Walking 1004.9 miles from John O'Groats to Lands end in aid of Accommodation Concern! (starts august 3rd 2014)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Day-29 Into the lake district

A late departure from Caldbeck with a full stomach was a good compromise, and with a day in the fells a necessary one.
The uphill starts right in the village as I get back on the Cumbria way with fairly steep paths along quiet country lanes and through sheep fields, at Nether row the path gets properly steep and zig zags help to get your lungs accustomed, this is old mining country but this side of the hill there's little evidence, four kilometers of ascent to the top and a horizontal path takes me to lingy bothy, I stopped here when I walked the way last.... Chilly old bothy it was too! The path descends here running parallel with graingill beck and the new boots prove there worth gripping nicely to the steep hillside, passing the visible remains of a mine at the bottom the path turns to the south west along a fairly level valley to Skiddaw house youth hostel, where I stop for my lunch, the solitude is broken here as suddenly the valley is full of walkers! Nice bunch of people, but walkers generally are.
After lunch I set off directly south along the side of longscale fell briefly crossing another long walk, this being one of my own devising that I titled the Cumbrian roman ramble!  Linking up a lot of roman sights over a 150 mile trek.
Lonscale fell's path is on quite a sheer hillside where one slip to your left as you go could be your last, the paths good though and progress is quick now I've eaten, and I soon catch up with my lunch time visitors, a good chat as we went with me having my pace matched by an 82 year old!  If I'm half that fit when I'm that age I'll be pleased!
Down the side of latrigg a small hill to the south of Lonscale and I'm into Keswick and the Booths supermarket sees me fed and stocked up for tomorrow.
I head along the banks of Derwent water looking for a quiet pitch for the night, without luck. plenty of flat areas but all shale ground so no chance of putting the tent up. Picking up the road to Watendlath I soon find a place to sleep,with great views of Derwent water. Nice way to end the day :-).

Day-28 new boots!

The first English wild camp goes nicely undisturbed and I'm away just after seven again, a few twisty lanes and similar b roads and I meet back up with the river Eden looping it's way through Carlisle until the A7 crosses over on a rather grand bridge, then I dip under the major roundabout via the nicely decorated underpass and into the city centre, crossing paths with the locals rushing to work in both boiler and power suits I'm quite the odd sight, though this town appears to be one where I remain invisible.
A quick wander around and a find breakfast and wait until the local Cotswolds outdoor shop opens who quickly supply me with new boots(heels and grip both worn out) and a new pair of waterproof trousers which I'd split on a barbed wire fence...Thankfully just the trousers!
As I'm heading out of town I receive a text from Rachel at Accommodation Concern with some most amazing and exciting news! Which you'll have to wait until the day to hear about! (major teaser!).
This news completely throws me and I lose track of my direction (not unusual in a town) my gps soon puts me right and and I'm reunited with another old friend the Cumbria way! Not too sure when I walked this but u think around 2004. This great path heads very quickly out of town following the river Caldew, where I soon become visible to people again, all of a sudden now I'm in my expected surroundings people want to know about the walk! And cards with all the info are soon flying out my hands! It's never raised this much interest in any other place! :-)
Into Dalston and the level of interest is similar though cash donations start coming in!.
My spirits match the bright sunny weather as I leave town and I'm back following the Caldew, past the posh lime house school and then Rose castle, a bishops palace in the past.
The river continues to be followed with diversions to alow for the large amount of erosion that this now placid river seems to have caused, winters must cause a considerable increase in flow.
Into woods now and the path sharply heads up hill before levelling out and and then dropping into Caldbeck, cheeky pint and a pub meal and then I settle down for the night.