Coast to Coast 2006

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The Savage's Coast to Coast Diary
Day Three
Day 3 - 10th August 2006

Rosthwaite to Patterdale (17.5 miles)

End of Day 3: August 10th 4.30pm our room at Wordsworth Cottage, Patterdale

If we never go back to the Royal Oak Hotel in Rosthwaite it will be too soon. It wasn’t just the poky room that had seen better decades, the walk down the corridor to find the bathroom (with the occasional rattle of the doorhandle during my bath providing interesting background noise to stop me dozing off), the poor sound-proofing (lying in bed listening to her say to him coming back FROM dinner: “Did you remember your teeth?”), the food – gong at 7pm, soup (vegetable), pork (the tepid slices so thin they were almost transparent and with which we were to renew acquaintance in our packed lunch next day), trifle; all served in rapid succession. These things didn’t help but the clincher was that we could only have our breakfast between 8.30am and 9am. Now, for most I guess that wouldn’t be a problem but for us, who had a long day ahead and wanted to get on the trail, it was an inconvenience.

Anyway, we set off at 9am, straight into the long pull up from Rosthwaite alongside Borrowdale Fells up to Lining Crag and Greenup Edge; the thick end of a couple of hours steady and sometimes very steep climbing. Then the long descent into Grasmere. Messed around in Grasmere for a bit. Messed up more like it. Grasmere is just off the edge of the two maps I have and I opted not to buy a map with it on for the sake of a couple of miles. I could just use my judgment to take us around Grasmere onto the next trail. As it happened, that judgment had us going out from Grasmere in the wrong direction. Error recognized we slowly moved back onto the maps that I’d had and, hey, we’d only lost half an hour. William kept his thoughts to himself but you didn’t need to be a mind reader to know what those thoughts might consist of.

Lunch at the foot of the bridleway that takes you up to Grizedale Tarn, another long, steady pull to the tarn – just over an hour – and then the long descent down into Patterdale. Into our B&B just after 4pm.

On many of the trails throughout the C2C, walking side by side is either not possible or is just impractical. Someone has to lead, trail find and set the pace. On this walk that has been me. Except today, we had signs that maybe things could be about to change. Climbing up to Lining Crag and Greenup Edge, William came past me some three-quarters of the way up the ascent and pushed on to the top. He got there a couple of minutes before me. Of course, it’s a sign of things to come; but had his time come or for now was it a flash in the pan? (I once read what I thought was a good analogy about fathers and teenage sons; they were likened to two buckets in a well – one ascending, the other descending; the relative position of the buckets reflective, amongst other things of strength, stamina, fitness). Climbing up to Grizedale Tarn normal positioning was resumed; and then, with just 100 yards or so to the top he came past me again and pushed on.

Today, again I have tried to moderate the pace (in some places I had no option) but I think for both of us that doesn’t come easy; Succeeding in the challenge is as important as the experience.

Weather has been good to us today; again, not too hot, good visibility and with only the odd squally shower.

We are not saying anything to each other out loud so as not to break the spell but we both feel pretty comfortable thus far with progress and performance. I’m conscious how fragile this position is though; twist an ankle, allow a blister to get out of…errr….hand and you’re stuffed.

Tomorrow we have more mileage but less height gain than today and, if I’m reading the maps correctly most of that challenge will be in the morning.

PS We’ve taken pics and at the first opportunity we will get them uploaded.



PPS Regarding my mention of pebbles yesterday, the sea-to-sea walk tradition is to pick up a pebble from St Bees beach, Cumbria, and carry it the 192 miles to St Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire, to deposit it on the beach there.

PPPS Mine weighs a ton…
 

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