Rest Day

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St Mary’s of Gosforth

A Day of Rest
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Gosforth, Cumbria

What? You ask, why are we having a day of rest when we have only walked one day on the Coast to Coast. It’s quite simple. We were supposed to have had yesterday as a day of rest after our extra long day of flying and waiting and flying to reach Cumbria. The weather yesterday was so much better than today. We obviously made a good choice. Plus, last night we played Hand and Foot until 11 PM; so, we are justifiably tired today. I am sure it has nothing to do with yesterday’s walk, does it? Surely not!

Last night we had our dinner at the fashionably late hour of 7:30 PM at the Wild Olive Restaurant in Gosforth. Brian and I shared a small Caesar salad, the whole of which would have sufficed for my meal. Then I had spaghetti and meatballs and Brian enjoyed an even better pasta with shrimp. Jim had one of their thin crust pizzas baked in the open fire stone oven. The restaurant was fully the server explained that it usually is at 7:30PM, the most popular time to dine. At home Brian and I usually eat at 6PM, not at all the right time by some standards.

Jim boiled eggs for us this morning done to soft boiled perfection. Brian walked to the local bakery to buy croissants and pain au chocolat. He discovered that the bakery specializes in meat pies and savoury pies, nothing breakfast or dessert related. Brian bought the croissants next door in the grocery store as the pastry shop truck had just delivered the day’s baking.

Jim drove us to Whitehaven to buy some bananas and coffee although the true reason for the trip was to have cappuccino in the supermarket cafeteria with friends from Gosforth who were doing their grocery shopping. We were privy to this weekly event.

Whitehaven is the home to Brian’s maternal ancestors, the Fearons. I took a photo of Brian with a couple of blokes who could be his ancestors. We are not sure what one of them was doing with rope but Jim suggested he was making a noose.

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Whitehaven harbour is a bustling port although more pleasure boats than commercial fishing and crabbing boats now nestle in its walls. The swans, pigeons and seagulls are happy residents. We noticed a large metal C 2 C sculpture at the water’s edge. We believe this is a starting point for the cyclist’s Coast to Coast. Certainly no cyclists descend Dent Fell.

Many of the buildings in this area are made of red sandstone built in the 1800s. The local churchyard of St Mary’s has a stone Norman cross most likely from the seventh century. In the church are two massive carved hogback stone pieces that were discovered being used as cornerstones in the old 12th century church when the present church of 1897 was being constructed over the old church. The theory is that these Viking pagan stones needed to be buried, out of sight.

This day of rest is also devoured in refuelling. For lunch Brian returned to the bakery to purchase steak and mushroom pies. Shortly Brian is going to start preparing lamb shanks for supper, a long slow simmering process which should allow us to dine fashionably late.

Meanwhile I am studying the Coast to Coast Path by Henry Stedman. For day two we have to decide whether or not to take the high route over four fells or the low route through the valley. The former should take 8 hours while the latter only 6.5 hours. The difference is 2.5 kilometres with mostly ascents and descents accompanied by fabulous panoramas. Of course if it is rainy, foggy or windy, the high route is not recommended. We shall see what the weather provides!

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Brian and the “Fearons”

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