Our walk to Grassmere was only about 15 kilometers. It was so beautiful, so scenic but a hard slog too. The climb was quite daunting but really lifted the spirits.
We had a much deserved rest day in Grassmere. It was a change of pace to play tourist, taking the bus around to the different villages, a boat ride on Lake Windermere and gingerbread tasting!
Our path then continued on to Patterdale village. The evening ale was imbibed at the White Lion Inn. While the hike was only 12km, it was a challenging and hot endeavor made sweeter by the very scenic countryside.
Gloomy skies greeted us and some indecision. After a very pleasant evening spent at the Fox and Hounds we contemplated which side of Ennerdale Waters we should walk. The inclement weather forecast helped us decide to take the lower path along the water. Not sure this was the best choice as the path was inundated with overflow. Rather than get our boots wet we waded slowly through the flood water. Our toughened Aussie feet, used to walking barefoot in the bush held up well. We kept our boots dry, ready for the challenge that awaited us at Black Sails.
Sometimes reading ahead pays off and indeed this was the case for the climb ahead. Instructions in the guidebooks warn about taking the most obvious path away from Black Sails downhill towards the water course. The hint was to look for the track behind Black Sails which would lead upward and would not involve a difficult traverse over the brook. After much deliberation over our coffee we were lucky to chat to a professional guide who confirmed the best path.
It was steep, it was scenic and everything we had expected from this hike. How proud did we feel to step out on top and revel in the scenery.
What an exhilarating day. Memories to treasure and be proud of.
The most important task on the first day of the coast to coast walk was to dip our boots in the Irish Sea and to choose a special pebble. This hiker ritual symbolizes the start of our personal trek! How beautiful was the coastal scenery from the high cliffs, both looking back at the village of St Bees and the vistas ahead. As we turned towards the quiet country lanes the weather clouded in but the light rain did little to dampen our day. It was a magical surprise to be met by a flock of sheep in Nanny Beck. We made our way to Ennerdale despite our sore feet. Were we really up to this challenge? Did we train up enough for this undertaking? Time would tell.
Who cares about jetlag when a new adventure is about to begin? The long flight from Australia to Manchester, the bus and train rides to St Bees were quickly forgotten once the beach starting point was surveyed. With both the inspirational words of Wainwright and the local brew consumed our appetite for adventure has been whet. There was so much to ponder and discuss in anticipation of our personal quest. How exciting!
So many places to go, people to meet, things to do…