Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Day 4 Patterdale to Shap 16 Miles

We headed down for breakfast at 8am and ordered our porridge, brown toast, tea for Sarah and coffee for me. As we ate breakfast we got talking to a father and son from South Yorkshire having breakfast next to us, the dad was walking Coast to Coast and he had called his son to “rescue him”. The weather and miles had worn him down, so he’s decided to take a day off, his son had kindly drove up to support him, and over breakfast decided he was going to walk today’s route for his dad whilst the dad drove car over to Shap. The dad was 67, so he’s done really well to be honest and the weather has been poor to say the least.
After breakfast we donned the water proofs again and hit the trial. The rain was already coming down and the forecast was set for rain all day. Before leaving Patterdale village we called at the village shop for some butties for lunch, stuffed them in the rucksack and away we headed.
The climb up towards Angle Tarn is a steep one, however even in relatively poor weather as we had today fine retrospective views of the Hellvellyn range to the west, and great views towards Brothers Water & Red Screes to the South West can be seen. Whilst it was a wet day it was far too warm for water proofs, every time there was a break in the rain we were unzipping our coats trying to get some air!
As we passed Angle Tarn the rain started to ease as we continued the long climb towards Kidsty Pike, (the highest point on Coast to Coast at 2,560ft). As we approached the summit the low swirling clouds made for some wild and chaotic scenery, the kind the changes as soon as you point a camera at it!
We had the obligatory picture on the summit of Kidsty Pike before descending quickly down the steep banks towards Haweswater, in the hope of some shelter for lunch as the heavens opened yet again. As we began to plod the long walk along Haweswater in the rain we felt like the only people around for miles, the summit of Kidsty was actually quite busy with walkers, we were confident in our map position, I just hoped some of the others were also!
We managed to gain a window of opportunity between heavy showers to stop for lunch and eat our butties we’d picked up from the village store in Patterdale, to which Sarah quite rightly pointed out were “much nicer than they looked!”
We quickly finished our lunch and walked the 3 – 4 miles along Haweswater towards Burn Banks, after quickly stopping & firing up the stove for a quick brew during another rain break, along with a flap jack we pressed on.
We knew we had perhaps another 4 miles to Shap, however the rain stayed away for the remainder of the day and the terrain was now much easier on the body, less craggy and rocky, and more country lanes and fields, I even packed the water proofs away for the last few miles which was really nice.
We arrived at New Ing Lodge, which is a lovely overnight stay at the end of a long day, at around 5:30pm, feeling pretty good given the length and lofty heights of today’s walk. After stuffing the boots with newspaper and hanging our wet clothes (what now seemed to be etched in our daily routine), we had a quick shower and change went down stairs to sample the recently installed New Ing Bar for a quick pint for me and half for Sarah. After drinking my pint in what seemed like record time, we headed into the village for something to eat, we picked up some butties for tomorrows walk and headed for the Shap chippy (highly recommended), fish and chips for me, large of course, and sausage, chips and curry for Sarah, washed down with a nice cup of tea!
We returned to the New Ing Lodge for a couple of drinks and sat chatting to some guys from London who were walking Coast to Coast in sections, finishing their walk today and returning in September to complete another section of the walk. We also had a chat with two guys we met once or twice on route called Charles and Ian, Charles was walking the Coast to Coast for charity and as part of a bigger challenge which involved walking in Nepal also, he was having some problems with his feet, and feeling a bit down with the weather but overall in good spirits considering.
We headed off to bed not long before 10pm, we had a huge room at New Ing which we were pleased to return to at the end of a long but fantastic 4th day on the Coast to Coast trail. We’ve met some great people already on route, and despite the weather we we’re really enjoying the experience of our 3rd C2C walk. Today is always a bit of a watershed moment, as tomorrow morning we cross the M6 foot bridge leaving the Lake District behind’s never good to leave the Lakes, whatever the circumstances, but as Wainwright states they will not change, and they’ll remain for future ventures. I fell asleep thinking of other sights we’ve got ahead, none as fine as Lake Land admittedly, but Swaledale and the fantastic Cleavland Hills await!!

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