Standedge to Mankinholes (16 Miles) Friday 9th August 2002

We were woken by the fire alarm. Actually that is not true, we were woken by the smell of toast and assumed that breakfast was being prepared and that therefore it would be a good time to get up. Then the fire alarm went off. Must be the toast, sure they’ll turn it off in a second. Several minutes later, we were considering the prospect that the first B&B we had stayed in might actually be in the process of burning down, as the alarm was still ringing. We made our way downstairs somewhat apprehensively, only to be greeted by the flustered owner who had now found the instructions for the fire alarm and had located the “off switch”.

Fuelled up, we wished the owner good luck in her venture and sallied forth, (Blimey I made it to day three before I used that phrase) pausing only for photographs. Another grey grizzly day in prospect. After crossing the M62 the PW intersects a roman road on Blackstone Edge Moor. Here, out of the mist appeared a young woman, another PW traveller heading South. Why is everyone doing it this way? Do they know something we don’t? She looked very weary, and managed only the tightest of smiles at our “only a couple of days to go” cheerieness.

Lunch was taken at the pub below Blackstone Edge Reservoir. We spent the afternoon walking past another three reservoirs on the way to Mankinholes. The descent into Mankinholes is very steep and our hearts sank at the thought of that “up” in the morning. Mike did have a point.

Booking in to the Hostel, the warden said “So what happened to the other one? Did he drop dead?” “Yes”. Collapse of stout party. He didn’t know what to say and neither Keith nor I were in any mood to help him out. Mankinholes is (or at least was) one of the more basic Hostels operated by the YHA, entirely self catering, so we wandered into Lumbutts for a meal. Back at the hostel Keith retrieved his Open University books from the bottom of his rucsack and made a fair impression of actually trying to get some study time in. OU books were one of the “essentials” I felt that I could do without for three weeks, S369 would just have to wait. I should also point out here, that were were doing the PW the “proper” way, carrying all our kit from place to place, and not using these “drive your bags” services which now seem to exist on all long-distance routes. If you can’t take the weight, don’t do the walk. While Keith studied, I washed our kit. Basically we had two sets of clothing each. One to be worn that day, the other to be washed. I was as happy as Kryten, watching the washing machine go round.

~ by @mmonyte on August 16, 2006.

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