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Ashley Heeley's Coast to Coast Diary
Day Three

Day 3 - Lakes, mountains, sun and rain

Ennerdale Bridge to Stonethwaite

Had a good night last night as the landlady bussed us down and picked us up again. The debate on the way down highlighted the cultural differences between the USA and us. When asked what time we needed picking up we said 10.00 the Americans wanted 8.30!!!! What sort of time is that? Anyway we settled grudgingly for 9.00. It was a good night though as we ate with the Americans, 2 women from NZ Bruce from Canada and another couple of Brits.

This evening would prove to be the formation of our Coast-to-Coast bubble that would follow us for the duration. The Americans were Cindy and Nelson, the new Zealand ladies were Pat and Miriam with whom we would share a few adventures and lots of laughs, the Brits were Nicky and her husband who were only walking to Shap but would show me proof that teenage daughters do ‘come out the other side’ and morph into pleasant well rounded adults and Bruce would be our companion until Patterdale. It was a great evening and the first of many on the trip. Later on in the walk Dale said that after this evening he was happy that if he did pull out I would be among friends.

On the snoring front a score of 5 so an improvement from 8. The Snoreeze must be working and it was 2 hours between last drink and sleeping. Dale's not going to kill me yet.

Onto today, not bad breakfast, better than yesterday but bacon and sausage not up to standard so gets a 6. Packed lunch was rubbish though so only a 3 for that.

Dale at Black Sail

Dale decided to do today's walk at the last minute with a bale out plan at the end of Ennerdale Water if needed. We had all day to do the 16 miles so we set off in wet boots at about 9.30 down the hill to Ennerdale. We planned to meet Bruce this morning but we were a bit tardy and missed him although we did bump into Cindy and Nelson now and again. The first bit of the walk was round Ennerdale Water, which was OK, but the weather couldn't make up its mind. It was too hot then it would rain, so coats on, then coats off, it was like that all day. When we stopped we were attacked by the killer midges and had to break out the emergency insect repellent. We planned butties at Black Sail Youth Hostel and it took us longer than planned. At the ford near the YHA Dale decided to make his own crossing with boulders which was very entertaining especially as he nearly went in but hard to understand why. The last bit before the ford was a bit tedious on forest track. Black Sail Youth Hostel is a strange place and is basically a shed in the middle of nowhere with beds in it. However, it was a nice place to stop, eat our butties and top up the platypus before Loft Beck. After Black Sail was the first steep climb up Loft Beck, which was better than I thought it would be and the views at the top were fantastic. The path took us down to Honister Pass and the slate mine where we turned back a few years ago on the family weekend trying to climb Great Gable as the weather was atrocious. We arrived in Borrowdale a bit later than most with landlady saying she was a bit worried but still in one piece.

Looking towards Great Gable from Black Sail

Anyway, now ready for my tea. Going to the pub opposite, (The Langstrath) which has a reputation for good food. Had to book it a few days ago and been looking forward to this all day.

Tomorrow is an 8 mile up and over to Grasmere but the weather forecast is for rain so not looking forward to that. Will get soaked again no doubt.

View from Loft Beck

View from Loft Beck

Dale climbing Loft Beck (what you can't see is my smug expression on beating Dale to the top-it would not last)

View from Loft Beck

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