Hair-pin bends. Huff! Why bother when you can just go straight up? None of that faffing around for me. Well, I didn't have a choice once I made a decision at the cross roads, so I am going to say that aren't I? I was up at that little white pub in yesterday's picture in thirty minutes or less. It was a slog, but it felt good. If I had taken the hair-pinny bends of the road the delay may have meant I would have got there when the pub was actually open. As it was I had to head off without the celebratory drink—I am on the Pennine Way.
The first section was heavenly. It was flat (quel surprise! I was not expecting that) and went along beside the reservoirs. I want my water to come from these black tarn-like lakes surrounded by dry stone walls and populated by funny, loud, sore-tooth geese. I am not sure if they are Siberian's maybe. They have long black necks that they bop about, and white cheeks and chins that make them look like they have a hanky tied over a sore tooth. And they are certainly wingeing about it. They are great to watch land on the water, but the noise they make would definitely mean they wouldn't be allowed in Sydney after ten thirty pm. (Oh my goodness, how did this pub get hold of my iPod—oh my goodness, I have a really cool iPod (no sane person will agree I know.))
As I reached the top though, I had to kit up for rain, and it stayed wet. I was able to test my boots. They stayed dry after all the rain and several up-to-the-ankle dunkings in mud. I was impressed. They are mesh—and I am mesh-paranoid seeing as I usually end up putting holes in the mesh of my sneakers, but that Gore Tex barrier layer did an awesome job. My rainbow carillion knitted hat (one of the knitting projects from this years project—www.projectdanee2012.blogspot.com.au, for those who haven't been subjected to endless hours of knitting conversation) is an absolute disaster though. It has, firstly, stretched to an enormous size in the two-and-a-half times that I have worn it. And then it has this seed stitch edge and top which allows wind in like a louvre window. And whose bright idea was it to forfeit gloves! Holding aluminium walking poles on a five degree (celsius) mountain top in the rain is not something that makes hands burn with cold. I vowed to buy a new hat and some gloves when I got to town but happened in too late. Oh well, louvre hat and frost-bite hands it will be.
The hardest hill of the day (beside any downhill in rain; frankly I'm surprised I didn't get to test my shorts for mud resistance in the rear-end vicinity) was the one up to the hostel. I prayed half way up the hill (that they would have a room) and lamented the other half (that I hadn't called before I climbed), but it was all moot because I am the only one in the place tonight. That is a hostel I can handle. I am even slightly wishing that it wasn't empty and I had been forced to go to one of the up-stairs bunks because they are completely cool loft bunks. I did climb up and swap over for a more attractive looking pillow though and it was a hard climb. Dave and Em of the Hebden Bridge Hostel (or Mama Weirdigans, which appears to be Em's real surname) are quite passionate about Hebden Bridge. I haven't been able to really explore it but it is apparently quite a 'bohemian' town. In the face of true Bohemia I was too embarrassed to explain my 'bohemian' disguise. I feel quite un-cool compared. If you are in the area though I would recommend the Hostel without a doubt. It is a lovely building, the owners are very friendly, the price is great, and the cat is a sweety—a silly kitten at twelve. years of age.
I didn't eat all my dinner (except for the mushy peas) so that I could have dessert—I'm tossing up between the caramelised lemon tart with strawberry daiquiri or the blueberry brulee with ginger shortbread biscuits. The waiter has recommended the first. I have moved closer to the internet to have said dessert but still can't get it to connect so you'll probably see this after the time. Never mind. Dessert is here!
Good night to Hebden Bridge, good night to you.