Coast to Coast 2006

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Deborah and Gwen's Coast to Coast Diary
Day 2
DAY 2 – The wet flannel day
Tuesday 18th July
Moor Row to High Gillerthwaite – 11 miles

We had left the window and curtains wide open to aid sleep on such a hot night. As our room faced east we woke at 5.30 a.m. with the sun streaming in promising another hot day. Breakfasted at 8.00 and were away by 9.00.
The route to Cleator went through several kissing gates, obviously not designed for people wearing rucksacks, but it gave us a few giggles. Cleator had no toilets so a convenient hedge was found on the way up to Black How Farm. A few local residents were surprised to see us climbing Dent in such hot weather and offered us advice on the best way up, we stuck to the one described in the guidebook which was fine but long and slow in the heat. Half way up Mum, who doesn’t like wearing a hat, resorted to soaking a flannel in cold water and wearing it on her head in an attempt to keep cool. Perhaps not the latest fashion but hey, who cares!

The western summit of Dent boasts a huge cairn where we took a break and had our photo taken by a passing walker. After reaching the eastern summit the decent we chose was over a giant ladder stile and directly down the hillside to the head of Uldale. It was a bit hard work on the knees but at least it was direct. Our map suggested that the path turned south through the trees but as the forest boundaries frequently change we stuck to the direct route. As we dropped towards Nannycatch Beck conditions continued to heat up and we took the opportunity to cool off at a footbridge over the stream beneath Raven Crag.

By 1.30 we were in Ennerdale Bridge where we ate our packed lunches and enjoyed a pint of lime and soda at the Hare & Hounds. With over 5 miles still to go we reluctantly left the pub heading for Ennerdale Water. We opted for the south side of the lake in hope of finding some shade. Our choice was good regarding the shade but the path was rough and rocky for most of the way. We took a short break at Robin Hoods Chair, beneath Angler's crag, I went for a swim in what few clothes I was wearing and Mum waded out up to her knees looking like Moses with her staff-like walking pole. The final few miles were long and hot. Mum needed lots of mini breaks in order to keep going and during the final mile I wrestled her pack from her suggesting that we should contact Sherpa Van to arrange a bag transfer for tomorrow.

The YHA at High Gillerthwaite was a real treat. Two forestry cottages have been converted to provide a basic but lovely hostel. We were greeted by Steve, the friendly warden who had been a teacher from Leeds. There were only two other guests so our stay was very relaxed. The showers were not the best but considering the hostel is powered by its own hydro electric system they were perfectly adequate. We enjoyed an excellent supper cooked by Andy. Cous cous salad, fresh Borrowdale trout with new potatoes and spiced apples with cream to finish.

After dinner we chatted to Steve in the lounge whilst Mum soaked her feet in a washing up bowl. We contacted Sherpa Van and arranged for Mum’s sack to be transported to Stonethwaite tomorrow, a super efficient service all for £6 – well worth it!

Thought for the day:
Deb – Loving it but still slightly concerned about Mum on the first big climb tomorrow.
Mum – My goodness how hostels have changed since the 1950s, to be offered a choice of menu, well cooked and healthy was a real bonus. Also knowing my daughter it did not surprise me to see her plunge into Ennerdale water fully dressed!!!!!!!



Mum sporting the latest fashion - nearing the top of Dent 

Where have those global positioning satellites gone?

The descent off Dent Fell

Our 1st paddle of the day

Changing the socks beneath Raven Crag

The first of The Lakes - Ennerdale Water

Wait Mum - that's not a short cut

Deb cooling off in Ennerdale Water - our 2nd paddle of the day

The end of Ennerdale Water and another hot day

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