when the less fit at the back were starting to feel the pressure of distance combined with contours, restrained some of those who would have set the pace and drawn out the group into a straggle of strugglers. At one point I indicated to those straining at their leashes that if they wanted to go off on their own, they were welcome. I would have let them go, too, but at this they seemed to take the point and started behaving themselves.
And it only rained for the last half an hour of the walk. So much for “persistent.”
Its quite a nice route, I think. We did it last year, and there’s a blog post about it somewhere. For those who are interested in such things, and specially for those who just can’t be arsed looking up last year’s walk – there’s a handy map below.
Lots of lapwings, curlew, golden plover, bluebells, lady’s smock, primroses, violets, handsome and nicely tanned walk leaders……..