Day 5, Patterdale to Shap, 28km

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  • July 26th, 2013
  • ascent 1138m | descent 1034m
  • Shap: The Greyhound pub, £80 (double room incl breakfast)

I need to make an amendment to my earlier post about my fears of doing the c2c – add bee sting to the list.

Today we left the Lake District but only after a day of high ascents, gnarly descents and an undulating trawl along a reservoir, thank goodness the weather held out and we had brilliant views, blue skies and sunshine on top of Kidsty Pike. The descent would have been a death trap in the rain.

The guidebook really emphasised how difficult today was going to be, but actually it wasn’t all that bad. I enjoyed the climb up, however the steep rocky descents that are incredibly hard on your knees was not so enjoyable.

We were in the mountains all day, so no pubs or cafes in sight but we had brought with us another packed lunch from the pub we had stayed at the previous night. We found a beautiful spot by a waterfall to stop and eat lunch. Once we descended from the mountains we had a long walk around a reservoir before walking through pine forests with ferns and streams, then farmer’s fields with sheep, cows and horses, then past Shap Abbey built in the 12th century and then onto our destination for the night, Shap.

Through the forest we came across 2 separate esky’s with drinks and snacks inside and an honesty box, we all thought this was a great idea!

It was also in this forest with the ground covered in ferns that I was stung by a bee through my sock on my ankle. I haven’t been stung by a bee since I was about 6 so I couldn’t remember the pain or the reaction I had, but this sting was the worst pain I had ever experienced – excruciating, burning, throbbing, swelling, tingling, cursingly painful! I thought I must have been bitten by a deadly snake until I looked down and saw the biggest bee in the whole entire world on my ankle. Howard managed to pull the sting out of my ankle but I had to walk a further 8 km to our destination with my shoe rubbing on the sting with every step and the pain moving from my ankle up my leg.

As soon as we arrived at our accommodation for the night at the Greyhound in Shap, I iced my ankle to help the swelling go down, but it was still incredibly painful and growing larger by the minute. I was very worried about the next day, it was to be one of the longer stages at 33 km…

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