DAY 3- BUCKDEN to RIBBLEHEAD
After surviving the measly breakfast and checking out of the Buck Inn we set off in the drizzle and met the Dales Way Association man again outside Hubberholme church, he was doing a survey on the numbers of people doing the walk. We took the opportunity to look around the church - the pews were made by a carpenter known as the 'mouse man' because he carves a little mouse on the finished piece, looking for the mice helped pass time and as the weather was showing signs of clearing we set off again.
On paper today was the toughest test. No village or settlements on the way and the stretch towards Cam Houses has always been a little boggy. Cam Houses itself is austere and bleak, you get the impression that walkers are not welcome and the owners have sinister secrets to hide. Care has to be taken here as mid bog the path turns right by a barn to go uphill onto a track leading through the houses, signposting at this point is particularly poor and it is too easy to concentrate on the great view of Ingleborough ahead and miss the turn.
After the houses the route heads through a section of forest, this forest is
being used as a gamebird breeding and feeding ground and in order to deter walkers the ground has been left churned up, wet and muddy with most signs removed. Eventually you leave the small enclosed forest and briefly join the Pennine Way.
Here we met a couple of old ladies slightly eccentric with the eldest wearing
little wellington boots, she must have been well into her eighties and delighted in telling us that they were walking the Pennine Way - all of it, as it had taken them two days to get to this point from Pen Y Ghent
( about 5 miles away ) we guessed that they were doing it slowly. Unfortunately
where the Dales Way and Pennine Way cross the old Roman road huge scars
blot the landscape, the damage caused by 4x4 traffic is only too evident
and have caused a lot of damage to the historic road, such a shame to be surrounded by the magnificent 3 Peaks - Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen y Ghent only to see at first hand the erosion caused by off road vehicles.
Accomodation for the night was the Station Inn at Ribblehead, we have passed by here before and to be honest didn't like it that much, staying the night was out of necessity rather than choice. The evening views across to Whernside are indeed spectacular and the bath a welcome change from showers, i enjoyed a nice soak and pint of beer but the place itself was dirty and smelt of old damp dogs. It reminded me of an old Black and White film - Lavender Hill Mob or something like that where the gang lodged in a house next to a railway, the room shaking every time a train went past, well the goods trains carried on going along the Carlisle to Settle line next to our window most of the evening.