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DAY 8. Saturday 24th June 2006 - Reeth to Richmond
"In search for information relating to the life and happenings of centuries ago one must often rely on imagination to fill in the details from the scanty evidences still remaining. Not so in Swaledale. Anyone who wanders up the moors from the valley soon finds himself in the midst of a graphic scene of industrial decay that simply cannot pass by unnoticed"
After the weather we had experienced this week the sign hanging up in the guest house at Reeth really amused me "Mincers, mashers and marmalade cutters", somehow it summed up how we felt and made Kev smile, as did our highly entertaining evening in the Kings Arms. We initially planned to eat at the Black Bull but had been warned about bad service by the owner of our guest house and as we saw a number of familiar faces inside the Kings Arms we headed there. Although it wasn't particularly busy the landlady who was booking the restaurant told us that it would be about half an hour before they would be able to take our order because the chef liked to cook the meals individually and had a bit of a back log.
As it was early we didn't mind and took the opportunity to relax and chat with some of the people we had met over the last week. It was great to see that the two girls, Caroline and Janet who had stayed at the same guest house as us in Shap, they had been finding the walk through the Lakes a little hard and like us were not looking forward to more wet days.
Eventually our order was taken and we waited for our food to arrive, it must have taken some time because Kev wandered off again to talk to Wolfgang, the German who we discovered lived near us and his partner Yumiko and by the time he came back there was no sign of food and he had actually forgotten that we had ordered.
Meanwhile... On the table in the corner the butter incident was just about to blow up! After having waited over an hour for their meal a couple sitting in the corner asked for some butter to go on their bread with the soup, nothing arrived, they asked again and again, in the end he asked the waitress for a pack of butter that could be found in a wrapper, did she understand? Finally the landlady came out with the butter wanting to know what he was complaining about. Maybe the long wait?
Then, in front of the rest of the diners accused him of being rude to her, shouting and making the waitress cry (none of which were true), just as the other guests were defending him from these false accusations the landlady told him he was the only one complaining, the rest of the diners were happy (we weren't!) and told the couple to leave.
The landlady, expecting the rest of the diners to side with her retreated once we all started to voice our feelings and despite nobody having any food on the table kept sending the waitresses out to ask if we were ok?
When it finally arrived the food was certainly very good and we were just starting to put the earlier incident behind us when Kev noticed something in my rice. It was part of the wrapper from a pack of butter! He asked to see the landlady who came across still trying to convince us that she was right to throw out the other couple but went quiet when Kev asked her to explain what was in his food! She hastily said that we didn't have to pay for our meal and drinks. Needless to say it is unlikely we will return here again!
After all this excitement today's walk became a little tame, a nice gentle 11 mile walk into Richmond amongst scenery very reminiscent of the North and South Downs, although we did have to encounter some testing stiles!
The day livened up towards the end as two lambs came bounding up the road, leaping in the air with joy having just escaped from a field, they first decided to come and investigate us then follow us down the road. Luckily someone was at hand to guide them back into the field and their short spell of freedom had ended.
Rest day tomorrow, time to recharge the batteries and have a day without the boots on!