Distance 19.42 miles, cumulative 711.39 miles, time 8 hrs 30 mins, walking time 6 hrs 45 mins, pace 2.9 mph, Camped – The Carriage House Inn campsite.
The midges were very bad this morning and covered the tent. We retreated to the campsite car park to make a brew and get breakfast where they were a little less numerous.
We climbed out of Jack’s Bridge over Stoodley Pike and passed the reservoirs on Langfield Common. The route continued over Blackedge Moor and towards Saddleworth Moor. Before reaching Saddleworth Moor a major milestone was crossing the M62. We crossed near junction 22, for those following on our progress on road maps, and fortunately there was a grand overbridge for the sheep which we used.
Where we crossed the motorway it is in a steep cutting and remains out of sight and earshot until you are right on top of it and then our senses were assaulted by the traffic. A sudden contrast from the noises and sights we have been used to for 6 weeks now. Albeit we had a helicopter for company for much of the day as it inspected power line pylons.
During the day we had views on to some major conurbations which we assumed were Rochdale and Manchester.
Our overnight stop was Standedge the location of the Standedge Tunnels, four parallel tunnels running beneath the Pennines for 3 miles and 64 yards. There are three rail tunnels and one canal tunnel, which is Britain’s longest and deepest canal tunnel.
Having pitched at Standedge we wanted to get into Marsden for some supplies and decided to get the bus, it never came, so we walked the 2 miles into the town and did our shopping. We found the bus stop to return and were reassured by a couple of people waiting that we were in the right place and the bus would be coming but it was always late. Nearly an hour after the due time we shared a taxi back to the Inn with two lads who were also waiting for the non existent bus and who worked at the pub. They refused to take our money and gave us a menu recommendation.
The pub in the middle of Saddleworth Moor specialises in Turkish food, so a set menu for two and a litre of wine later we were ready to sleep.
The day had been bright and dry and full of contrasts which gave us something to ponder as we sat in the pubs conservatory watching the cycle chain gangs slog it out up the A62 and para gliders riding the thermals. A Turkish meal, with Italian wine and West Yorkshire’s finest scenery and hospitality, the EU referendum could not have been further from our minds.