Day 1, St Bees to Ennerdale YHA, 34.2km

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  • July 22nd 2013
  • ascent 922m | descent 793m
  • St Bees: Queen’s Hotel, £45 (single room incl breakfast)
  • Ennerdale: YHA, £18 (female dorm incl breakfast)
What. A. Day!

If the c2c trail could talk it would have said this to me: “Take that! So you think just because you’ve done the camino that this will be a piece of cake hey?! Here, have a 27 degree day and take 10 hours to walk 34 km! How’d you like the giant biting flies that followed you all day?! Or what about the steepest descent on the whole trail? I saw you throw the GPS in the mud when you were trying to swot a swarm of biting flies, it was hilarious!”

And if the c2c could talk and it was being nice, it would say “Congratulations on making it through day 1 after everything I threw at you.”

It was a tough day; hot, up, down, uneven rocky terrain, overgrown grass taller than me, muddy, long, lonely…

And beautiful. If only I could have stopped to take more pictures, smell the flowers or eat my packed lunch en route without being attacked by giant biting flies. I cursed, screamed, swotted and danced like a crazy person, the flies were unbearable and I got covered in bites.

I didn’t get lost however and the GPS proved itself to be mud proof. I didn’t pass anyone doing the c2c for the first 5 hours, in fact I didn’t pass anyone at all for the first 5 hours! At Ennerdale I met a father and son doing the walk and we had lunch together at a pub. They hadn’t seen anyone else either, which seemed strange considering all the accommodation was apparently fully booked. From the pub in Ennerdale I had a further 5 miles to walk around the lake to the YHA hostel. The elevation map showed this section as a flat walk but I hadn’t taken into account the uneven, rocky terrain and after an already very long, hot, hard day, it was a struggle. I finally arrived at the hostel just after 6pm, in time for a quick shower before the communal dinner at 7pm.

I hoped that I would see more people on the trail the next day but was also a little worried about now heading into the lake district after seeing the forecast was for heavy rain and thunder!

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