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]

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Day 26 - by Sedbergh to by Staveley

Sat 17 April
Distance: 17.5 miles (Tot: 454 miles)

Something very noteworthy happened today: we finally ate the lunch that we took with us from home down to Dover four weeks ago. We intended to eat it on Day 1, but we found a pub instead, and then everyday since we've found either an eatery or we've found something fresh to have instead and thus that first lunch has remained in our packs (call ourselves lightweight, eh?!). With no shop, no pub, no cafe and a definite need for lunch today, we investigated the state of the oat cakes, found them still largely in one piece and enjoyed them in the sunshine with tins of fish.

But I'm jumping ahead of myself, and what you all want to know (surely?) is whether we opted to freeze our feet off by wading the river this morning.

Well it was something of a cold night (by the fact that I keep mentioning cold nights you may gather that my sleeping bag is a bit too light for the conditions). With a heavy frost, we both found ourselves getting dressed in the middle of the night (preceded in my case by the best part of an hour lying awake contemplating the fact that I wasn't warm enough and yet reluctant to emerge from my sleeping bag to do anything about it). So, after a night of chilliness, I didn't much fancy more coldness by plunging into a river.

As a result of the detour (which wasn't on road - we found that the farm on which we stayed last night has a permissive path which led us to a bridleway, which led us to a footpath and avoided the roads nicely), an hour after setting out we were less than half a mile from the campsite as the crow flies.

Things didn't get much faster as at that point I needed a major layer-faff and so called for second breakfast. What we failed to notice, until we stood up to continue, was the sheep giving birth behind us. We opted not to disturb goings on in the maternity suite and took a bit of a detour to go around.

There were quite a few people around today (probably because it's Saturday), and the surroundings were once again lovely. A bit of riverside walking was interspersed into the crossing of lots of lush farmland (sheep and bouncing lambs have been keeping us amused for days now), which led to a continuous game of 'spot the stile'. I don't know who designed some of those stiles, but I'm sure they had someone 8 feet tall as their model user.

Lunch was had in a nice sheltered vantage point next to the train line by Beckhouses, whereafter things became a bit of a game of leapfrog as we bunched up with some other walkers.

One of those walkers was a chap called Dennis with whom we walked down towards the crossing point of the A6, after he had hurried up behind us to give a donation to H4H.

There was a change of plan for the late afternoon, as I had noticed at lunchtime that not overly far off our route was a campsite. By the wonders of mobile internet I was able to confirm that it does exist, and thus rather than having to kill time until sundown and heading for our not-very-wild-and-potentially-a-bit-dodgy night-stop we re-routed to the campsite. My only annoyance was that I hadn't spotted it last night; if I had, we would have set out significantly earlier this morning.

It being a C&CC campsite (Windermere C&CC apparently), we had visions of charges akin to the £24 asked at Keswick in February. Arriving here we found it to have better facilities than Keswick (even if it is a lengthy walk up to the showers) and the wardens Maureen & Gerald donated half of the (reasonably priced) pitch fee to H4H.

Even better, there's a bar/eatery on site (funny how the things that would put me off a site ordinarily become an attraction when doing a long walk), so we've been able to have a proper meal, not to mention a small pint of beer.
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  1. Looking at the map, you should have a glorious day's walking today (Sunday).

  2. "a small pint of beer" Rather than a large one, then?


    Excellent progress - Keep up the good work.

    Word = "shepure"

  3. Hello from Markus, me and a Jealous Scotsman, who tells me you should now be savouring the delights of The Whistling Pig (not to be confused with another of your correspondents)
    Have fun!