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Day 6 – Pennine Way – Thornton in Craven to Malham

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After a tortuous day personally yesterday due to sickness the sleeping bag in the tent for our first camping night may not have been everyone’s idea of comfort, however it was my bliss for the day!

Anyplace where I could lay down and take on liquid would have done!

The campsite was at Sawley House in East Marton. Sherpa Ian had come to my rescue and picked us up at Thornton in Craven the evening before ferrying us on to our target destination.

The campsite is basically a back garden from an old bed and breakfast, with very basic facilities.

Morning broke to a chorus of birds singing at 4am and I could tell I was feeling significantly better which bode well for the day to come.

This was the first day we had some day trippers on board in the form of my Mum and old friend Osian.

Sherpa Ian arrived at 7:30am and did some more foot surgery on my left foot which still had very sore blisters.

Shortly after our daytrippers arrived and with camp broken down sherpa duties transfered to my Dad for the day who took us to our new day start point back in Thornton in Craven.

The day was another sunny one and by standards prior an easy 11 miles across rolling meadows, canal paths and the bank of the River Aire into Malham having taken in Gargrave for a lunch stop on route.

Paul’s right knee started to give him more aggrevation which had been building up over the last few days. Knee support came out and thankfully a gentle pace and flatter landscape enabled us to hobble in to Malham Youth Hostel early so we could bag bottom bunks and have a couple of coolers sat outside the Listers Arms watching the world go by.

Another restful night required before tomorrows big day of Pen-y-Ghent!

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Day 5 – Pennine Way – Ponden to Thornton in Craven – True grit!

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Day five – Pennine Way – Ponden to Thornton in Craven.

Well we didn’t expect our journey to go without some challenges and today certainly presented us with that. I was woken around 4am by Harvey’s first visit to the toilet and was informed that all was not good.

A moderate days walking was planned but Harv had been struck down by sickness and diarrhea. I had breakfast (for both of us), Harv had some tea but couldn’t manage anything else.

I’ll spare the details but Harv was struggling however we had an agenda that could seriously be derailed here and now. If we stayed put we probably wouldn’t catch up.

A few miles forward and we could, so I persuaded him to make 5 miles to Lothersdale.

Harv was repeatedly ill as there were some long hard stretches of uphill walking. We made our target and rested and agreed to attempt the short 2-3 miles to Ickornshaw.

We hoped for facilities and sustinence once we made our destination however there was nothing. Our plight was recognised by a resident pensioner called Eric who invited us into his garden for tea and Jaffa cakes. Refreshed once again we attempted the short hop to Thornton in Craven.

We arrived after spending a very long day making slow progress at about 18.30 when Harv set down and said that he couldn’t go any further.

We’d got significantly further than I dreamed we could. What a star Harv has been today, if we hadn’t made progress the show was probably over.

I’m immensely proud and humbled by what Harv has achieved today.

Because of what this means I can’t see anything making him give up.

What i’ve seen today proves he’s worth every penny he’s been sponsored and it’s an honour to be sharing in it with him.

By Paul Courtney

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