Welcome to Day 3 of my Advent Calendar. If you’ve only just found it, where have you been? I am reliving two special weeks from my year, which my sister and I spent marching across the greatest country on earth, and hopefully giving you an idea of the ups and downs, physical and emotional, that we went through. Enjoy!
Day 2 – Part 1
~ My foot hurts, I am not very good at taking tablets, the sun comes out, our first lake, we decide to climb a mountain ~
On waking up we discovered that we had successfully completed Day 1 and that overnight the fog had cleared so that we would actually be able to see where we were going.A large and scrumptious breakfast delayed our departure (a common feature you will see) but it did give us the chance to meet some more people who had also begun the day before. They, however, were a) having their luggage transported, and b) staying in guest houses all the way. So it was highly amusing to watch two of the women chicken out by pretending to have already injured their legs, and hitching a ride on the luggage van. They informed the rest of their group that they would be going to a spa, which couldn’t be more different to walking fifteen miles through the Lake District. Several days later we saw the walking half of the group again and decided that the two women must still be at the spa.
Having laughed at their non-existent injuries, though, I was soon worried by a pain in my right ankle. I’d had it for a few weeks and it only seemed to occur when I was wear my walking boots, which was a problem. As taking them off wasn’t really an option Hannah informed me that I should take a painkiller tablet. Now I know that I am rubbish at swallowing even the smallest of pills and so we had a lengthy stop at our first, and only, ‘nice little place of the day’, Ennerdale Bridge, while I attempted to relieve my pain.
Once we got going again the pain did disappear and soon we were making good progress as we approached our first lake, Ennerdale Water. Taking the northern route we hugged the shore and got a good view of Angler’s Crag, which we renamed ‘Hog’s Head Hill’, or something to that effect. See if you agree with us.
As you can see there were still plenty of clouds around but after a stop for lunch the sun began to come out and since it was still only early afternoon we contemplated climbing a mountain before reaching our destination. I suggested we could do it before dinner and anyway we were on a roll. So we began climbing.The mountain was High Style and at some 800 metres above sea level was easily the highest we would get for the whole two weeks. However, well before the top we were struggling. Our packs made the climb very tough and the peak never seemed to get any closer. As time moved on we began to realise this wasn’t going to be a quick up and down, but it was too late to turn back.
Eventually we made it and were rewarded with spectacular views. The clouds had gone and the Isle of Man, which had been invisible on Saturday, was glinting on the horizon. Ennerdale lay on one side and on the other beautiful Buttermere had come into view.
The day though was moving on and we still had to get back down. Dinner now seemed a long way off and so we began our descent. The path was even steeper than the one we had come up and it zigzagged across some treacherous scree. Sliding and scrambling we made our way down as the sun also began to disappear behind the hills. We were tired and hungry but the climb had definitely been worth it. I doubt we could have managed such an ascent in the second week. Plus I doubt that many people have climbed so high carrying so much, and it was a proud moment for us both.
Ennerdale Water looking South West. You can just pick out the Isle of Man two thirds of the way up on the left side (below the clouds)