26 May 2010
Day 13: Dent to Wheelton
Three big, big climbs over the roof of England today, from Dales Yorkshire into Lancashire: up and out from Dent; up from High Bentham to Slaidburn; and up Jeffrey Hill.
The effort was worthwhile (a) because of the long, life-affirming downhills and (b) because of the splendid evening at Si and Sue's of curry, vodka, beer, and a huge hot foaming bath.
This phone box is not just the 100,000th outdoor shower cubicle to be installed in the UK: it is also at the very geographical centre of Great Britain. If you balanced the entire country on the point of a pencil, Dunsop Bridge, in the Trough of Bowland in Lancashire, is where it would sit in equilibrium.
Here's me and Si being silly in that very phone booth. (The strict centre is apparently in the middle of a field nearby, but the phone box is the best option for a signposted, photographable spot.)
The location is appropriate: when Si (and Mark and others) did Land's End to John o'Groats in 2008, their route also passed through Dunsop Bridge and this very phone box. There's a sort of geometric inevitability about their bottom-left-hand-corner to top-right-hand-corner route, and my top-left-hand-corner to bottom-right-hand-corner route, passing through the same spot - that spot being a phone box at the geographical centre of the country.
Thanks to Si and Sue I now smell of mango and jojoba bath essence, instead of damp tent.
Miles today: 57
Miles since Cape Wrath: 658