Woke up very early, listening to the birds and sheep. Chris continued to sleep for some time despite my best efforts to rouse her. I was big time hungry so had a preliminary breakfast of muesli and yoghurt. Then she woke up and we had a cup of delicious coffee, now whilst this was very nice, I could probably have coped with a double ration of coffee bags or disposable filters so will go for one of those options next time to save on the weight of the plastic cafetiere. For our shared breakfast we had rice and curry sauce and more coffee! This was a great way to warm up and start the day.
C washed up and we both pootled about, the sun came out and we started to feel nice and warm. We struck camp (why to strike?) and set off back up the slope with somewhat lighter packs. We ambled back to the car, waited whilst some lambs got enough bottle to get past us and back to their mother, then squeezing ourselves under the bush again.
At the car, we had a great pfaffing interlude, dumping all the camping kit and putting in some youth hostel necessities. A bite of lunch whilst sitting on a log and then we meandered our way along the track to High Gillerthwaite youth hostel to arrive about 4.00.
We wandered in to wait until the warden arrived at 5.00. At the back there was a bloke lolling about on the grass. I couldn’t understand much of what he said, I thought Geordie, C thought Brummie but the main thing we both got was that his walking partner was ill with stomach upset. We both thought he was talking about a woman but this partner turned out to be a very big man who looked like he’d just left gaol.
We booked in with Tony the manager who was very friendly, I complimented him on having put up a poster for gay walkers. We ordered our dinner and packed lunch for the next day.
The hostel is small but very well situated, with great views to Pillar. The other hostellers were the 2 crims, 2 not very friendly women, a bunch of Germans with breathing difficulties and some mountain men plus a very nice man we both liked called Stuart.
C and I made our beds and got clean again. The hostel has a good standard of furnishing and decor, better than Boggle Hole in that respect.
Then it was time for beer and dinner. Beer was local and mostly named after fells. We shared a bowl of cheesy nachos for a starter which was ok. I had veggie chilli and C had meat, it looked like I had a better deal as I got a lot of veg in mine.We both had baked potatoes which were let down by the margarine spread – yuck – no butter available.
More beer and then we went out, mainly to escape the crims, for a walk in the Black Sail hut direction. Lovely evening, beautiful clear streams. Then back for more beer. I thought it would help me sleep a bit more.
So tired C and I toddled off to our bunks quite early, C in the top, me below. The room was for 4 people and she and I had arrived first and picked the best beds for ourselves. At least this time I didn’t have a hot pipe running down the side of the bed, however that didn’t stop me from being roasted alive. Foolishly I had dropped off to sleep before opening the window, although I did turn all the radiators in the vicinity off. No sooner had I nearly dropped off than the 2 slightly unfriendly women turned up to whisper but they did get to bed quite quickly.
C and I both had a rotten night, too hot, too thirsty but I couldn’t face trying to locate my water bladder which was in my rucksack in the box under the bunk. Then our companions decided to rise early and took all their stuff out of the room and got dressed in the passage. They were doing the C2C and had masses of stuff to carry, huge cameras, books, make up. All I can say is they must be very strong. As they’d properly managed to wake us up by being so considerate we had a chat with them and they seemed a bit more friendly.
Two of the German men were in the room next door to us with the ok crim and the sick crim (self inflicted I suspect given the amount of beer he was drinking). The Germans had to have an extension cable going into the room for their breathing apparatus – they were also doing the C2C but with a Sherpa Van to carry their kit. The 2 women had moved the safety sign which had been put up so that people wouldn’t trip over the cable and helpfully propped it against the door into which the wire went. Sometimes I really do think some people have no sense at all.
C and I both felt very tired so we packed up and went down to breakfast at 7.30. I had muesli and yoghurt and we both had some cooked food, my veggie option not so good, in fact it had that old soapy taste of dried soup from the 70s. Also scrambled egg which I hadn’t asked for and which reminds me far too much of vomit. More toast, no marg for me, just couldn’t face it. We picked up some very nice flapjack and our packed lunches and headed out. The YH is convenient for getting food prepared but the quality is pants for the price. Also they say all their food is locally sourced, organic, fair trade but they are tied in to one supplier so this is bollocks. I’m now starting to think I don’t really want to stay in a YH again as I don’t sleep and the food quality is only ok. The packed lunch was ok but nothing to write home about. I checked out to see if we could camp at Black Sail for when we do our assault on Pillar but this is apparently not an option, so we’ll just have to carry our curries! Which were delicious in comparison with the YH!
We set off to circuit Ennerdale Water via the south side. This was a lovely walk and everyone else was coming the other way. Some people we saw twice. It looked like it might rain at one point but then it got really warm.
We stopped to eat our squashed sandwiches at the end of the lake near some swans. Then we trotted back around to Bowness Knot and the car.
A bit more pfaffing and moving of items from A to B and back again and it was time to head off to Bassenthwaite. We’d been out of mobile contact since Saturday morning when I’d very briefly got a signal but we still had to drive quite a way before a flurry of texts came whizzing in. It wasn’t very far to get to Bassenthwaite and the Castle Inn.
We checked in, sorted a table for dinner and then went up to our room, no our suite! I had forgotten we’d upgraded to a suite. Totally fab having an extra room. The bathroom was great, huge shower which I quickly took avail of. Then straight off for a swim, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna. Chris ordered a bucket of ice and we put the champagne in and had a little aperitif while getting ready for dinner.
Dinner was nice, quite plain but good that you could really taste the food. Chris had something fishy and I had unidentified vegetable soup. C went for sea bass and me for lamb shank. We washed it down with some large glasses of Sauvignon. Both selected creme brulee for dessert. A small child came to look at us so I put my napkin and did the “how much for the little girl?” bit from the Blues Brothers. After all that we just had to polish off the champagne and then both so knackered it was time for bed.