We arrived in Carlisle safe and sound on my birthday. I was so happy to have a warm and soft bed and to wash our filthy clothes. Apparently Carlisle has no laundromat. Hand washing it has been.

Why were we so muddy? That’s because it rained and rained at Dent. Well if you are from Dent or the Yorkshire Dales you don’t refer to it as rain you call it a “shower”.

We headed to Dent for the Dentdale Beer and Music Festival. We caught the Settle-Carlisle Rail which took us through some gorgeous rolling green hills. The fences are all made from rocks. I called them rock walls until I was corrected, they are “dry stone fences”. It felt as if we turned up on a movie location. We arrive at the Dent Station which is located on top of a lovely english hill top. A local asked if we knew where we were going. We replied the Dent Festival, he chuckled and said well you head down the road turn left then walk for about 6 miles. We were still very excited and in awe of rock walls and tubs of salt grit that we felt positive enough to do this. The first mile was down a hill. Now if you have 20kgs strapped to your back and each hand holding a bag it makes it for a very hard walk. You have to try very hard not to roll down the hill. I had a hypo getting down the hill so poor Clive had carry some of my gear and put up with my weirdness, mood swings and sweating whilst they came back up.

At the bottom we found a bus stop……buses only run Saturdays and Wednesday. We kept walking. An old lady strode past, informed us we go up hill and around a few more bends, blah, blah, blah…we kept walking. We saw beautiful babbling streams and stone bridges and we kept walking. The road we were walking on is only big enough for one car to pass at a time. A local stopped and picked us up and couldn’t believe no one else had offerred to give us a lift and that we walked that far with our packs.

Our packs have expanded too. We have a sleeping bag strapped to one side and a foam roll to the other we are also carrying a tent.

We get dropped off at the local store. This town is amazing. There is a big church in the centre that has been recently restored and not a standard brick of paver in sight. This goes for the WHOLE village. The streets are cobble stones laid on the side for extra grip when it snows. They are very narrow but cars still zip through them, or the occasional tractor.

We walk to the farm which is where we are staying. The camping field was on a slope. We had the flattest area as we arrived a day early. Although it was the flattest the first night I constantly rolled on Clive and Clive was jammed in a corner. The new sleeping bags makes it slippery. But that worst part was the hardness on the ground, our bed rolls are only 9mm thick.

The sun was still out when we arrived and that was nice. We wandered through the town, which takes 15minutes and then we went to the pub.

Day 2 at Dent started with a 2pound breakfast in the farm owners kitchen. It has the best local bacon ever! After breakfast it started to rain. This rain did not stop until we left on Sunday morning at 10am.

After breakfast we looked at the church and church yard. There is a vampire at the main entrance of the church. In 1715 a man who died at 94 years old, “George Hodgkins” passed away but was seen after his death walking around the town. They dug up his grave and found his body still pink with longer hair and nails. They re-buried him outside of the church (he was previously in the church), then they drove a metal stake through a carved hole in the grave stone piercing the heart of old George. (the older grave stones don’t stand up they cover the actual grave). You can see the stone still today and the hole. Locals don’t really talk it or advertise it as some people are freaked out about it. Clive and I thought it was tops.

In the afternoon we had a nap, not much else to do. The we saw Dick Gaughan that night. We were at the front and sitting next to a man called Vinnie who sponsored Dick Gaughan’s performance. Clive got emotional and I had a drunk ditzy girl next to me who kept sitting in half of my seat.

The field the festival was on started to get boggy. So we headed off to bed.

The next day we started with delicious bacon and headed to the pub. We met some weirdoes. These guys were just guys who never really matured and were a bit thick. Then we took off to the festival field once it started. This was great and then our volunteer shift started. The caterer is actually from near Cootamundra and enjoyed the Australian company. We had a ball serving the food. It made us feel as if we are a part of the community. One thing we noticed about Dent is a really strong community feel. The festival is put on to raise funds for the village such as fixing the church and maintaining the township.

After ou shift we ate some delicious food and wander back to our tent. The rain hadn’t stopped and it was an absolute bog heap. Mudslides down the hill the lot. We bought a bottle of wine…Blackberry Wine it was an English made and tasted like weird cordial. But we still drank it and then watched Fantastic Mr Fox in bed whilst the rain kept coming.

In the morning the rain stopped and we packed up and managed to get a special trip organised for us on the Festival Bus to the Dent Station. Onwards to Carlisle!

And now here we are at Carlisle. Which has no laundromats but it has a Castle and a cinema. Can you guess what we are doing today?

Last night Clive took me out to dinner at an Italian restaurant which was really, really tasty. I also go to Skype with my parents, brother and sister in law. We also got the fabulous news about Holly and Jolly’s engagement. We are very happy for the both of them and we got to skype with them too.

Anyway I’m off to look at a Castle and see X-Men.

Neat xx

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