Tuesday 22nd April
I picked Chris up from Todmorden and we set off smartly, stopping at Lancaster services for supplies from M&S and coffees, Tebay services for more supplies, Penrith for diesel and Keswick for an anorak and a head torch for Chris to add to her collection. We ate our M&S salads in the car park. She had butternut squash and I had a beetroot and mint one, they were very tasty.
We parked in Bowness Knot car park and then walked the 7 miles to Black Sail youth hostel which really does feel remote as that’s the only way to get there although the YHA does have a Land Rover which trundles up and down with duvet covers and bottles of beer. We were in a room on the left of the main room with 4 bunk beds in it. Chris very kindly took the top bunk as I was worried that if it was hot, the heat would rise which would probably melt me as I’m currently having thermostat problems. We made up our beds. There was one other occupant. We made our dinner of boiled mixed veg, rice and LWIF meatballs. C didn’t feel so well so I had some of hers too then yummy Simnel cake I had made. We drank Jennings’ Cocker Hoop and Snecklifter. I liked the Cocker Hoop better. Early to bed.
Wednesday 23rd April
C snored and I sneezed but the woman we shared with from Birmingham was very forgiving or at least too polite to say we had kept her awake. I haven’t really slept for 3 weeks since my internal thermostat decided to go on the blink and give me the experience of random hot sweats at any time. The only good thing is that they don’t last very long but I do long to sleep through an entire night without either sneezing or sweating.
We had breakfast of yoghurt jam and granola pots. We tidied up and set off for Pillar. It soon became clear that Chris really wasn’t going to be able to go very far uphill so we changed our plans and walked a little further towards the head of the valley and then back to Bowness Knot along the south side of the river. This was a lovely walk going through different types of woodland. On the way we had pork pies for our lunch. We had planned to walk up Pillar and across to Steeple and down to Ennerdale YH but the walk we did do was still very pretty with the river burbling away.
Back at the car we went for a drive round to Wasdale and stopped at the Wasdale Head Inn for a pot of tea and shared a piece of cake.
Then drove back across the moor road to Ennerdale Bridge and stopped at the Fox and Hounds for supper. C had Cumberland sausage and mash and veg and gravy and I had sea bass and chips and veg and homemade tartare sauce. Washed down with Jennings beer on tap. The food was ok but not totally top notch. My fish was overdone.
We then drove back to Ennerdale YH for the night. I had asked by email if we could park here for last night while we walked to Black Sail but got a reply that we couldn’t. I then found that the woman from Birmingham had done so and she hadn’t even been staying there, Ggrrr! When I get time I will write a letter. However this reminded me that they never replied when the man in charge of Bryn Gwynant broke the noise curfew he was supposed to be implementing by playing rock music so loud it woke me up. Anyway it was lovely to shower and drink Moretti beer.
I watched the manager reverse the brand new YHA Land Rover in the dark towards the gate posts. Probably best to learn how to do this in the daylight IMHO!! I think it was unscathed but looked a close shave.
Thursday 24th April
We had a leisurely yoghurt breakfast again and then set off to drive across the mountain Whinlatter Pass to Keswick’s west side. We parked up and walked up Catbells. Chris found this hard work but I’m very grateful to her that she stuck with it and helped me reach my 61st Wainwright. After all her efforts, we went into Keswick and had some food in the Square Orange cafe. C had a ciabatta and I had 2 tapas, a sort of omelette and some fresh tomato on bruschetta. Very delicious and a nice relaxing cafe.
Then we drove home.
Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.