So, having arrived at Gosforth, it was with some worry that the owners of the B&B answered the phone, only to deny it was them! An undeterred traveller wasn’t to be outsmarted, though, so I shouted down a man on a Cannondale Prophet (well, he was cycling on the path!) for directions and as he rode alongside us, inch perfect info. found us at Hermons Hill B&B, all ready for a shower and bed. But what a place the accomodation was. Like a dream house. The owner turned out to be amazing, the room was gorgeous – all low beams, character and charm with an adjacent bathroom as nice as you like (if only they’d out the bidet and move the pan to avoid head banging on the beams, it’d be perfect!). So with Cathy happy for the free wine and chocolate (I promise not to mention the bottle going in half an hour, honest!), we decided it was time to move! But not before a good night asleep, an early morning (for a Sunday) and at least one more mountain.
So, breakfast being done, we set off for Wasdale Head, through the cloud, thinking it was really low when all of a sudden, a slight lift in the level revealed a dirty great mountain emerging from the lake. Spectacular it certainly was. Unfortunately, for the rest of the day, this was about as good as the views got.
Avoiding running over sheep seemed to be the order of the morning – they just lay in the road and grudgingly looked over a shoulder as we went past, but unlike my ugly specimens in the field behind me, these are the prettiest sheep in the world. Honest. And i’ve got a girlfriend now, so i’m allowed to say such a sentence without feeling guilty!
It turned out we were amongst only 6 people to escape Scotland without getting stuck in traffic, so the start was a bit late, but with low cloud and wet trails, it didn’t seem to matter all that much. Getting a bit lost on the way up added to the fun, Cathy having second, third and fourth thoughts about the folly of the adventure added a touch of trepidation to the ascent, but having got over that, the climb was good. Proper steep, a bit challenging, it turned out to be the one mountain i’d not be confident I could run up and down without severe risk of injury.
We slowed right up near the top, as I say visibility was rubbish, but getting bored and jumping rock to rock isn’t, it turns out, the best way to relax nervous walking companions, so I tried to resist but didn’t have much joy. The stop at the summit was fine but the walk back down was hellish. My knee needed to be stretched by a smooth pace for a bit but some of the group were struggling and as much as it would have been nice to go on, I couldn’t let myself so got frustrated instead. Again. The relentless heavy rain didn’t help, but eventually we were at the car, changed on the back seat and without further ado headed for Wales.
Via a load more sheep in the road and a filthy car thanks to someone spinning mud all up the drivers side. Nice. Whereupon we encountered the only traffic jam of our weekend around Blackpool. Still, this passed and soon we headed into wet Wales (apart from one bit of low sun blocking the view of the one set of diversion road signs we could have done with being able to read…Grrr, Wales!) and again stumbled upon our hotel as soon as we entered the town. What luck. And what a disappointment!