The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 19 September 2008

Day 3 - Longthwaite to Patterdale

19 Sept
Distance: much shorter than it felt
Number of killer flies: 2 (tried to kill me by asphyxiation as I accidentally swallowed them)

As I sit and type this (in the bar of the Patterdale Hotel, whilst Mick has been despatched to the shop to restock), I am absolutely exhausted. I feel like I've walked many more miles than the map suggests to be the case. My feet, feeling very pounded, are looking forward to a long rest tonight (they're not so much looking forward to the walk from here to find the campsite).

But, my, what a fine day!

After a bit of rain in the night we woke to a fine morning that showed promise of clear tops and far reaching views. It was again false promise, but it remained fine all the same.

Out of Stonethwaite we went and before we knew it we were making our way up Greenup Gill, past the imposing Eagle Crag.

Pausing in the first bowl, we considered the ascent to come, up the side of Lining Crag. We all reassured each other that it wouldn't be as bad as it looked, and although Mike looked a tiny bit skeptical, so it turned out to be. In fact, it was a lovely path up there, giving us excellent views of the valley below.

Once atop Greenup Edge (where Mike magicked a packet of Jaffa Cakes out of his pack; he's getting good at that each time he's with us) we perused the valley ahead, trying to spot where it was that we would be heading. For this was the point at which we were leaving the "official" C2C route for a while.

According to the Trailblazer guidebook, it is nothing short of criminal to omit a visit to Grasmere and it apparently is obligatory to spend a night there. We disagreed on a number of counts, not least because we've been there plenty of times before.

So, from Greenup Edge (after a tiny diversion to talk to 37lb-Man, who we could see ahead of us, and after Mick had taken a spectacular and muddy two-legged slip into a mire) we headed pathlessly down to Wyth Burn and some time much further down the valley picked up a path that led us down to almost the end of Thirlmere. By all appearances it is not a popular route, so we found solitude in the lovely surroundings. Although the going wasn't overly difficult, it probably took us longer to cover this shorter distance than it would have to walk into Grasmere. However, Mick and I agreed at the end of the day that we were pleased to have taken the deviation onto less trodden land.

Mike left us on Dunmail Raise, to walk down to Grasmere as we set out up towards Grisedale Tarn.

We met cloud before the top and so our view of the tarn was rather curtailed.

By the time we started descending into Patterdale my mind was protesting as much as my feet. It felt a very long descent indeed, but by and by we made it - at least as far as the hotel.

Alas, my beer has mysteriously evapourated now and Mick is long since back from the shop with a bag full of goodies, so it must be time to wander in the direction of Side Farm to find ourselves a patch of field to call our own for the night.

No comments:

Post a Comment