I was up about 6:30, but with breakfast at 8:30, I just lay in bed and tried to catch up a bit on news and such. Erik was up before 7:30, and we both showered and did the packing: what goes in the big suitcase, what to pack on our backs. We were going to see our suitcases in two days, so were able to keep our packs pretty light. It was about this time that Erik noticed a print on our wall called “Troutbeck Postbox” – knowing that Troutbeck was where I ended up the day I got lost, he speculated that the staff was rubbing it in.
We had our breakfasts and finished packing up and headed out of the hotel in brilliant sunshine at 9:45. We went up towards the Co-op, and an old Australian fellow asked us if we knew the way. I told him that yes, I did. So he tagged along with us as we headed north out of town towards the A591, and past the Travellers’ Rest to the bridleway that heads up Tongue Gill. He stopped at the bottom, and we headed up. We chose the left path, and it was a pretty tough haul up to the stone wall just before Grisedale Tarn. The trail to St Sunday Crag diverged here. We were still geared up for a climb up Helvellyn and perhaps across the Striding Edge, but around here the clouds started to roll in on the tops of the peaks, and the wind whipped up again. Past the tarn, we had the path left to Dollywagon Pike and Helvellyn. We talked ourselves out of the attempt because of what the weather looked like – we thought we might even get our first rain.
So we stopped at the Brothers Parting Stone, where I got to tell Erik the story. It was getting cold enough that he put on his gloves and his new buff. From there, we started descending into the dale. We stopped for lunch at a little stream just before 1:00; I did the pigeon pose on the moss and had Erik take my picture. After a couple of miles, we started to see farms and buildings as we neared Patterdale. The trail brought us in just above the White Lion, so we had to stop in for a couple of pints. We then walked to the hostel where we checked in around 4:00. Showers made us feel human again.
We headed back to the White Lion for supper. Just outside, we saw Mark, the Cambridge carpenter. He was just leaving the pub. The wifi apparently did not reach to our end of the pub so once again we felt out of touch with people back home. But we chatted with a pair of women who were staying at he hostel, amd then a couple of guys who were doing some of the peaks. There again was that feeling of fellowship. We decided to go back to the hostel and test the wifi there. I finally got on, and am just trying to catch up on my blog posts. We are in the common room at the Patterdale hostel, overhearing some conversation in the dining area where Mark is talking to a young French woman and an English woman. He made it up to Helvellyn today, leaving from the hostel around 10:30 with a group of four who had done it before – otherwise, he said, he would have bailed.
As the evening winds down, Erik and I keep referring to the guide book and the map. Tomorrow is a heavy day, about 16 miles and with some significant climbing followed by the dreaded steep descent. We am for an early start, and hope not to get lost!
[As with the last few posts, I do not have all my photos on my iPad yet, so I will probably edit in a few days, or even after my return, in order to add appropriate pics.]