Neither Lauren nor I were the least bit worried about today. We have an interesting strategy that no one else we’ve talked to would endorse; don’t read through the maps the night before because they might scare you. We prefer to be surprised at how awful the terrain is rather than worry about it the night before. Makes perfect sense to us!
In our happy ignorance about what the day had in store, we set out from Seatoller Farm to Grasmere and had over a mile to go just to get to the official start of the day’s walk by our guide book’s measurements. That’s fine. We’re iron women so what’s one more mile? We set off early and had gone just a couple of miles along Stonethwaite Beck (another stream) between stone walls when we were overtaken by our British guy team. We were actually IN FRONT of them for once but it didn’t last long. They were very happy to see us heading out again and told us that there was a bet among our loosely knitted group that Lauren and I would soon quit, pack it up and head home with our tails between our legs. Apparently, our British counterparts were each betting on when exactly we’d quit. Oh really? I do love a challenge. Thankfully, Lauren is more pig-headed than I and there’s no way on God’s Green Earth that we’ll quit. Their betting game only made us more determined to kick ass.
Our friends briefly went over the plan for the day and told us how proud they were of each of us. We thanked them for the hundredth time and said goodbye (again) and wished them well. I am very sad to say that we never saw them again. Their pace was far quicker than ours and in a day’s time, they were two towns ahead of us. However, we do know that they’ve told EVERYONE along the walk about us and when we arrive in town, we are often expected. They continue to watch out for us from afar and it gives great comfort.
We continued to make a steady climb up Lining Craig, Greenup Edge Pass and Helm Craig with no relief in sight. The sun was out and the bugs were too. Sheep shit was everywhere and the conditions were perfect for Lauren and me to become Super Bitches. The C2C gods were still watching over us and kept the bitchiness at bay…. At least for now.
We climbed and climbed and climbed past gorgeous waterfalls of all sizes. When we finally made it up and over the ridge, we started the long descent into Grasmere. Although we’d been walking for hours, the village was nowhere in sight. The last three miles or so into Grasmere were pure torture for us. Our feet and shins and knees and hips were on fire and every step was painful. I felt so guilty for putting Lauren through this. It was hell and seemed like the stupidest thing we’ve ever done. We hobbled into town, grunting and moaning in pain. We found our way to the Lamb’s Inn, walked through the door only to find Owen tucked into a steak pie with a pint. He joined us after he’d eaten and we talked about the next day. Lauren and I were giving serious consideration to getting a lift to the next town because of the extreme pain we were experiencing.
Owen went over the next day’s walk on his map and encouraged us to sleep on it and decide in the morning. He said that the walk from Grasmere to Patterdale was a mere 8 miles and a very easy walk compared to what we’d already done. We told him we’d decide in the morning although I was ready to take a bus.
We had to set off from the pub early because our farm was more than a mile from the pub and we weren’t sure how to find it. Long story short, a stranger called the farm on our behalf and our innkeepers came to pick us up. We showered and fell into bed hoping never to experience anything like this day again.