Bleary eyed and far from bushy tailed we awoke at 4:30am to start the day. With teeth quickly brushed and banana smoothy downed we picked up the bags we finished packing at 12:15am and headed out of the door to the station.
The train journey to Carlisle went smoothly and passed with speed with the help of a snooze or two. We were soon having a coffee waiting for our connection to St Bees and the start of our walk.
After a brief stop at the beachfront carpark toilets (where a 12 year old boy who was drying his shoes with the hand dryer showed me how to break in to the building if locked) we headed down the beach to dip our boots in the Irish sea.
We collected a pebble to take with us and followed the cliff side path to St Bees Head. The weather was glorious, sunny and without clouds, it would have been perfect except for the haze that blocked the distant views. An etched panel on the cliff top identified the sights we couldn't see... The Isle of Man, Dumfries and Galloway, the Lake District Fells. Nonetheless the coastline was rugged and beautiful with sometimes sheer drop views of the sea below. After an hour or so walking we arrived at Sandwith and were further from our destination than when we started!
The route took us along roads and farm tracks finally heading inland and in the direction of Robin Hoods Bay we stopped for food next to a stream in a sheep field before pushing on to Moor Row.
In the village we stopped at a small walkers Cafe run by Mrs Simpson. She was very hospitable and furnished us with tea, lemon cake and refilled water bottles while regaling us with stories of passing walkers and run ins with the local boys out to cause trouble.
We signed the visitors book and continued our journey climbing the seemingly endless path to the summit of Dent through a dense pine forest. The walk back down was steep and rocky but the views were fantastic as the fells had finally emerged from the smog. The first days walking nearly over, we strolled along side a stream past a group of horses and along the road into Ennerdale.
Our keen noses soon sniffed out the nearest pub and the nearest campsite to the pub, a field behind the nearby church. There are no showers or toilets, but there is a river so once the tent was up we stepped down to the waters edge and for a refreshing dip. The water was mountain fresh and ice cold, taking our breath away when we finally dunked ourselves fully into the water.
Refreshed and hungry we headed back to the pub for food and fine ale. Satisfied with a (long) great first days walk. Heres to many more... Cheers.
Mum (Rosemary) Excellent news! Look forward to hearing about the next stage in your explorations. My legs are aching just reading about it. I hope you have more than one pair of socks.
Apr 25, 2011
Mom (Sue) Really interesting read felt I was walking with you but my legs are not getting tired. The bit about Mrs Simpson shop and her run ins with the local boys took me back to my Mom's shop. Looking forward to the next instalment of your journey.
Apr 25, 2011
Ken and Joan We have finally got the details of your blog (blame your Mum Ruth) and it's already 7pm on Monday. We have information right up to last Friday -- so look forward to a timely up-date.
Apr 25, 2011