Monday 14 September, 2015
Rosthwaite to Grasmere - 15 kms, 7 hours.
On waking this morning I thought I could hear rain on the roof top. After yesterday's marathon, I really didn't want to set off in wet weather gear again. I dragged myself to the window and my mood brightened immediately. Not raindrops, just a gurgling stream bathed in early morning mist. The breakfast hour was late, so our departure was not until 9.30. We weren't too bothered as we ONLY had 15 kms to hike.
Within a few strides, we were through the tiny village of Roswaithe, crossing Stonewaithe Beck via a stone arched bridge and following this enchanting, gurgling stream. The first few kms were flat and we delighted in all aspects of this rural countryside.
All too soon, the climbing for the day began along Greenup Gill Valley, towards Linning Crag [525m]. Having said that, I have to add that the incline was an acceptable gradient, and the music of the gill, the tumbling waterfalls, and the echoing sounds of grazing, bleating sheep, inspired us to keep on.
Water was tumbling everywhere.
Just loving the moment.
Checking the notes. Yes we do continue here, don't we?
As we approached Lining Crag, the valley opened up to a vast green bowl, carved by glaciers. In the light of the heavy sky, it almost appeared as a lunar landscape. During the morning we were constantly being overtaken by our new acquaintances who, by the end of the Coast to Coast, would be our good friends. Low and behold, amongst those passing us, were the 2 hikers who said " It's just a scramble to the top and follow the ridge!" Of course we let them know that they had been sworn and cursed at all the previous day, and some fun retribution was taken.
It was not an easy scramble to the top of the Crag, but lovely to look back and see what we had accomplished.
Above Lining Crag it was less steep, but we were greeted by our first bogs and with the fog suddenly rolling up the valley, we were a little concerned.
The sky was looking ominous as we began our decent, but I am pleased to relate that the weather Gods were again looking after us.
The descent was more taxing than the climb, with damper, rougher ground and irregular, rocky steps to manoeuvre. It was slow going, but SO much nicer than yesterday's hike, that we were not complaining.
We were following the valley of Far Easdale Gill down to Easdale Beck and on into Grasmere.
It was actually a series of descents and as the day progressed, we were wondering when we would finally make it to the last one. We would reach lovely even ground, then turn a bend and the descent began again.
Hard work, but the scenery was astounding. Isolated but serene, with its tumbling waterfalls, smaller beck, the ever present sheep and as we dropped lower, rock walls and crofts.
This waterfall was well down the valley and the ground had become less harsh. Poor Joc slipped on the grass and took a tumble. Blood gushed from her nose and the nose bridge, as she lay flat out and very still on the ground. Pressure was applied to the nose and gradually we tested her limbs. Thankfully disaster had been avoided. It took some time to stem the blood flow, but other than a cut bridge, mark on her glasses, a cracked camera viewer and to 2 full black eyes for the remainder of the hike, Joc came away unscathed. I truly admire her spirit and determination, as she had come away having only having just healed a hairline fracture of her foot.
It was only 15 kms to Grasmere, but felt like 20. Arriving here I was filled with nostalgia. I had worked as a waitress in the Shepherds Crook for 3 months, back in 1976. Today I had retraced a few of the footprints I had made then and I was overjoyed to be fortunate enough to be back walking in this beautiful part of the world. I might add that during the September of 1976, the weather had not been kind at all. My diary reads, 'drab, wet, miserable day, or bucketing down or drizzle falling' on most days. Sadly the Shepherds Crook no longer exists and my photos of Grasmere were accidentally deleted.
It was fantastic to be back in Grasmere. I hope the the trail wasn't too rough for you. I would love to read your comment.