In the early hours of the morning I had severe stomach cramps and was decidedly ill. My suspicion was the food I had to eat in Keswick, a meat and potato pie that had obviously been heated in the microwave? The onset of rain at five in the morning decided me, I was going to have a day off. Later in the morning, sitting with a cup of tea, I could hear people heading up the hill. A guy in a very strident voice loudly announcing, 'The forecast is for the rain to clear by late morning'! Unfortunately the weather gods were working to a different script! It rained all day and was still wet on Tuesday morning, It was windy too.
The CW splits at Skiddaw House. One section runs east and goes over High Pike. The alternative runs west and is lower. Both link up again at Nether Row, not far from Caldbeck, which was my goal for the day. It was the eastern route I really wanted. A last day on the high fells before heading in to lowland countryside. However, with the tops clad in thick, blue, black clouds, coupled with the wind and rain, common sense had to prevail. Thus I opted for the western alternative.
. It was then on down to Caldbeck. Here I threw a total wobbly and booked in to a pub, horrors! It was deliberate though. My special treat and the fact that I had fifteen miles to cover the following day. A bed, shower and clean clothes seemed appropriate. The Oddfellows Pub at Caldbeck was very reasonably priced for bed, breakfast and evening meal. Also, they were walker and dog friendly.
It was risky but I went for the full breakfast in the morning. A bit of a faff actually finding the route out of the village. Once sorted it was a steady climb up through the woods of Parson's Park. Lovely views all round and some good walking. Along drop back down following a path damaged by erosion, parts of the river bank opposite also had suffered storm damage. Once over the bridge at Sebergham, I paused for a check of the map and a wee breather. Sitting by the busy road, I noticed a group of smartly dressed people heading down the pavement. Odd in a rural environment! They stopped to say hello, ask were I was heading and so forth. Suddenly one of the chappies offered me a leaflet and asked if I knew anything about the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Making my excuses, I hurried away. Really, I had enough on my plate without meeting up with the four horsemen!
A pause for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake at Dalston. It was then head down and go for it mode. To be honest lowland walking has never been a favourite of mine and I wanted done. Thus it was that the pace increased as I tabbed the last few miles. After signing the book at the Tourist information office in Carlisle, it was just a case of heading to the station and a train back. My calculations later showed that I had covered seventeen and a half miles from Caldbeck.
That last section had to be my least favourite. The highlight of the journey was from Chapel Stile over to Borrowdale.