Sunday, June 08, 2008

Day Two: Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite

Ennerdale Lake behind us

Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite; 23 km.

We had our usual porridge in the pub below our room and headed out to the trail shortly after eight. We ordered a packed lunch again but were a little disappointed with the results this time. A sandwich, a chocolate bar, crisps (aka potato chips) and a piece of fruit. Not the healthiest or best hiking-oriented lunch. But nevertheless, there was little opportunity to stop and buy lunch on the way so, we couldn't be choosy.

The hotel was quite old, dating back to the 17th century and smelled of old wood and woodfire smoke. It was quite a pleasant dining room/pub, but was not as cozy as the previous night's B&B.

Today we had two options for our route, and feeling tough and up to the challenge, we took the higher route, which was supposed to have taken us over three summits on a ridge walk, but we ended up missing the first summit, hiking up and over High Stile and Haystacks but missing Red Pike.

We hiked through and around many many sheep pastures. At first we tried to avoid getting manure on our boots but eventually we just gave up. It'll wash off later anyway. We enjoyed seeing all the baby lambs frolicking. We passed a sheep farmer coming the other way on her quad, with her border collie keeping watch from behind her on the seat.

The three peaks that we were supposed to do are quite popular day hikes and we saw many people on the trails along the ridge. There were also a lot of sheep and sheep trails at the summit, showing us that however tough and fit we thought we were, the four-legged mountaineers could make out just fine too.

High up on the fells.

A Mountain Tarn, England style

After we came down the far side of Haystacks fell, we walked through an old quarry site and then through a present-day slate mining operation. At the mine headquarters there was a gift shop, a tea house and a big window so you could watch the employees carving up the slate. What a great idea! We stopped for a cup of tea and admired the slatework, wishing that we could buy some--but that would be a lot of unwanted added weight. I was again reminded of Obelix and his menhirs. (If some of you are wondering about the repeated references to Asterix, here is a wikipedia link about the comic books-I highly recommend them.)

A building on the old mine site

We arrived at our B&B at around five thirty, and were greeted at the door by our hostess, Rachel, who told us that of the seven people staying there that night, we were the first to arrive. We were surprised because it was five thirty and we took the long route down! We had much needed showers and then Rachel made us tea. She told us that because of the big football game between Manchester and Chelsea taking place in Russia that night, we'd better get to the pub at a decent hour if we wanted a place to eat.

Gillercoombe House at Rosthwaite in the distance: almost done for the day!

We ate at the pub at Stonethwaite just down the road. I had poached trout with butter and parsley. It was very tasty. I have certainly gotten over my childhood dislike of fish! Brent had ham and chicken pie that was also very good. We talked for a long while with an old man sitting in the pub, who recommended to us several other hikes in England.

Donna the Parrot

Rachel the B&B owner has a pet parrot, who we met the following morning as he awoke us with car alarm sounds, truck back-up alerts and wolf calls. Funny little fellow.

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