Rosthwaite to Dale Lodge Hotel, Grasmere
9:09 AM to 3:27 PM
Friday, May 27, 2016
Well, you may be thinking this was a leisurely day, only 15.2 kilometres, but I assure you it was strenuous. The views were spectacular in every direction. The weather was perfect. T-shirts all the way. Up and down was the order of the day. We took the high route. This does not mean that anyone who took the low route did not have to climb. It just meant that after much ascending and descending, those who did the high route did even more if the same. Our GPS recorded 760 metres of ascent and 720 metres of descent. Much of the trail was large loose rocks. We were grateful for thick gripping soles.
We did not see any signs that read “Coast to Coast”. There were rock cairns that we were able to find because it was a clear day. The Lake District needs more signs, or more volunteers to install them.
We had long views of valleys, fells and waterfalls. The flowering hawthorns leaning over stone walls and rivers scented the air. I counted our steps up the steep rise to to Lining Crag: 960. Of course this was not the summit, but a summit. We kept climbing. There is a real sense of accomplishment in reaching a peak. This bike is not for those afraid of heights. There were several narrow footpaths where I did not look over the edge as I walked but concentrated on getting to a more comfortable viewing space.
We had a hearty breakfast with lots of options with Jim and Marie. All of us had poached eggs and various versions of cereal, creamy oatmeal, fruit, yogourt, croissants, juice, tea or coffee. No one left the table hungry. Jim and Marie left for a four hour drive to Cambridge. Meanwhile we could only cover about twelve kilometres. But we built muscle and breathed fresh air. A totally different experience.
We ordered two packed lunches from the hotel and now know that we may not have finished one such lunch. This consisted of a ham and cheese sandwich, boiled egg, whole tomato, an apple, two cookies, a chocolate bar and a piece of fruit cake.
It was a busy day on the fells as this is the beginning of a long bank holiday weekend. Tents were springing up along Langstrath Beck. Many people were doing circle routes either from Rosthwaite or Grasmere or elsewhere. We spoke briefly with a young fell runner from Cambridge. She has already run the eastern section of the Coast to Coast and is now running the western section. We were in awe of her ability. She quickly left us in the dust. Actually there is no dust, just rocks, and sheep and waterfalls.
We did not count all the waterfalls we saw today. We viewed them from near and far as they cascaded from the crags. There looked to be some awesome fishing pools in clear water.
As we made the final descent from Helm Crag we were surprised that there were some serpentine descents rather than a headlong one. The book suggested that the “steep descent might well finish us off”. We must be heartier than the author thinks.
There were brilliantly coloured enormous rhododendrons and azaleas as we entered Grasmere. We had to walk an extra kilometre across the village to get to our hotel. No bathtub and a smaller room but clean and comfortable at half the price of last night. Bonus: the WIFI works, but does not like uploading photos.