Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Day Three: Rosthwaite to Grasmere

Rosthwaite to Grasmere: 14.5 Km

We had breakfast with a couple from Florida who were both militarypilots and then became commerical airline pilots. They were very friendly and had great stories and we saw more of them in the days to come. We also ate with a younger couple--the only people we saw on the C2C trail close to our age--who were going east to west while we were going west to east. They only had two days left whereas we had thirteen more days! Our breakfast was served in a special breakfast room on fancy china with silverware. Brent had the full English breakfast and I had porridge (yum). We ordered packed lunches from Rachel the hostess, and they were the cheapest we paid for all trip--only 3 pounds! And just as big and tasty as any of the others. We highly recommend Gillercombe Bed and Breakfast at Stonethwaite.

We moved quite slowly this day because we knew we only had roughly fourteen kilometers to go--a bit more than that because we were taking two alternative routes to the main trail that would put us high above the valley bottom. We hiked slowly at first and took lots of pictures of the valley and waterfalls and bridges we saw along the way.

Details of fence: There's nothing like this in Western Canada

A Stone Sheepfold

Much of the day was spent walking along the ridges of the mountains down the valley, so once we made it up the first big climb, it was just gentle up and down until we reached the end of the valley and had to go back down into the town of Grasmere. One fell that we climbed up and over was called the Lion and the Lamb because that's what the shape of the rocks look like.
First cellphone reception in a three days: the Australians text home
The valley below us, where the other route went
The Lion and the Lamb

Hiking along the ridge. Can you tell how sunburnt we are?

Our B&B was called Ivy Dene and it was a peculiar arrangement. When we arrived, there was a note saying go next door to get in. So we did and the lady next door let us into our room. Only later in the evening when we finally sought out our hostess did we actually find and meet her and found out that the lady next door was our B&B owner's daughter, who also owned a B&B. Otherwise I don't know how we would have figured out the breakfast arrangement! Nevertheless, the room was clean and comfortable and we had no complaints other than the strange hostess arrangement.
Ivy Dene Bead and Breakfast, and the daughter's B&B next door.
Grasmere was kind of like a miniature English Banff. There were lots of touristy shops, including a bookstore that we spent a good while purusing and spent a fair amount of money at. Grasmere is also home to an amazing Gingerbread Factory. We had to sample some of their fare, and it was unlike any gingerbread we've had before. It was thick and and spicy and chewy and had chunks of candied ginger in it. So good...they do mail order internationally, perhaps we shall have to indulge. :)

We also stopped at Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum. It was in Grasmere that William and Dorothy Wordsworth spent a large amount of their writing careers, and it was interesting seeing how they lived and where they wrote and the beautiful scenery they wrote about. I was quite disappointed, however, about how much William's efforts were emphasized over Dorothy's. Dorothy wrote quite good work as well, and William based a lot of his poetry off of memories captured in her journals. Yet from the museum one gets the picture that he was the sole creative genius. But maybe that's the feminist literary analysis coming out in me...I've written several papers on Dorothy Wordsworth's work.
Dove Cottage, in all its glory.

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