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Day 3 24/07/2002

(Ruth's entry) Woke up several times in the night, as sleeping bag was so wet. I had no bin liners to cover my liner of my sleeping bag, as the previous day he weather was atrocious. I woke up in the night, as the wet sleeping bag was getting cold around 1.35am. So I had to put on my jumper to retain what heat I had. However I could not sleep on the hood of my sleeping bag due to the soddenness. I woke up again around 5am because of the noisy sheep. Went back to sleep and at 5.50 there was a sunrise, and the sheep were so loud I had to get up.

Had breakfast in sunshine (that's a first in this expedition!) So we left damp clothes and things to dry on the dry stone wall. When we packed up the tent we saw the other group's tent. In matt and Simon's tent someone had trodden in dairylea into the door of the tent. It was awful, as they couldn't mop it up. However that is typical of the boys to have midnight snacks in the night!!

We left to pay the campsite owners and we properly started at 8.30am in the morning. We went through Ketflewell and saw another Duke of Edinburgh group that were going in the same direction. We carried on with our count of dead rabbits (which was by the end of the day was 68 including the previous days). Our count of dead birds now 2), 1 dead mole and our counting of going up and down styles. (By the end of the day that was 22 but was less compared to the previous day).


At Starbottom we decided that we would change our route going up Buckton Pjke as there was a choice of 2 routes, one longer and less steep and the other very steep and shorter. We had planned to do the long route but changed to do the shorter sharper route. Heading towards the top of Buckton Pike the view was amazing as you only started to appreciate the landscape of limestone pavements and cliffs.

Approaching Buckton Pike we went onto peat bogs area where I saw how the water had eroded the peat to leave a peat cliff and gullies (but not as severe as the Peak District) Streams ran in these gullies and was very soggy underfoot.

At the top of Buckton Pike we saw a cross grave of 5 polish RAF pilots in 1942 who had crashed into the moor. What was harrowing about that was the aeroplane remains were mixed in with the concrete. I had a picture taken there. On the cross there is an odd bronze fox head poking out of the cross grave.

Continued to go along top of massive hill along the peat bog moors. This was wet. I was wearing my gaiters, this was very handy as I went up to my knees in a bog as I put my foot in the wrong place. This meant that the other members of the group knew where not to go as I was leading the way and the chief bog tester. Catherine fell into the bog and she got completely wet too and caused the whole group to pick up spirit.

We shortly met our assessor, Edward Marks just after I had fallen in. With our assessor we had to observe another group of walkers to criticise them to learn from their mistakes. (This was not a Duke of Edinburgh group but old age pensioners) They were wearing jeans- not good! Jeans absorbs water and they had no waterproofs and had no map and had little emergency equipment.

Had break beside trig point then climbed style (that word makes me shiver!) touched the trig point and descended the hill. The highest point was over 700 metres. As we descended we met Tony going out on a walk to Buckton Pike with mud covered on his cheeks. We found with our assessor this stream, we refilled zigg bottles as they were empty as it was thirsty work walking. The water tasted very sweet, | much sweeter than tap water. Edward Marks left us at great pace, as he was literally running down the hill! We descended the hill and saw cotton plants, then we saw a large waterfall.

We had lunch beside a roadside. After lunch we travelled up the road to another hill. This was very hard going due to feet pain. We saw many sheep. As we ascended we saw some very unusual patterns on the lichens.

The weather was sunny up to then, but it turned colder and windier and we hadn't got lost. We saw rock sequences and peat bogs to the right of the path. My feet were very tired by then due to the limestone path chippings. Steph's knee was starting to play up and everyone had great sympathy towards her as she was in great pain. We had to slow down the walk a considerable amount. We heard as we were walking towards the end of the track a sheep herd and his dog herding up sheep. We heard "Away" and "Come by" and realised where the voice was coming the field boundary which we had to travel through. Steph's knee grew worse and the cold wind persisted so we applied a special cream that was a painkiller to the localised area of pain on her knee.

We continued down the next field with more frequent stops to cater for steph's knee. At last the sun came out in all its glory as it had been overcast all day after the first hour of walking. We saw a bird hovering on the strong hill winds at checkpoint 6, where it was considerably warmer. We had a really good rest at checkpoint 6, as the view was tremendous overlooking the valley over Semerwater.

After checkpoint 6 we met a walker with two border collies that were so excited to see us. If we weren't on a duke of Edinburgh , mission to complete Gold I am sure we would have spent some time patting the dogs and admiring their playfulness. However we had to press on, as Steph's knee was still bad as well as all of our feet as we had been walking on hard ground. Also we were determined to set up camp as we so badly to have a rest.
As we walked passed Semerwater we had to pass through woodland and pass fields of cows. What was unusual about travelling across the fields to the campsite after travelling through the woodland was that there were signs saying to travel in single file across the land. This is common sense but not very few farmers make this point to walkers on signposts for them to abide with.

Before we just came into camp we had to go to this farmhouse to pay for the campsite. We had run out of tap water as we had been really thirsty throughout the day, so we asked for water. They gave us water that was yellowy tinted and told us that we had to boil it otherwise we would get diarrhoea. Nice. So we hobbled to camp on the tarmac surface to Semerwater where we had to camp on a car park beside a lake. On the lake front it appeared as a beach as the water lapped on the gravel car park. Before long the minibus came and they told us to tip away the water we were given as they had safe drinking water. The leaders told us where the best pitch for camping and chatted to us while we constructed the tents. The meeting was brief and they departed bragging that they were enjoying the pub meals at Ribhblehead!

On the lake we saw quite a few ducks that tried invading our tents but we frightened them away. As the evening progressed we were able to dry out our wet sleeping bags from the previous day and other wet garments of clothing. The sun set beautifully over the hills overlooking the lake to end a great day three.
Reflections on the day:
Went through 22 styles.
Saw on journey:
Meanders, oxbow lake, glaciation evidence as there were large boulders with rock streaks.
We saw peat bogs and peat gullies that showed the effect of water on the landscape eroding the natural landscape away. We saw ranging from more limestone pavements to river sources to headward erosion at the source of streams.

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