Must admit I'm still at the 'not sure I trust this do what it says it will' stage, especially with this lightweight Velez Adventure Smock (so lightweight it makes the 'normal' Paramo seem positively heavy. So I was wearing two thin layers underneath and, boy, was I warm! Perfectly dry underneath and, as soon as we walked down out of the rain, and the sun came out, it dried out very quickly.
Anyway... That's enough about our sponsors lol!
Despite the rain, another fantastic day's walk. 15 miles today but taking in the highest point of the Coast to Coast, Kidsty Pike. It says in the guide book that this particular point looks far more impressive from afar than it does once you reach it, and that about sums it up. It was a pretty steady climb out of Patterdale - the key to success, we're learning fast, is to slow down to a steady plod, and just keep going. Do it in fits and starts and you're stuffed!
Some concern that we might miss the sharp left turn from High Street up towards the Pike, but no problem at all. On we plodded and, just before reaching the Pike, looming out of the mist came three mountain rescue jackets - now I know how it feels! Big wave to Ian, Ian and Glen who joined us then for the last few feet to the top and an anti-climactic photo at the summit cairn. Sadly, no views today. We were told of the eagle often seen soaring beneath the Pike at Riggingdale. Left to our imaginations today.
The five of us then continued down towards Haweswater, where the clouds lifted and the sun reappeared. Hope it stays that way (although the lightning hitting the hills this evening was somewhat worrying!). Lunch stop overlooking the reservoir then slogging on along the water's edge for... Ooh.... ages. All good apart from an annoying little leg-burner just before Castle Crag - JUST when you think you've done with climbing for the day!
The lads had parked the team vehicle as close as they could to the path, and eventually we rejoined it. More photos! And then a dilemma: do we blag a lift down to Burnbanks or do we do the honourable thing and keep on walking? Well what do you think? Keep walking, of course. Although we will admit to throwing our packs in the back of the Land Rover for a short while! Ian followed us down to Burnbanks in the vehicle, as Ian C and Glenn walked alongside us (gloriously pack-free). And there we met Sylvia and Mavis...
As we bade our farewells to the lads, out from the houses emerged two wonderful, elderly ladies, asking whether we had a collecting tin. Seems they saw us on the TV last week, thought we'd be coming through some time today, and had been on the look out so as not to miss us! And, as they popped their own coins in the tin, out came an elderly gent from across the way, saying he'd heard me on the radio! Am still getting over it! And thank you SO much to them!
Mavis and Sylvia make our day!
Final slog across fields, past Shap Abbey, and on to Shap and The Hermitage, where we stay tonight. Amazing place!!
Met by Sally (press officer extraordinaire!) for a run up to the pub and dinner, and a chat about press stuff. Joined by Kaz for a quick drink too. Good to catch up, although much of the news today has not been good. I know it's all out there in the news now so safe to post here, but tragic news today of David Watt, long standing member of the Kirkby Stephen team, who we're due to meet tomorrow. David sadly died in a light aircraft crash yesterday evening. He was an accomplished pilot, active rescue team member and SARDA handler. We feel sure he'll be greatly missed and we're thinking of his family and friends at such a sad time.
Anyway, it's been (made up word alert) a fantacular day. We look forward to tomorrow, although not sure out feet feel the same way.
Early start in the morning