Day 13 .... May 9 .... Ribbleshead to Settle .... 15 miles

Breakfast is not served until 8:30, a policy not appreciated by walkers. I went down early for cereal and met a walker couple doing the same. We all groused about the late breakfast time. When the English breakfast came, it was huge with two each of sausage and bacon all sourced locally, good enough to take some for lunch. I guess this makes up for a mediocre dinner. After paying my tab, I was out the door by 9:15.

As I approached Ingleborough, I had to decide whether to climb it or go around it on the alternative route. The sky was chancy with clouds hanging around so, remembering yesterday and the Howgills, I opted for the alternate route. This led me over several pastures, then a track passing by a private area filled with pot holes and caverns in the limestone escarpment. Pothole and cave explorers can register at a farmhouse to get permission to explore. Further on, I passed under limestone scars and climbed up on the top to see the pavement formations, stones jump out everywhere. I crossed the Three Peaks track and debated whether to take it toward Ingleborough to intersect with the DHW path descending from Ingleborough but decided not. Ingleborough still had clouds hovering over it but the summit was clear. I could kick myself for not climbing it

Next I came to the main DHW path but didn’t recognize it thinking the intersection was further ahead. I soon realized my error and turned back onto the path I want. The problem was the many paths here and my trying to follow the guidebook backwards. If I turn around and walk backwards, it all makes sense. This problem will crop up again today at Wharf village, two miles further, where I turned into the village too soon and couldn’t find where to continue. Finally I went to the far end of the village where the landmarks were all too clear. If coming from the south as the guidebook is written, it would be impossible to go wrong.

After Wharf, the next village was Feizor, a surprisingly lovely place with an outdoor tea room and an inviting B&B. Here the DHW turned east past Smearset Scar towards Stainforth. After passing over more limestone pavement, I diverted from the eastward path to Little Stainforth and turned southeast, downhill, on faint farm tracks to emerge on the road just south of Stackhouse. This cut out most of the walk along the River Ribble and saved a bit of time. I was suddenly anxious to get to Settle so to have time to explore the town. A few steps along the road and I turned onto the Ribble Way leading along the river, then over the main bridge into Settle. I am only a half mile from Giggleswick - I love that word - made famous by Bill Bryson. My bed tonight, Whitefriers B&B, is just down the street near the Shambles, or marketplace.

Arrived at Whitefriers about 4 pm, a very old two story house with a beautiful lounge. I have a small room but nice. After a pot of tea and shower, I was out to explore the town, very old and interesting buildings. I landed at the Golden Lion and had seafood pasta w/watercress and a pint of Thwaites Nutty Brown. Talked to an Irishman who has been here 40 years. He didn’t seem to remember much about Ireland, but like most Irishmen he loves country western music and likes to spend a lot of time in the pub, being sociable, you know.

I finally sorted out the problem with my camera and will now have photo space for the rest of the walk. Yeahhh!

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