Day Nineteen - Hiking In The Lake District
Trip Start Apr 08, 2012
40Trip End May 19, 2012
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After a delicious full English breakfast I decided I was going to attempt to hike to the Catbells summit. I had discussed this over breakfast with Denise and Rod, the owners of the B&B in which I am staying. They both thought it was doable and they provided me with the all the necessary information and a map. They also set up a time for me to check-in with them. Since I am traveling they wanted to make sure they knew I had returned safely.
I set out on my hike about 10:30. Denise and Rod thought I would be back by mid-afternoon so we set a check in time of 17:00.
After taking a short boat ride across the lake I began my hike from the base of the hill about 11:00
At this point I wasn't sure if I was going to continue on to the summit. It hadn't been too hard climbing to my current location, but the next part up to the summit looked like it had loose shale and I would have to scramble over quite a few rocks.
I eventually decided I had to at least attempt to make it to the summit. I had come so far I couldn't just give up now. Getting to the summit was just as I had expected; a lot of scrambling and loose shale. But it was worth the extra effort.
The view from the summit was breathtaking. I spent a good 20 minutes at the summit just taking it all in and enjoying a picnic lunch.
Another kind couple took my photo as proof I had made it and then they were kind enough to let me tag along with them as we descended down the hill
Unfortunately the route isn't as clearly marked as it is on the map and when I reached the main road I didn't know which way to go to connect with the path again.
Luckily for me another hiker came along and saw my confusion. His name is Ashley. He said he was heading toward the path I was looking for and would be happy to show me.
Not only did Ashley show me the path, but he also let me accompany him on the 3 hour hike back to Keswick. It was nice to have someone to talk to. We discussed the beauty of the Lake District, music; specifically The Beatles, and how brave he thought I was to be traveling solo.
Ironically he was the 5th person to say that to me today. The first were Denise and Rod from my B&B and the third and fourth were the nice couple from Devon I had met on the ridge.
Ashley and I got back into Keswick about 16:00
I then headed back to my B&B to inform them of my safe return and to change my clothes. After doing both of those things I then set out to find some food. I had taken a roll, an apple, and a banana with me when I left for my hike and after all that walking I was starving.
Unfortunately there isn't much open in Keswick after 16:00 unless you want pub food or take away fish and chips. I wanted neither of those things and was just about to head to the supermarket when I stumbled across a lovely bistro.
I ended up having chicken with mushrooms on French green beans with a side of steamed potatoes. It was fantastic! I also had a hard cider and a pot of tea.
After satisfying my hunger I returned to my B&B to review my schedule for tomorrow. My plan is to make my way north to Inverness.
I had the trains and times all figured out before I left home, but I wanted to check and make sure they were still accurate
I can still get to Inverness I am just going to have to change trains in different places then I had thought and bus the last piece of my journey. The one upside to the change is I don't have to be in a huge hurry tomorrow.
I can take the 10:20 bus from Keswick to the train station instead of the 8:55. I get into Inverness later because of it, 17:30, but I would have been arriving almost as late if I opted to take the earlier bus due to the detouring of the trains.
Right now as I sit here typing up this blog I am beginning to feel a little sore. I am sure it will be even worse tomorrow; especially my knees. I felt them all the way down from the summit. I had no issues going up but I couldn't wait to be back at the bottom to take the pressure off my knees.
However, I'll take a little soreness and stiffness if I can continue to experience things like I did today. A year ago I would have said there was no way I could ever climb to the top of the Catbells. But I did it and it is exhilarating to actually be able to say I hiked 451 meters or 1,480 feet!
Day Twenty - North Into Scotland