Maybe I need to be honest with myself and realise that I am finding it hard to do distance on this path. I had this strange feeling when I was on Top Withens, the wind in my rain jacket, the rain in my ears, that my pack was light and the going was easy. I think now that I may have been having a low-blood-sugar moment. It weighs a ton; it takes me hours to go a couple of kilometres. I have already left my shampoo somewhere, accidentally, what else can I get rid of? Wesley? The iPad? Three pairs of socks? Beside the iPad, none of those will make much weight difference and losing the iPad will send me round the bend because I need a good read at the end of the day—it makes me happy. Starting earlier will make a bit of difference and I am going to try for more breaks. Sounds counter-intuitive but I think maybe I am pushing too hard and not stopping and so I get to the point where I can't go one step further. That is how I was when I got to Thornton-in-Craven. I had planned to go a few more kilometres but not if I arrived there too late. I got there at four. The rest would have taken another three hours in my estimation. If I could have had a nice cup of tea and some cake I possibly could have done it, but there was nothing there—including any accommodation. I walked up and down town looking—literally, it was built on a hill. I even made a family miss their bus when I asked them. (Bus drivers here are mean. If they see someone at the bus stop, it doesn't mean they will stop, you have to wave them down. The family didn't see the bus approaching because they were talking to me. And they don't run that frequently—I felt mortifyedly bad.) In the end I caught the bus too (that is how I know they run so infrequently). There is a YHA in Earby (its back yard is pictured below), a couple if kilometres away, but I just couldn't walk it.
Just had the biggest plate of fish and chips at the local pub (see the picture on right). It came with peas and a salad that had fruit in it. (When I got back to the hostel the manager asked if I had had the strange salad with blackberries in it. It is not so strange I think, but in the context of this otherwise very traditional, family-owned, lout-frequented pub, it may be a little out of the ordinary.) It is getting harder and harder to eavesdrop because it is getting harder and harder to understand what people are actually saying, but I think the huge group that arrived while I was having my dinner were the local cricket club, and I think they were in for a night of sorrow drowning because they had been bowled all-out for twenty-five runs! Not so cheery.
Sorry if it sounds like I am always moaning. It is just that my feet are doing most of the talking at the moment. At breakfast a lady asked me if it was true that long-distance walkers become obsessed with their feet. Yes, it is. I am my feet at the moment, nothing else.
Good night to Earby, good night to you.