The wind and rain lashed at the windows all night long and was glad that I decided not to stop in my tent, I was warm and dry for now and once my alarm had sounded at 6 am I made myself a brew and some porridge before getting changed into my dry gear and out into the cold and damp morning.
I was now using my head torch for added safety on the roads, the morning hung in a dull light as I join the route once more, my early option was to run the road and into Sedbergh and then cut up the road way again and back onto the Dales way. The road offered little difficulty in navigation for me, As I cut up the main Dales way at Gate House, a fine and fancy abode, complete with secret gates into private woodland, it was for sale one of those places you wish you had a few spare qid for. The path turned into a slightly slippy rocky river and quickly onto more familiar wet fields, I joined onto the road and began to enter Sedbergh as the rain once again came in droves, there was no cafe open and so I began to wander along my intended route, but as I climb the weather once again became worse, low lying fog hung in the air and the rain grew heavier as I climb. At this point 6 miles into a 30 odd mile day I decided I could no longer manage long distances in the weather, a quick check and I was able to see that I could catch a bus from Sedbergh and into Kendal, from here I could then hop another bus and into Windemere and from there I would run the distance to Hawkshead.
A shop opened and bacon sarnie and tea were taken, stood under the entrance to a church I couldn’t have looked more homeless if I tried, before I was joined by a couple of Dales Way walkers, they had been walking but were as fed up of the weather as I was and decided to skip today’s section and onto their final destination earlier by the warm and dry bus. It was good to chat with some fellow walkers and we had a little laugh during the wait. Travelling by bus into Kendal I was glad I opted not to run, the weather was rather bleak over the tops, with heavy fog and rain welcoming any walker brave enough to walk it paths.
I hadn’t been into Kendal for well over 10 years and it didn’t look any different, I said good bye to the fellow walkers and set off in search of an outdoors shop for something warmer to wear and a cup of tea to warm the cockles. Pete Bland was a welcoming store and a fantastic place to grab a bargain as they were busy having a sale, we chatted inside whilst they helped me and they wished me luck on my adventure, a quick stop at a local cafe for a brew and cake and I was making my way towards the bus station.
I passed by the fellow walkers again who joked that I was cheating, wished them luck and boarded the bus for Windermere, a rather fancy journey with leather seat that were a little reclined, the weather continued to rain on and off as we approached my stop, I departed from the stop and made my way down towards the ferry terminal. I’ve never been a fan of the busier tourist traps of the lakes, not one person said hello and most took the decision to bare my way or not move, I was glad when I finally came upon the lake and some space.
I made my way through the obstacle course of tourist and soon enough was accompanied by the usual rain, there were a few people and cars waiting to board the ferry across the lake and once docked we were able to board, it was a short 10 min journey and a very brief respite from the rain before we were all hoping off the other side. Originally I would have followed the road around to the Youth Hostel but given then I had extra time today i decided to follow the path alongside the Lake.
The rain did little to dampen my spirits although it was trying very hard, boats rocked gently on the water as clag set in across the lake, the route was busy with day hikers who strolled gently along the shore line passing the old and moss covered woodlands of Heald wood and Fleming Wood, at Bass rock the path split and I climbed a steep cobbly path up onto Long Height, paths criss crossed in old and mossy woods as puddles covered pretty much every surface. One thing I noted on my way through was the large amount of mushrooms growing in the damp conditions. I passed only a few people before descending down into Hawkshead, braving the 30 mph limit but in reality driver were more a bunch of arses and took delight in trying to get as close to me as they could whilst speeding.
I was glad when I reached the YHA and the safety of its drive way, once checked in I was met with the sympathetic look of the staff and directed to my room where I found there was only the 2 of us stopping the night, I was hopeful that my room mate was not a snorer and I was to be granted a rare and quiet night in a dorm.
I opted for tea at the YHA and ate a large pizza and some chips, alongside a beer, it surprised me how quiet this place was, for £10 per night it was a bargain and pretty much the same price as it would have been to camp at other places, so it was a no brainer. I went off to bed early that night, nodding off around 8pm, warm and comfy, with thoughts of tomorrows continuing wet weather promise.