It took a little while until the lump of Mendick Hill was left behind...the same landmark I couldn't wait to get to last night!
It's a common horse travelling experience: you see a loch, say, and think 'nearly there' but it can take two hours or more to actually reach it.
Physically the ride has been fairly tough - I knew it would be - although knowing something intellectually and actually experiencing it are two different things!
At least we can on the whole take our time and savour it. It has pretty much been all at walking pace, with plenty of grazing stops for the ponies. They are looking in fabulous order at the moment, well muscled up. Frequent stops keeps them enjoying it and their guts in
good order...but it does make for some long days.
Today was one of them. We travelled cross country to meet up with the Cross Border Drove Road- a short section of old railway (again), then through a couple of estates where we were kindly offered free range eggs at a cottage (sadly an offer better declined!) and had a chat
with a shepherd as we sheltered from a downpour in his barn.
For the first time we were chased by a huge dog which came belting out of a driveway. No real harm done, except Ladybird shot forward and trod heavily on Doogs' heel. I'm treating the resulting wound with Wonder Dust (I know it sounds like something out of Disney!)
It was recommended to me by Thrums Vet group (they import it from America I believe) and it's excellent stuff. Bill chuckled when he read the 'ingredients' though - almost identical to the mixture he used to grind up in his father's vet surgery in the late fifties....
After riding up a beautiful glen in the late afternoon sunshine and finally joining the drove road which we then followed for a few miles, we set up camp. In a sheep fank- not QUITE up to the standard of last night's Mendick luxury!