I am so sore. As we waved goodbye to the Shepherds Arms yesterday morning I never thought it was going to be more challenging than the day before. Before I forget, the Shepherds Arms was 180 degrees from our previous hotel experience. A lovely hotel and a lovely full English breakfast to send us on well fuelled. Our route took us on the south side of Ennerdale Water and the views were spectacular. The middle of nowhere is a term I would use to describe our surroundings.
The pathways are made of jagged and uneven stone. Not great on the feet and harder on the equilibrium. I have come to assume that someone trying to stave off the effect of early memory loss should cancel their luminosity account and throw away the Sudoku. The amount of concentration required to make every step a safe one is good enough to keep your brain spry.
We soon saw a variance of tracks along with open countryside and occasionally a stand of trees for well deserved shade. September weather is glorious in the Lake District. With excitement we made it to Black Sail mountain hut. This little oasis is operated by the Youth Hostel association. Pay your pound, make your tea or your coffee and fill your water bottles.
As usual we met travellers from every corner of the globe as they came and left. Some alone and some with locally guided tours. Everyone is cheery and I must admit that these people are having the same effect on me. I’m starting to like people again. I find myself saying hello first and making lots of small talk. Me a cheerful happy person, what is going on? I had never thought of this journey as having the power to heal the grumpy and change outlooks but 3 days into it and I have forgotten how I felt last week.
From Black Sail we began our climb. 2.5 hours of straight up. Piles of rock guided us along an otherwise faintly marked trail. We passed hundreds of sheep grazing at altitude. They barely raised their heads as we walked by them, in some cases 5 feet or less. One other thing that I have noticed about life in general lately is that sheep are content to graze all day long. In fact I have seen with my own eyes sheep going potty from one end as they eat at the other. I like that. It says many things about what the word happiness actually means. As long as both of your ends work (separately or in unison) you are king of the world. Once over the top of the pass we yomped down to Hollister Shale quarry and then further down the 20% grade road into Rosthwaite. Our pub of choice was well prepared for the thirst and appetite we brought with us. Then on to our B&B and a wonderful nights sleep. Great day!
Make sure to click on to the menu page (3 horizontal bars) on the top right of the home page and go to the Instagram link for lots of photos from along the way.
Here is a link to a video that describes our last two days