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Day 11

Today we walked from Dufton to Alston, 32km with 1000m of climbing which was brutal. We didn’t start until 9am due to a late breakfast. We were met by the first of the three peaks we had to climb today as soon as we left Dufton which was intimidating as it was 800m high. Our audio book, 1984 was beginning to get very grim, especially when Winston was been tortured for what seemed like months. The only benefit was that when things got really bleak for Winston, Will would run ahead so he couldn’t hear it which meant he wasn’t lagging behind. We also saw a red squirrel which was rare. As we approached the top we got our first taste of the wind which was just about bearable without a jacket. But as soon as we got to the top we were hit by 50mph winds which was quite a shock. We couldn’t even hear the audio book so we had to put that on pause. We battled on trying not to be blown off the cliff, by this point we had been forced to put on our jackets due to the biting wind. We eventually made it to the top where there was a stone shelter which meant that we could stop and have lunch. Unfortunately due to the cold from the wind our hands were numb which meant we struggled to open the packets of food, but we got there eventually. The guide book made a comment on the fact we were two thirds through the day with only having done one third of the walking, didn’t go down well among certain members of the group. The good news was that it was the highest point in the whole walk. We then found our selves on a yellow track (like the yellow brick road) that seemed to go on forever. Due to the wind I was struggling to see which didn’t end very well when I opened a gate. I pushed open this gate and the next thing I knew I was lying on the floor. I had failed to see that when I pushed open the gate only the top half opened which resulted in me falling over the bottom half, as I tried to walk through it. I wonder how many other people have fallen over it. Once we had got all the way down we stopped for Ice cream before cracking on for another 3 hours before arriving at Alston for 6pm, our longest day so far. We went out for dinner at the local Pub which was very busy as it is a Friday night. The lively atmosphere was very exciting. Afterwards we went to the local co-op to buy supplies for tomorrow which should be more relaxing. If you have a look at the photos you will see that in one of them we are leaning in to the wind. There was a moment when we got behind a kern the wind suddenly stopped which resulted in a pile up as we all fell on top of each other. God knows what anyone watching made of it all. Best wishes, Ned and Will Battersby

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