4th October 2019: Home to Garsdale Head

An almost perfect set of train connections meant that I arrived at the Moorcock Inn exactly on time, about 8pm. I’d walked away from home about 1.30pm covering the 1.5 miles to the local station in plenty of time for the train to Crewe. A long wait there, for the train to Carlisle meant I had time to sample all the waiting rooms and decided the one on Platform 5 is easily the best of the lot.

The Carlisle train was packed and I was thankful I’d booked a seat as there was plenty of folk being evicted from seats they’d occupied prior to the arriving at stations where new passengers got on and found folk in their seats. At least the information screens above the seats were working this time so it wasn’t exactly chaos. A group of about 12 ‘ladies’ joined at Preston and the volume level went through the roof as they sang and shouted across to each other, getting more and more drunk as the train sped north. I was glad to leave them at Carlisle, as my audiobook app on my phone didn’t have any more volume levels to go to and I didn’t want to listen to them.

First train of the day at my local station

I had 90 minutes to kill in Carlisle and I knew I’d arrive at the Moorcock after they’d stopped serving food, so I headed into town to refuel at the McDonald’s and watch the wildlife pass through. After the calories and the entertainment I wandered back to the station and satin what has become my usual seat, on the AstroTurf under the glass roof and watched a different set of wildlife.

Carlisle station
Carlisle station

The light failed gradually during the train journey to Garsdale and I enjoyed the ability to watch the goings on inside the train in the reflections of the windows. I emerged into pitch blackness on Garsdale station and donned my head torch in readiness for the walk to the pub. The train guard seemed to hold the train to watch me to ensure I didn’t cross the tracks rather than going the long way down the road.

I used the Pennine Bridleway to reach the pub, a good graded track that’s easy to follow even in the dark, with the small cone of light of my torch only illuminating a few feet ahead. I’ve not walked in the dark proper for a good while and I really enjoyed the experience again, especially on a familiar track with o navigation issues. It began to rain gently as I arrived at the pub – perfect timing.

Night walking on the Pennine Bridleway
Under Dandrymire viaduct
Welcoming lights of the Moorcock Inn

On the basis that “when in Rome…” I had a pint of Wensleydale (alright, technically this is still Garsdale, but I’ll be in Wensleydale within a couple of miles tomorrow morning. I drank it slowly, catching up on Twitter using the ridiculously slow WiFi connection and then headed upstairs to watch a film on my tablet. Yes, for the first time ever, I’ve decided to bring my tablet with me, a great platform for watching TV shows and films and only a slight weight penalty, one I’m prepared to accept as part of an experiment.

I’m also carrying a small pod of Squash’d with me so I can have an evening drink and lunch time drink if the mood takes me. I stopped drinking Diet Coke about 3-4 months ago and have no inclination to start again, so I now drink juice, which is easier to make when I’m out and about and probably better for me.

I filled my water bottle with water from the tap in my room in anticipation of turning it into juice to drink while I watched my film and was shocked at how murky it was and how badly it smelt. I left the water to run for a while and the smell lessened but the clarity did not improve. There were even little bits swirling around inside it. I decided not to risk it, the last thing I needed was the shits tomorrow tha KS to dodgy water. I also didn’t have any water for the walk tomorrow and was now concerned. I went to bed thirsty and a bit nervous about what to do tomorrow.

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