Thanks to Dougie, the GPS has been uploaded with waypoints matching those in our Coast to Coast guidebook. The book's maps are excellent but when we encounter fog and poor visibility at the summit of some crag and the trail is not marked with signage, we're gonna need more than the book. I'm not exactly Lewis or Clark and I will need help navigating from one sea clear across Great Britain to the other.
I willingly admit that I have trouble using a compass. Sad but true. When I took my open water scuba certification, I really hosed up the part of the test where I had to navigate under water with a compass. It's not difficult but...I just don't get on well with the damn things. My excuse at the time was that I was distracted by the reef and its amazing inhabitants. The truth was that I didn't understand the compass and I was shitting my wet suit in fear of bumping into a shark!
The GPS and I have bonded and I'm confident that when we can't see where the hell we're going and we're not sure what direction we came from, our little friend Mr. GPS will figure out our location and show it to us in relation to where we should be. From there, I know I can follow a little pointy arrow to the trail and get us safely to the next pint.
Always thinking ahead, Doug also bought us a charger that holds several rechargeable batteries so we can recharge at night and have plenty of spares available during the day to keep Mr. GPS up and running. He has adapters and multiple socket pluggy-in things for us too. Lucky for us, he thought of everything that I would have overlooked. If he were walking with us, we wouldn't need a GPS.
I will insist that we don't walk with our heads down staring at the GPS screen for the duration of the walk. That would defeat the whole purpose. We need to navigate, figure things out on our own and enjoy the incredible views surrounding us. Only when really necessary will we take out Mr. GPS. The compass will no doubt stay in my pack until we come back home. Unless I use it as a coaster...
17 Day Itinerary
Our walk begins in St. Bee's on the West Coast of Great Britain at the Irish Sea. Almost 200 miles later, we will find ourselves at the North Sea in Robin Hood's Bay.
Day 1 - Moor Row, 9 miles The Jasmine House
Day 2 - Ennerdale, 8 miles Low Cock How Farm
Day 3 - Seatoller, 14 miles Seatoller Farm
Day 4 - Grasmere, 10.5 miles Town Head Farm
Day 5 - Patterdale, 7.5 miles Grisdale Lodge
Day 6 - Shap, 16 miles Brookfield House
Day 7 - Orton, 8 miles The Westons
Day 8 - Kirby Stephen, 13.5 miles The Black Bull
Day 9 - Keld, 14 miles Keld Lodge
Day 10 - Richmond, 14 miles The Old Brewery
Day 11 - Danby-Wiske, 14 miles Old School House
Day 12 - Osmotherly, 12 miles 32 South End
Day 13 - Clay Bank Top, 11 miles The Maltkiln House
Day 14 - Blakley Ridge, 8.5 miles The Sevenford House
Day 15 - Grosmont, 14 miles The Station Inn
Day 16 - Robin Hood's Bay, 16 miles The Raven House
Of course, these distances don't account for getting lost and doubling back a few times, avoiding an aggressive herd of heifers or navigating the moors.... or wandering off in search of a pint.