Friday, June 13, 2008

Day Six: Shap to Orton

Shap to Orton: a mere 13 km

This day was by far our easiest and shortest, but also a very fun day.

We got a very late start in the morning because we knew it was a short day: we had breakfast at eight thirty and were on the road by...nine thirty? Or maybe later? The Australians were staying at the same B&B and we chatted with them briefly over breakfast. They had taken a wrong turn as they were coming into Shap and kept going--so they didn't get in to the B&B until nine thirty the previous night!
Brent slept in :)
First thing in the morning we crossed the first of two busy highways intersecting with the trail. This one, however, had a footbridge over top, so we could take our time and gawk at how fast people were travelling in their cars hurtling away underneath us.
A quarry: an illegal picture; we were trespassing...
It was another incredibly windy day and so we only really stopped when we had shelter, otherwise walking as quickly as we could to get off the exposed moors. But we passed through some very pretty moor, with limestone outcroppings and stone circles. Also through a variety of pastureland, including one little valley where there was a huge pile of rocks called Robin Hood's grave (not really his grave, but interesting nonetheless--and a good wind break).
"Robin Hood's Grave" Taking our elevensies break.
Hiking against the wind
To my delight, a stone circle
We reached Orton by 1:40 already, and unlike some of the other isolated places we stayed, this was a very good thing, because there was lots to see in the town. It was Sunday and there were lots of tourists wandering around. We walked by the church right away and noticed that they were having some kind of exhibition. It turned out to be an International Festival, put on by the schools, where students researched and created presentations on different countries, all of which were displayed in the church. We toured the exhibits (the one on Canada was lacking, I'm afraid) and talked to some very friendly people in the church about our hike and about Canada. There was, in conjunction with these exhibits, a scarecrow competition going on through town, which we were given judging forms for.
Some cruel and unkind people stole the lead roof off the church.

Hey--A Canada Flag! At the Orton Anglican Church
We also talked to the people in the church about the fate of the Anglican church in Britain. A man told us that they are extremely short of Anglican ministers in Britain. In the Orton area, one vicar serves five churches!

We dropped our bags off at the Hotel, who kindly let us into our room early. Then we headed over to the chocolate factory (if you didn't already know it, we both love dark chocolate). We had hot chocolate made with shaved chocolate, and scones. Our cups came with little chocolates on the side. We also bought a big bar of dark chocolate. We have discovered that pure chocolate is a great energy provider when hiking. We keep a bar in our backpacks all the time when we're hiking and stop every hour or so for a chocolate break. When it's good high cocoa percentage dark chocolate, it's actually quite good for you--or so we tell ourselves. ;)
It was so good, we forgot to take a picture before we started drinking.
So many tasty varieties
After our chocolate break we went out into the town to judge the scarecrows. Some of them were quite ingenius, including an astronaut scarecrow with Apollo 18 flying to the moon (the scarecrow's name was Gordon Brown: a bit of a political statement). :)
Slow boat to China
Norwegian Troll
Leif Eriksson rowing over to the New World
The George Hotel was quite pretty, both inside and out and we quite liked it. However, we had some complaints with the people running it. The staff were not very friendly, our lunches cost six pounds each (that's 12 Canadian dollars) and were not that good. Also, they would not serve us breakfast before eight o'clock, even though we just wanted porridge. We were enjoying our early mornings on longer days, and so were frustrated that they couldn't just throw some porridge at us and let us be on our way.
The four-poster bed in our room--and the 5'10 beam in the doorway
The George Hotel
The restaurant under the hotel was very busy that evening. It was a long weekend in Britain and a Sunday night, and there were lots of families out on camping trips. We had steak and ale pie that took forever to arrive and homemade tasty tiramisu for dessert. I was so full afterwards, so we went for a walk. While we were out, we ran into the pilot couple and agreed to meet with them and the Australians the following night in Kirkby Stephen for supper since it would be their last night of hiking there.


Rachel & Trevor Olson said...

Awesome post, as usual! We are both loving the pictures. I have never had a desire to go to England until I saw these shots. Amazing! On a side note, do you know anything of the modern history of the Anglican Church...

Kirstin said...

Thanks guys. :)England truly is a beautiful place.

Modern history of the Anglican church as in how modern? I know its long term history, more or less, but wouldn't be able to tell you what has happened significantly in the last fifty years, except that they're short of ministers because no one wants to enter seminary these days (we saw signs advertising for people to join).