Ghyll farm to Gillercombe b and b Stonethwaite near Rosthwaite
Sep 11, 2017
|B>Day 3 14.5 miles
What a wonderful stop Ghyll farm was. Beautifully modernised and high spec accommodation and a helpful host Roger who gave details and maps of the forthcoming walk which was to be very challenging. Roger and his wife left a great impression on all three of us and the name of the great man came up in conversation for several days.
It was time to step up the pace a bit so in terms of miles covered day 3 was scheduled to be the longest walk of the whole journey. Given the position of the overnight accommodation relative to the Coast to Coast route and Ennerdale Bridge the three of us opted to start the journey on the Northern shore of Ennerdale water the forestry track. Having stayed in the same accommodation the previous night I did the walk with the aforementioned Dutch ladies, Annemiek and Jet Roobol. The walk started heading for the beautiful Ennerdale Water a long natural lake of over 2 miles length.
After a call to 'Packhorse' to ask them to put a mobile 'phone in Jets bag left in her room we arrived on the shores of the lake.We took the north route through Ennerdale forest for a few miles, easy walking and for the most part in sunshine although rain is never far away in the lake district and hills over 2000 feet were shrouded in cloud. We picked a nice spot to have a snack but noticed the clouds were forming into rain clouds above.
Rain began to fall as we reached 'Black Sail' which is renowned as the most isolated youth hostel in the country and boy it was remote. We later learnt we could have just opened the door and gone in to make a hot drink; other walkers apparently did
There began a gruelling 20 minute climb up the side of a waterfall known as 'Loft Beck'. The climb continued on wet stones often resembling a small stream. We climbed to a height of 1700 feet around 'Grey Knots'. On the way up we met Peter a cheerful man who in his late 70s was managing the climb 12 steps at a time. His sister is doing the whole walk but he is only doing a part of it meeting relatives from Australia for some sort of family gathering in Richmond in Yorkshire. We paused a while at the top to both get a 'second breath' and ensure Peter who didn't appear in the best health made it. as he appeared we went on in the knowledge a cafe lay ahead, we hoped half an hour or so away but in fact it was double that time,
A good understanding of map and compasseading is essential in this desolate landscape although our party heavilly relied on OS downloaded gps maps
We began a tiring walk down to the Honister slate mine complex and were just in time for coffee and before heading off from there saw Peter again who was wisely taking the bus the rest of the way. His bus passed us while we walked. After a further hour and a half I arrived at 6.40pm at my accommodation bidding farewell to my walking companions half an hour before as their overnight stay was some miles away.
The overnight stop was like stepping back into the 1960's. The B and B owner Rachel aged 74 years made very clear on my arrival that I was the last of her guests and would have to wait for the one shower in the place. That said she ran the place with a good heart. My room, the only single so far, had one plug socket circa 1950 and obviously no loo or shower nor TV, internet or tea and coffee making facilities but I loved her eccentricity, parrots in the garden aviary or on her shoulder in the house.
But nontheless orders are to be obeyed and all 7 guests duly arrived for 7,30 breakfast and as we sat around one table conversation flowed freely starting with one of 2 Californian gentleman doing the C to C stating 'we are gathered here to-day....' to which my retort ...'to hear the will or great aunt Maud' and before the titter died down my new American friend replied ....'she wanted me to remember you, well I have and there's no money for you.' As readers may gather we are quite a friendly if not bizarre bunch. During breakfast a red squirrel one of 16 Rachel says she has visits from scampered round...outside of course not in the breakfast room