Thursday, 30 June 2011

Day 54, 28th June

I woke up at my usual six o'clock feeling sick again for the first time in days. Oh no, it wasn't the water from the auction, was it? But I seemed to be fine again after some of my muesli, so maybe it was just from hunger? Hmmm, whatever, so long as it went away. As Dino had had a very slight lump on his back the evening before, I decided that he would have the day off and that Artax would take the luggage again while Dino got just Artax's saddle with his small front pack bags and the lightweight rugs. The only snag about having Artax take the packsaddle is that I have to walk all day and not just half like I usually do. But it promised to be a relatively flat day, so no worries, I shouldn't be a wimp. We set off at half past nine on lovely quiet back roads heading for Settle. In one of the first houses outside the town, a man was extremely happy to see us as he had seen us on the way up together with his granddaughter. He gave all the pets a treat and a donation for the charities and then called the local paper, but they did not seem to be so very interested in the story as they never called me.

It was fascinating in to places where we came across roads we had already been alongon the way north. The first time it was just for a couple of hundred metres until we took another lane again. As soon as we were on the known road, Artax stopped, had a little look around and then continued with increased energy. The second time it was even clearer; we were in the town of Settle and Artax repeated the stopping and looking at precisely the place where our new and old paths crossed. Then, apart from on a long stretch of hill, as we headed the same way to Airton as we had come over three weeks ago, Artax spent just about the whole time pulling me, wanting to go faster and to arrive at where he was sure would be our destination for the day.

As it turned out, we stayed at the same place, but this time invited by the son, who had been on holiday when we passed before. We met him along the way just before the village and he offered us a field. I said thank you, but we were hoping to go where we had been before, and then we found out that they were the the same place. The ponies got the field next to the one they had been on before and we did not have to go quite as far around the town, but were already at our destination as soon as we entered the village, which was lovely with the condition my feet and general energy levels were in. I got a wonderful shower in the house in the evening and could charge up the virtually empty laptop – thank you!

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