Day 3 - 10th August 2006
Rosthwaite to Patterdale
End of Day 3: August 10th
4.30pm our room at Wordsworth Cottage, Patterdale
If we never go back to the Royal Oak Hotel in Rosthwaite it will be
too soon. It wasn’t just the poky room that had seen better decades,
the walk down the corridor to find the bathroom (with the occasional
rattle of the doorhandle during my bath providing interesting
background noise to stop me dozing off), the poor sound-proofing
(lying in bed listening to her say to him coming back FROM dinner:
“Did you remember your teeth?”), the food – gong at 7pm, soup
(vegetable), pork (the tepid slices so thin they were almost
transparent and with which we were to renew acquaintance in our
packed lunch next day), trifle; all served in rapid succession.
These things didn’t help but the clincher was that we could only
have our breakfast between 8.30am and 9am. Now, for most I guess
that wouldn’t be a problem but for us, who had a long day ahead and
wanted to get on the trail, it was an inconvenience.
Anyway, we set off at 9am, straight into the long pull up from
Rosthwaite alongside Borrowdale Fells up to Lining Crag and Greenup
Edge; the thick end of a couple of hours steady and sometimes very
steep climbing. Then the long descent into Grasmere. Messed around
in Grasmere for a bit. Messed up more like it. Grasmere is just off
the edge of the two maps I have and I opted not to buy a map with it
on for the sake of a couple of miles. I could just use my judgment
to take us around Grasmere onto the next trail. As it happened, that
judgment had us going out from Grasmere in the wrong direction.
Error recognized we slowly moved back onto the maps that I’d had
and, hey, we’d only lost half an hour. William kept his thoughts to
himself but you didn’t need to be a mind reader to know what those
thoughts might consist of.
Lunch at the foot of the bridleway that takes you up to Grizedale
Tarn, another long, steady pull to the tarn – just over an hour –
and then the long descent down into Patterdale. Into our B&B just
On many of the trails throughout the C2C, walking side by side is
either not possible or is just impractical. Someone has to lead,
trail find and set the pace. On this walk that has been me. Except
today, we had signs that maybe things could be about to change.
Climbing up to Lining Crag and Greenup Edge, William came past me
some three-quarters of the way up the ascent and pushed on to the
top. He got there a couple of minutes before me. Of course, it’s a
sign of things to come; but had his time come or for now was it a
flash in the pan? (I once read what I thought was a good analogy
about fathers and teenage sons; they were likened to two buckets in
a well – one ascending, the other descending; the relative position
of the buckets reflective, amongst other things of strength,
stamina, fitness). Climbing up to Grizedale Tarn normal positioning
was resumed; and then, with just 100 yards or so to the top he came
past me again and pushed on.
Today, again I have tried to moderate the pace (in some places I had
no option) but I think for both of us that doesn’t come easy;
Succeeding in the challenge is as important as the experience.
Weather has been good to us today; again, not too hot, good
visibility and with only the odd squally shower.
We are not saying anything to each other out loud so as not to break
the spell but we both feel pretty comfortable thus far with progress
and performance. I’m conscious how fragile this position is though;
twist an ankle, allow a blister to get out of…errr….hand and you’re
Tomorrow we have more mileage but less height gain than today and,
if I’m reading the maps correctly most of that challenge will be in
PS We’ve taken pics and at the first opportunity we will get them
PPS Regarding my mention of pebbles yesterday, the sea-to-sea walk
tradition is to pick up a pebble from St Bees beach, Cumbria, and
carry it the 192 miles to St Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire, to
deposit it on the beach there.
PPPS Mine weighs a ton…