Monday, 12 November 2012



Today's forecast was for rain and low cloud, so a long walk up in the hills was not particularly appealing. The shortened railway walk would at least get us out for a bit of exercise and we could buy a few provisions at the end. (Monday being market day)

As we started our walk, it was already raining steadily, but it had not at that point set in for the day. (Well, you have to be optimistic!) It was a little squelchy as we crossed the sheep fields along the line of the footpath. The kissing gate at Stenkrith Park had been left unlatched by someone, but we secured it once we'd gone through. (Don't want to give walkers a bad press!) The sounds from the River Eden were not as loud as they had been on Saturday afternoon. Sure enough, when we crossed the footbridge at Stenkrith Falls, there was very little water coming down and it was being channelled by the slab-like river bed. We had had a dry day yesterday, so it was hardly surprising.
Little water at Stenkrith Falls
We turned onto the disused railway once more. It was raining more heavily now and it was raining leaves too, as the breeze was tearing the few remaining leaves from their branches. We hadn't yet reached the first old railway bridge that crosses the walk. We hadn't come across anyone out walking. It was too late for the early morning dog walkers and, what with the rain and it being a work day, we didn't expect to meet anyone. However, we were surprised to come across a posse of sheep.

About 100m ahead of us, a couple of sheep were slowly walking across the hardened footpath. Naturally, we stopped. They simply shouldn't have been there. Looking to our left, amongst the trees and surrounding a stone that forms part of the 'Poetry' path, we saw at least another eight or so. They were happily enjoying their new territory. Over to the right, other sheep were making their bid for freedom from a field. We didn't investigate where they were escaping from. Who should we tell? There were no obvious farm buildings nearby.

Bid for freedom
Very quickly, we reached the Hartley road and, before long, we were back in the market place. What to do about the sheep? Well, we reported the breakout bid. 

They say that, 'The grass is always greener on the other side'. I'm sure the sheep were having a great time exploring beyond their normal boundary, but their field was definitely more lush. Hopefully, the farmer would get them safely gathered back in.

Once again... there was something new... something surprising... that changed the day and the walk from being far from ordinary.

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