DAY TWO – ENNERDALE BRIDGE TO ROSTHWAITE – 15 MILES
Saturday 9th June
After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, I was ready for day two. It had rained heavily during the night and the morning sky was dark with heavy clouds. Jean, the landlady at the B&B took me back to Ennerdale Bridge, so that I could continue my walk from the point I had finished the day before. It is just over a mile of road walking from Ennerdale Bridge to Ennerdale Water. The skies were still gloomy when I reached the lake. Normally there would be dramatic views of the western fells from here but not today.
The C2C walk hugs the right hand shore of the lake. It is a fairly good path, but pretty wet under foot, in places it was like walking along a stream.
There is one awkward section of rock scrambling at a place called Robin Hood’s Chair.
Up this side.
And down this side.
At this point I was passed by a couple of guys who had also passed me yesterday on the way to Dent Fell. Then we had only exchanged a hello, but today we had a brief chat about yesterday walk and the weather.
Another view along Ennerdale Water.
Despite the clouds there was only occasional light rain.
The final stage of this section of the day’s walk was through a more wooded area.
The first waterfall of the C2C.
Eventually after about an hour and 45 minutes Ennerdale Water was behind me.
Looking back down Ennerdale Water.
Shortly after this, as I headed across an open grassy area, a sheep came running at full pelt through a open gate in a stone wall, closely followed by two smallish dogs, chasing the sheep down the field. Shortly behind them was the owner of the dog, running after them and calling the dogs, who didn’t take a blind bit of notice of his calls. The sheep and the dogs disappeared out of sight. Farmers have been known to shoot dogs for such behaviour, but it was the irresponsible owner who was really at fault. I hope the sheep was OK.
With the crossing of the River Liza the walk entered a new stage.
There was long stretch to walk along the forestry access road.
It went on…
The view should have been of dramatic mountain scenery, but…well..clouds…enough said.
Shortly after this I met three walkers at a junction in the road. They were C2Cers and we compared maps and walked on together. This was John and his wife Christine and their friend Pat, all from Lancashire. Pat’ s husband is due to join them later in the week. I didn’t realise it immediately, but I had taken a photo of them on John’s camera at the Irish Sea back at St Bees. We talked about our different experiences. I told them about starting off with an American guy from St Bees and how he had to go back because he still had his room key. They said almost in unison, “Oh, that must be Manhattan Pete!”. They had met him on the ascent of Dent. There is something of a tradition of among C2Cers to give fellow walkers a “handle”. Pete had told them he was from Conneticut, nr New York – hence Manhattan Pete. They asked me later where I was from and, of course, I told them, London, but that I am an Essex boy, from nr Southend on Sea. Later on Pat said,’I suppose you could be “Southend Shaun”. So I guess that is how I will be known for the rest of the C2C. I christened them, “The Lancashire Three”.
Higher up the valley there was much evidence of how the Forestry Commission is gradually reducing the amount of conifer forest. It will, in time, be a big improvement.
Eventually, the forest came to an end and there ahead of us was Black Sail Youth Hostel, a hut in the middle of dramatic Lakeland scenery. It is a popular spot and gets booked well in advance. Here we stopped for lunch.
John and Chris enjoying lunch.
After lunch the hard work was about to begin. We now had a long steep climb ahead of us. It started off OK with a gentle fellside traverse.
A waterfall up ahead were impressive.
Then after a tricky crossing of Loft Beck, we climbed up a path on the right hand side of the beck. It was steep, but the path improvers had stepped the path with rocks, which made for easier progress.
We were heading into serious cloud mist now.
Pat pressing on ahead and John and Chris (you can just make them out) bringing up the rear.
After the steep section the path continued from the top of Loft Beck on a path that was well marked with large cairns, of which we were really glad, because of the mist. I didn’t take any photos here, because, well, mist is mist and not very interesting to look at.
Eventually, we began to descend to the Honister Slate Mine at the top of Honister Pass. This is a fascinating place. It was reopened some years ago and now has a bustling tourist trade. As we descended to it we could see many cars in the carpark. Pat thought she could see Manhattan Pete up ahead.
As we approached the Tea Room there was Matthew from my first night in St Bees sitting outside on a bench. We greeted each other warmly and I introduced him to the Lancashire Three. Matthew, lets call him Dutch Mat, shared his experience of the walk that day. He had found it tough, but said that he had been joined part of the way by a lovely American guy from New York. John, Chris,, Pat and I all said in perfect unison “Manhattan Pete”. Dutch Mat confirmed his name was indeed Pete. However, Pete remained elusive that day and we never caught up with him. Perhaps we will meet along the way tomorrow.
I had a very definite purchase in mind from fhe Slate Mine Shop. a Coast-to-coaster:
The lady in the shop told me that they had just had a film crew with them shooting a comedy about the coast to coast walk. She said that they had now moved down to Seatoller and that we might see them there. She said that one of the “actors” was quite famous, but obviously not famous enough for her to know his name. It seems a strange theme for a comedy, somewhat of a niche market, but I will definitely look out for its release.
At this point, I decided to press on and said farewell to the Lancashire Three, thinking they were stopping for some tea. I began the descent down the Honister Pass, where the views began to open up down to the lovely valley of Borrowdale, today’s destination.
Finally, some fell top views, which I think were
And Glaramara (which I have climbed on a previous visit).
I am open to correction if I have got the idenification wrong.
As I kept stopping to take photos, the Lancashire Three caught up with me, as they had decided not to stop for tea after all. We continued down towards the valley together. We soon came upon the film crew setting up for a scene. We all checked out the actors, and after we had passed by, I whispered “Did any of you recognise them”? All said “no”! Perhaps we will meet them again along the route in the coming days.
We were now coming to the valley floor and soon spotted the lovely hamlet of Seatoller.
One final obstacle remained. A tricky rocky situation along the river has been installed with chains to help a safe progress. I’m not sure any of us really needed them, but it made for a good photo opportunity.
At the YHA a little further on the Lancashire Three did this time stop for tea and cake and I pressed to my B&B, which was just outside the village of Rosthwaite. As you can see it is nicely situated. My room looks out over the beck.
Another truly memorable day was thus completed. Although it had been cloudy all day, there had been surprisingly little rain and I got a lot less wet than on Day One. Tomorrow the weather looks to be improving slightly for the lovely climb over to Grasmere.
I just want to express my thanks to all of you who are following my blog and especially to those of you who have posted comments. I am glad that you are enjoying following my progress. I kind of feel that you are all sharing the experience with me.