[ blog » 2019 » UK_tour ] d12, England pt. 2: Alston to Hawes Hawes, White Hart Country Inn (by Philipp Gesang)
2019-06-11

The Good

Post box directly at the campsite, how convenient.

Clothes almost completely dried out, yeah!

The Bad

Apoarently the weather conditions had reverted to the kind of weather I had at the Scottish north coast. Seven degees and a fierce wind that almost knocked me over repeatedly especially on the switchbacks around the Hartside Fell. Had to pass on the Dun Fell for that reason -- I may be insane but I am not stupid!

The extra climb wasn't needed anyways to keep me busy today. The Yorksire Dales which I approached from Kirkby Stephen turned out to consist mainly of fiendishly difficult slopes with occasional gradients of 25 %. A total of over 2400 m climbed made the Garmin announce a new personal record for that bike.

The Tan Hill Inn was booked out so I continued down on my planned route into the Swaledale. The route at the bottom of the valley is marked as a bike route but it looked more suitable for MTBs than tourers so I had to skip the part from Kend on and took the direct road to Hawes instead. That had nice tarmac to be sure. The downside however was that it also involed the 300 m climb of the Buttertubs Pass. Quite an experience, intensified by the increasing rain. The omnipresent sheep certainly had something to talk about this day.

The Ugly

Rain water outside is taken care of by waterproof gear. Water inside though is another matter. Today I had to find that out the hard way.

Rolling out of the campsite I got distracted and forgot to fill up my water bottles. After two hours without a refill opportunity in sight -- the Pennines are not the most densely populated corner of the country -- I finally spotted a guy who was repairing the front door of his house and asked for some tap water. He promptly went inside to fill up my water bladder and after an amicable conversation I rolled on. Whe I stopped about five minutes later to distribute some water out of the sack into the bottles I instantly realized something wasn't right.

The pannier was flooded. Almost all of the 4 liters of water had leaked out, soaking everything inside. Stoically I inspected the damage while I cleaned up the mess: tools, laundry, food, the book, all affected. What's worse, water had leaked into the box containing the battery bank which caused a latent worry that stuck all day whether I would have to write off that essential piece of equipment.

It was mainly due to this accident that I decided to spend another night inside. At the White Hart Inn in Hawes where I got a room I spread out the contents of the flooded pannier. No big losses, luckily. Even the power bank appears to charge fine. Just the book suffered some real danage. Probably won't fit anymore into the bag I was keeping it in.

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