Saturday, 8 December 2012

My Advent Calendar - Day 9

December 9th

Welcome to Day 9 of my Advent Calendar, where I am reliving my Coast to Coast adventure!

Day 5 – Part 2

~ Mr & Mrs ‘we have two different guide books’, Shap Abbey, Cycle race, Fish and Chips, A bad forecast ~

As we donned rain coats we spotted a Coast to Coast signpost, something you won’t find in the Lake District because it is not an official footpath. Then we heaved up our bags once more and marched on. The hills were largely behind us and we were soon crossing fields and styles, still heading east.
            By this time most people had overtaken us but when we stopped at one style to check the map an older couple we hadn’t met before arrived. We heard them coming as we deliberated the correct route. They were doing the same thing but with a little less discussion and a little more argument. Their problem soon became clear.
            Man: My guide book says we go right at the style.
            Woman: Well my guide book doesn’t say anything about that.
            Man: Your guide book doesn’t even mention the style, so I think we should follow mine.
            Woman: But it doesn’t say whether we should turn right before the style or after it.
            Man: I’m pretty sure he means afterwards.
            Woman: But I can see a path going up the hill.
            Man: I think my guide book is telling us to go around the field so that we don’t disturb the sheep.
            Woman: My guide book doesn’t say anything about sheep.


In the end the four of us took our own path somewhere between turning right and going straight on. Once we reached the top of the small rise it became clear which way to go and we made better progress. Hannah and I let Mr & Mrs ‘we have two different guide books’ go on in front so that we could have a good laugh.
            Not long later, however, we caught up with them again and at the same time met the two old men who never stop (see yesterday’s post) and another old couple. Guide books were now in abundance and there were a good many opinions about which way to go. Hannah and I opted not to join in but to sit down and watch the chaos. If you ever get the chance to watch six old people with four guide books try to walk through a field you will see how entertaining this can be.

After a while the ruins of Shap Abbey came into sight and we knew we weren’t far from our destination. The rain had stopped and the sun re-emerged as we came into Shap itself and found the bed & breakfast where we were camping. Sadly the rain returned briefly just as we set the tent up, but it didn’t stop the chickens in the garden inspecting our skills.
            Once free of our bags we walked the short way into town, practically bouncing without the extra weight. We found a fish and chip shop and later a pub. There was a cycle race going on so I watched people whizz by every twenty seconds hoping to spot our friends from the day before.

Having seen none of our fellow walkers in either the chippy or the pub we decided to get to bed, knowing that the next day we had our first 20 miler, and that seemed even more daunting when we heard the forecast. Rain, all day.


A last look back at the Lake District.


Shap Abbey.

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