Coast to Coast 2011: Day Eight – Supplemental
Damn, it’s hard trying to pick up a diary entry a day later, I’ve done so much in the middle that I’ve forgotten where I was up to and lost my train of thought.
I’ll do my best though or my brother will start moaning. I can add photos from day eight though, I have them by they’re on the laptop now and I’m sending this from the iPhone.
Fortunately the White Lion has WiFi, but only in the bar and I’m not bringing my laptop into the bar – that just looks too sad.
So, I’d phoned Brian and told him we’d still meet up, but closer to Orton that we’d expected.
I was now in the fields beneath the Scar, passing lots of westers and one or two were seasoned enough to spot I was doing the walk and asked how it was going east to west.
My answer is pretty much the same to everyone, it’s great! It’s the path you know and love, but seen from a different perspective. You certainly meet more people, but they’re always different, so you can’t build those relationships that you can when you’re walking in the “bubble”. This isn’t a bad thing, and you do pretty much get to meet everyone doing the C2C while you are. And there’s lot of them. I reckon about 50 per day on average.
On the way up to the road above Orton I met a guy plugging a gap in a dry stone wall. Regular readers will know I have a thing for dry-stone walls. They fascinate me. I actually thing they are one of the modern wonders of the world. I said this to the guy as he paused to say hello. “I hate the bloody things” he said. “I don’t think there’s a wall on the farm without a gap in it” he continued. “They’re really beginning to show their age now. It’s a full time job just maintaining them!”
“So you’re a Waller then?” I asked “I didn’t think there were any full time wallers left”.
“I’m a joiner by trade, a Waller when I have to be and a farmer in my spare time!”
I complimented him on his skill, it was hard to spot the gap from the rest of the wall. “that’ll be all the bloody practice I’ve had” he said. He was cheerful though, just typical Cumbrian humour I think. We chatted about the walk and walkers in general and C2C walkers in particular, he didn’t think they were responsible for wall damage, that was mostly down to wear and tear and the occasional stupid sheep trying to escape from predatory hikers. I left him to it and pushed on.
I was feeling foot sore again, quite weary, and I knew there was still a way to go. I was glad I’d stayed low, despite the clearing weather. I continued to pass westers, but presumably these were now heading to Orton rather than KS.
I finally met Brian just beyond Robin Hoods Grave. I saw his red coat from a good long way off, along with another walker in a red coat. We met and said our hellos. Apparently the other walker was Marion – a lone female walker that Brian had thought might be me behind him, so he’d slowed and met her and Rhys continued on together for a while – until Marion met her husband who was supporting her in their caravan.
We didn’t really have long to chat, I was knackered and still had a way to go and I needed to get it done before my legs stopped working completely. Brian had had pretty bad weather, more so than me I think.
I reluctantly cut short our chat; my calves were getting sore.
Just beyond Oddendale I passed three guys looking very tired. I nearly suggested they looked like I felt, but bit my tongue just in time. The first guy asked me if I knew where Oddendale was – he was Polish or Russian I guess and his English was heavily accented. I tried to explain they were nearly there and would be in their b&b within 10 minutes. I gave up after the blank look spread across his face and I just pointed over the nearby wall and said “there”.
Two minutes later I was crossing the quarry road and met a guy walking really slowly with a huge backpack. I asked him “where are you heading to?” “Robin Hoods Bay” he replied. “Crikey”, I said, “you’d better get a wriggle on; it’s 120 miles and it’ll be dark soon”. He didn’t laugh, but he looked too weary to break a smile never mind properly appreciate my spontaneous wit!
“I’m going to find a wild camp spot on the moor in a while and get my head down”. I said there were plenty of places over the next few miles, but to find somewhere before reaching Orton as it was all farms and fields after that.
I crossed the M6 bridge and staggered into Shap. I had an effusive greeting from Margaret at Brookfield and was shown to my room – the first double bed of the walk so far!
The hospitality at Brookfield is second to none. I sat in the lounge and was soon joined by a lady walking with her sister – taking it really easy and stopping at KS – and a couple doing the whole thing in 12 days; Andrew and his wife. We were treated to fabulous sausage rolls, scones with jam and butter, lemon meringue cake and other little savouries. I’d seen this before of course, but the others were amazed and so appreciative. Margaret is a real star of the C2C!
I went to the Greyhound with Andrew and wife and met the three Easters I met on the way into Keld. Carly is the daughter of the veteran long distance walker; 9 times Pennine way and 3 times C2C, plus their friend Mally, with the straw cowboy hat. We had a great evening, but I was feeling tired, so made my excuses early and left. The Easters are having a rest day in Shap so I won’t see them again now. Which is a great shame.
Sorry no photos, I’ll fix when I get home. I promise.
Also, sorry about the formatting, which seems to have been screwed up by the stupid iPhone wordpress app.