Dales Way – Day 6

Sedbergh to Kendal 12 miles

Next morning it was wet so after breakfast I donned my waterproofs, which I don’t like wearing, and then it was off into the rain after guidance of where to rejoin the Dales Way, which just happened to be round the back of the house.

As I was walking I could see two people (a mum and her daughter) coming towards me and they stopped to ask if I was on the Dales Way. They were walking the other way from Bowness to Ilkley as a treat for the daughter who had completed her exams. They looked soaked.

As we said our goodbyes & wished each other a good walk, it was on into the wet murky weather to find the 12th century Crook of Lune Bridge. I was nearing the bridge when I could see bullocks in the field ahead. I walked towards them only to discover the path led off to the right and as I followed it uphill I found I was now in the same field as the bullocks but I was higher so I felt safe. As I walked I could see my field exit point, but now the animals were breaking into a run towards the same exit. I increased my pace trying not to run and attract their attention. As luck would have it I arrived before them, so it was through the gate quickly, turning around with a confident look back to see where they were. They had stopped and were chewing grass again.

It was at this point the rain had stopped and I could hear a lot of traffic, checking the map I found I was close to the M6 motorway.

Crossing over the motorway I knew I was now well into Cumbria and the Lake District beckoned.

After careful negotiations of re-finding the route, as there was excavation work on the line of the path, I saw a farmer on his quad bike rounding up horses. As they passed a frozen Dales Way walker (namely me) I ended up talking to the farmer who told me all his troubles of moving farms, losing an eye in a farm accident, dealing with land owners and how he had diversified from dairy farming; the chat was interesting. As we said our friendly goodbyes he pointed to the path towards Kendal and the distant hills covered with rain clouds, typical of the area.

Further on it was time for lunch; I sat overlooking the railway line from Oxenholme to Windermere. Here several trains passed by with the passengers looking out across the fields, so I sat having a quiet time to myself.

After lunch it was a quick check of the map and away I go. I crossed the road bridge to the next field and could see the path line were so many had walked before me. Guess what?

Three cows were lying down, actually on the path, so by now with my experiences of dealing with them, I walked around them keeping a firm eye on their movements. They just lay there and watched me walk by – phew!!!

“That was easy,” I thought, following the way marker into another field and down the hill. Then my worst nightmare as I could see a whole herd of cattle, they appearing to be waiting for me.

I had no choice but to go for it. As I neared them my eyes were everywhere but not one moved towards me. I started to think I had been concerned over nothing, so I walked on confidently with head up high towards Kendal where I was looking forward to a good soak in a bath at my next stop over.

As I approached the A6, I made contact with the B&B as the arrangements were to phone the owner because the accommodation was three miles off the Dales Way.

I was met soon after my phone call and taken to my resting point in Kendal. The landlady informed me she was waiting to pick up two more people who were also walking the Dales Way. After a shower and a short rest it was time for dinner and I was advised to go to a little bistro in town where the food is good and reasonably priced.

The bistro was a little busy but I had no problems getting a table and I enjoyed my meal, washed down with a cool drink. After a steady walk back to the B&B it was time to rest and prepare for my final day of the walk.

It was a bit of a sad feeling really; I felt I had achieved something memorable and would like to do it again with others to guide them on the way.

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