Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Crowden to Hebden Bridge

Wednesday 23rd May

Beverley and Glenda set off from Banstead (temp. 26.5°C), arrived 5 hours later at the car park in Crowden 2 hours late (temp 16.5°C), luckily Carol and Jane were 2 hours late as well.

Drove over Snake Pass to Jane and Neil’s house in Sheffield where wine and lasagne were waiting, very welcome!

Thursday 24th May

Carol, Beverley and Glenda set off back to Crowden. We started walking at 10.40 am over Saddleworth Moor and Black Hill, easier than the previous day they said – not! Carol called this day ‘the assault course.’ Quite a few ‘black hills’ were climbed today.

Carol made numerous phone calls, and eventually arranged for Jess, a retired scouter from 43rd Huddersfield Scouts, to collect us at Standedge at 4 pm. However it was soon apparent that this was a very hopeful estimate. We kept phoning with progress reports, Jess assured us that we were very close to the finishing post but 4, 4.30 and 5 pm came and went, we eventually made it at 5.45 and fell gratefully into car for hour’s drive back to Crowden. (Glenda slept most of the way.) Back over Snake pass to Sheffield to gate crash Neil’s party with work colleagues. Delicious curries! Joined by Stefanie who, living at Hallam Uni. Only15 minutes away, wanted to see her mum! We retired to bed at midnight with the party still going on.

Friday 25th May

We left Sheffield and our comfortable beds after much appreciated hospitality from Jane and Neil and after driving to Mankinholes Youth Hostel (2 hours away) we got a taxi back to Standedge which took another hour. We started walking at 12.40 pm (Carol’s latest start to date).

We got lost straight away. Didn’t look at map OL1 before we set off as ‘only 1cm from edge of the next map, we thought. We eventually re-joined the Pennine Way which turned out to be in quite a different direction from the Pennine Bridleway.

Only one real hill climbed today but lots of reservoirs and drainage ditches as we crossed Close Moor, Moss Moor, Rishworth Moor, Messenden Moor………..not to mention the M62 with Glenda shouting to us to ‘fork off’, whilst map reading from 20 feet behind.

Eventually Stoodley Pike came into view as we descended to Mankinholes with Carol steaming ahead and us hobbling behind. We finally reached the youth hostel at 8.30 pm. A record late finish for Carol. By the time we had paid (before we were allowed up to our room) it was nearing 9pm and there was great concern that the nearby pub would stop serving food so we ordered by phone and crossed a field of sheep to get there in time.

Panic at 10.50 pm when we realized that the YH shut at 11 and we hadn’t paid the bill. Back (uphill) across the field of sheep at a much faster speed than our aching legs and feet wanted to go. We made it – just.

Saturday 26th May

Next morning, after a rather late breakfast (when we should have already vacated the YH)
We headed off to Hebden Bridge to find a laundrette and a library for Carol and sandwiches for us to keep us going for the journey home. (Via Sheffield to collect most of the contents of Stefanie’s room).

It had been good to see Carol and we were pleased to have had the opportunity to walk with her. We ached and Beverley is still wearing flip flops four days later but we kept up and finished the course (without getting wet at all).

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