The Walk

Day 5 Wednesday 18th June, 2008 – Patterdale to Shap

Up early and quietly our two other room mates were sleeping in. Breakfast was ok, but no vegetarian option, not even eggs, I settled for cereal and toast. The pack up was a different story, so much food and all for around £5.

Having dallied around for a while, we had no option but to go back to our room and pack, not a good idea as one of the lasses had decided to have an extra hours sleep. Trying to be quiet was difficult, but it was now 8.30am and we needed to be on the walk. I had sorted out the map and GPS before going to bed, but I, and the rest of the group still had to do our final packing for the day and our bags for the Sherpa Van pick up. So gritting our teeth we opened the curtains and carried on as if she wasn’t there. After a few moans and groans she got up pushed past one of the group and went off to the bathroom…. We knew she needed the loo!!!

We were on the road by 8.45am, with beautiful views of Ullswater and Patterdale, the path was easy to follow, and the weather was bright sunshine with white puff ball clouds.

We had a photo shoot at Angle Tarn, there were lots of walkers on the route today (the Canadian group, Bart and Stanley, Ian and Jeanette plus others who we knew by sight) so it was easy to get a group photo taken.

Angle Tarn and some old Grannies!
Angle Tarn and some old Grannies!

We climbed steadily for about 3 hours before taking a short break for lunch by the wall at the bottom of The Knott.

The climb up to The Knott was steep and seemed to go on forever, by the time we had reached it, the wind had got up, we were hoping that it would die down a bit for the final climb up to Kidsty Pike at 780 mtres.

We encountered extremely high winds which knocked some of us over as we neared the summit, this plus clouds, made it a bit scary and obscured the views that we had anticipated at such a height. The mobile phone coverage up there was brilliant we all got texts on our mobiles, I received one from Tim, (one of the children we are walking for), plus one each from my son and husband. It was good to be in touch with the family again, although I knew that they were aware that mobile coverage would be difficult and we always work on ‘no news is good news’, it stops each other worrying too much.

We took the obligatory photos and quickly made our way to the path down to Haweswater.

Going up Kidsty Pike
Going up Kidsty Pike

It felt like we were never going to get to the bottom, a long and quite steep walk in places. We ate our lunch at the beginning of Hawswater Reservoir. A perfect, and beautiful spot, sitting amongst the long grass, with a view of the reservoir, in bright sunshine and in the distance there was a farmer on a quad bike working his dogs to get the sheep up onto the hills. It was a typical sight for this part of the country, with the exception of the quad bike….. or maybe in these times that’s normal too.

Starting off again at 2pm the sunshine continued although there were rain clouds around it didn’t look too threatening, and then out of nowhere it began a gentle rain, which quickly turned into a downpour which stayed with us for the rest of the walk into Shap. We had anticipated that this walk along the reservoir would be flat and easy walking… wrong, it was undulating along a single file track for the best part, and it seemed to go on forever.

At Burnbanks, we stopped in the small forest for a short while, but it was raining, and we didn’t want to hang about. The next part of the walk was through meadows with an abundance of wild flowers and those wonderful old stone walls. After Shap Abby we decided to stay on the road instead of walking along the path, by this time we were all tired and wet through and just wanted to get to our B&B.

We arrived in Shap soaking wet and cold, spirits were on the wane, especially as we had to walk almost the entire length of Shap to reach Fell House our B&B. Heather the lady who ran the B&B, was so welcoming, opening her door and almost dragging us in out of the rain, she quickly showed us to our rooms and suggested that we use the radiators around the house to dry our clothes. (others who had arrived before us had most of the rads in use!) The radiator in Jenny and Celia’s room didn’t get warm, so the rest of us took their clothes into our rooms to dry. By the morning everything was dry and ready to be used again.

I felt very cold, took a hot bath, on with the PJ’s and into bed by 8pm, the rest of the group showered and went to the pub. I had a raging temperature, woke up twice in the night with sweat pouring off me. I stayed covered and woke up at 4.20am, feeling fine and as if nothing had happened, except I was starving having missed my evening meal.

Apparently there were a number of C2Cers in the pub and they all had a catch up on the day’s events. I wish I had felt well enough to join them, as the camaraderie between walkers is wonderful.

With the GPS and maps sorted, I wrote up my log from yesterday, on checking the camera, I noticed that it had not seen a great deal of use yesterday the rain could have had something to do with that! Having sorted the rest of my clothes and packed the large holdall for collection later, I was ready for food. 

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