I woke early and sat reading my Wainwright Coast to Coast book about today’s section, before waking Sarah with a brew at 6:30am. We had a lovely breakfast at Low Cock Farm of porridge and brown toast whilst chatting to other walkers (Derrick and his wife) and wondering how the two guys who become lost on Dent were going to tackle today’s walk. They actually seemed in high spirits after their disastrous first day, seemingly determined to press on with limited (very limited) map reading skills, poor weather forecast and no accommodation booked in Borrowdale!!, we never saw them again incidentally.......
We headed off at 8:15 after an optimistic debate as to whether we would need water proofs or not today. The walk along Ennerdale water is a fine one, and regardless of the weather is blessed with dramatic views, often referred to as the “gateway to the Lakes” and living up to its name today, it’s also one filled with excitement of the views and places that await us over the next few days.
We walked along the wild Ennerdale valley track towards the Black sail Hut, after failing to get a cup of tea at Gillerthwaite Youth Hostel due to it being closed we were happy to arrive at the remotely located Black Sail Hut YHA, finding it open to passing walkers we made ourselves a brew and had lunch in the common room.
After leaving Black Sail Hut we climbed the very steep loft beck towards Honister, the bottom of my feet were starting to ache somewhat, which caused me some concern so early in the Coast to Coast, however, after a quick inspection which revealed “nothing”, I put it down to being over concerned & pressed on.
Once at the top of the Loft Beck we had a last look back towards Ennerdale Water, we then had fantastic views towards Buttermere, with Red Pike and Haystacks clearly visible. We could also see rain moving towards us from Buttermere and so finally gave in and put the water proofs on, as the rain caught us up I also put my gloves on as the temperature really dropped as the winds picked up.
Even in weather like today, the walk from Loft Beck to Honister is a great high level walk. As we arrived at the remains of Drum House & looked back we were now beginning to see the same coats and figures in the distance we’d seen before “Orange & Green coat” who would turn out to be Dave & Vale were following behind, along with two chaps wearing shorts and t-shirts and seeming a little out of place also followed, all fellow Coast to Coasters it would seem!
We arrived at Honister Slate mine in the rain and took shelter inside over a cup of tea, soon joined by the two guys in shorts who had now donned ponchos as the conditions worsened. Over a brew we discussed the walk route and gave them some advice regarding map reading, in particular tomorrow’s route which can be tricky. Both nice blokes but seemed a little under prepared & overwhelmed by the walk, how remote it was, cold, wet, difficult to navigate and lack of phone signal, yep, welcome to Northern England lads.......but you forgot to mention beautiful landscape and stunning views.
We arrived at the lovely Yew Tree Farm our bed for the night at 4:45pm, a good time we both agreed given the weather and terrain. After showering, changing, washing some clothing and stuffing the boots with paper to dry them again we heading off to the Scafell Hotel bar for something to eat. After chicken burger and chips for Sarah and steak pudding and chips for me, along with what seemed like the nicest three pints of beer I had ever had we headed back to get an early night.
We we’re in bed for 9:30pm, a big day tomorrow, and with the forecast for rain we needed to rest up. And day 2 was over, we fell asleep amongst drying socks on the radiators thinking of tomorrow’s fine but tough walk to Patterdale whilst hoping for good weather.