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Day 3 – Pennine Way – Standedge to Hebden Bridge – Chiropodist Wanted!

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Just finished draining some blisters on Harvey’s feet, they’re a mess and I’ve no idea how many he’s had and we’ve only just finished day three!

Today started early with a wholesome breakfast at Wellcroft House Bed and Breakfast, definitely a worthwhile stopover on anyones PW schedule.

We got underway and it wasn’t long before we we’re wearing full waterproofs. It rained more or less most of the day but it proved drier later for me to walk without waterproofs rather than steam inside them.

Walking was pleasant and without much contouring as we were already at a fairly high altitude.

The M62 was crossed amidst the throng and spray of vehicles hurtling headlong in the gloom. Views were limited as we traversed Blackstone Edge, progress was swift as the BHP of our “engines” appeared to be improving daily.

A series of reservoirs ensued involving a lengthy walk beyond to Stoodley Pike monument.

Fatigue started to set in as we felt every step of our descent into Hebden Bridge and onto the White Lion Hotel. We were surprised to be greeted by Jon, Tim and Fred who unknown to us were ahead of us after a 0630 start!

Refreshed from a hot shower we enjoyed a meal of cock and bull pie with Sherpa Ian.

Later I treated my sore feet to a bathing of surgical spirit and a soothing foot balm which so far has served me well. Although some Savlon under the toes was needed where they’d split.

My knees are giving me most discomfort although I’m hoping a daily application of WD40 is doing them some good.

Jon, Tim are going well now but 18.5 mile tomorrow will be tough but we’re hoping to catch up with them again in Hawes……

By Paul Courtney

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Day 3 – Pennine Way – Standedge to Hebden Bridge

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After a fantastic evening of steak and Golden Sheep (wrestling sheep again Paul!) at the Carriage House at Standedge with new Pennine Way friends Tim and Jon, Lands End to John O’Groats Fred, and Sherpa Ian it was back for a very comfortable nights sleep at Wellcroft House Bed and Breakfast at Bleak Hey Nook.

The hospitality was fantastic, a cottage full of character, creamy porridge and home made jam a real treat. A definite recommend.

We were expecting to start in a downpour after looking at the weather forecast the previous evening, and were surprised to see it just overcast.

A swift start saw us on the trail for 8:20am with a brisk pace up to White Hill and the M62 crossing.

The weather soon broke and full wet gear had to be worn for a couple of hours before the cloud lightened and waterproofs were removed after Blackstone Edge.

My feet were still an issue with the open heel wounds heavily covered with compeed and little toes similarly strapped.

I decided to stay with trainers despite the wet weather in order to guve my heels a rest.

A previous blister under my left big toe decided to say hello again, and some remedial work had to be undertaken.

A swift step was then made around Warland Reservoir and across to Stoodley Pike monument with rain still falling but not too heavy.

Stoodley Pike is a real landmark that you can see as a target a goid couple of miles before you actually reach it and once there sets an imposing stand on the valley below.

The few miles drag down to the valley was relatively gentle in terms of topography however weary legs and my sore feet still under rainy conditions it was a slower pace to the end of the Pennine Way route for the day.

With wet conditions we had made an executive decision at the start of the day to not camp at High Gate Farm but opt for a dry room at The White Lion Hotel in Hebden Bridge.

Under the circumstances a great decision!

So patch up work on my feet begin ready for tomorrow along with a catch up with Tim, Jon, Fred and Sherpa Ian!

Day Three – 15 miles + 1 mile to Hebden Bridge, 43 miles total, lost count of blisters!

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Day 2 – Pennine Way – Legend in our lifetime

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Walking day two began after feeling thoroughly refreshed and nourished after our stay at Crowden YHA. It began with a stiff climb up Black Chew Head which eased the stiffness in the muscles from the day before.

It was grey overhead but the wind had eased to a gentle breeze and the trek across the steep sided ridge was pleasant and enjoyable. Progress was gentle across the moors to Dun Hill and beyond to the trig point at Black Hill where Tim and John where enjoying a brandy!

The views were well worth the climb and our onward vista was opening out before us. Harvey was struggling with heavily deteriorated blisters on both heels and urgent remedial action was required.

Upon reaching the road and the support vehicle Harvey’s wounds were tended and sustinance taken on board. Harv opted for trainers which proved a wise decision for the afternoon.

We strode off to be bathed in warm sunshine as we negotiated a series of reservoirs to finally finish at the now dry Redbrook reservoir.

We retired for a well earned pint at an inn where we were joined by John and Tim and our new walking acquantance Fred. Fred is a remarkably fit, weathered, compact yet muscular 69 year old carrying a fully loaded rucksack. We were mesmerised by his tales of how he was trekking the whole length of the country.

This was an awesome encounter and Fred was plied was a few pints of Black Sheep in exchange hearing about his exploits. We enjoyed dinner together with all our new found walking friends before adjourning to the 4 star Wellbeck guest house to refresh ourselves after the days toil.

John however also heavily blistered looks set to walk another day……..

By Paul Courtney

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Day 2 – Pennine Way – Crowden to Standedge

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Wow, what a day!

Crowden Youth Hostel provided a great night’s sleep (for me anyway!), ear plugs in, bottom bunk, no-one above – 7 hours kip sorted!

Crowden YHA is fantastic, I would actually consider taking the kids there for a weekend walking.

Great hospitality, cracking food, modern, clean stopover.

Thank you Crowden YHA!

The day started with a steady climb up the ridge of Black Tor with a sharp steep pull up Laddow Rocks and across the peaty path eventually to a paved path up to Black Hill, shared with our fellow Pennine Wayers Tim and John whom we had met at Crowden YHA.

By this time my feet, more specifically my heels and little toes had turned into blistered open wounds and a call to Sherpa Ian was made for a lunchtime meet on the A635 for a patch up and change from boots to trainers.

The last pull up to lunch was purgatory on my heels, it was a grit teeth and get on with it time.

My feet have always been an issue and even fulky fitted boots clearly make little difference.

A patch up of compeed and a switch to trainers made a huge difference, my pace took off again on a fantastic walk by Wessenden Reservoir, over Marsden Moor into Standedge, thankfully for my feet all tracked and paved.

A cracking day made all the better by a comfy bed and breakfast Wellcroft House at Bleak Hey Nook.

12 miles, 28 in total, 2 sore feet, 242 miles to go with blistered feet!

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