Thoughts on Kingdom, Church, and Grace from an American living in Hong Kong

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 1: St. Bees to Ennerdale Bridge

St. Bees to Ennerdale Bridge: 14 Miles 
Bed & Breakfast: Stone House Farm
Start time: 10:00 AM Finish Time: 4:50 PM

Woke up at 4:00 AM not so much from excitement as jet lag. Decided to go through my pack and make sure I had everything we needed. Finally 8 AM arrived and we met our friends Mark & Christine down for breakfast. As I was eating breakfast I realized how surreal my situation was. For years I had been reading other people's Coast to Coast adventures and many of them started at this B&B.... now here I was.

Carol, the owner, was very kind and helpful. Nice room, good food...I can certainly recommend a stay there. After getting a few last minute items at "the shops", which is British for a shop, we took our last motorized transport for the next two weeks down to the sea.

Tradition dictates that we dip our boot into the Irish sea to commence our walk. Our problem was the tide was WAY out. I wanted to dip into a small pond remaining near us and avoid a 3 minute walk out to the sea but Christine was having none of that. She said that was one of the reasons she and Mark came; to send us off off we went to the sea. With our toes officially baptized, and some prayer together for safety we said goodbye to our dear friends.

The rain began to come down at a good rate so our rain gear came on and remained on the whole day. The walk commences with a 300 ft. hike up to a cliff. We walked along the coast for about 2 hours before turning East and heading inland.

You can see the two of us as dots at about center right.  Thanks Mark for a great pic!
Two things stick out today...rain & mud. If you do the C2C, make sure you have waterproof everything especially boots. Also, maps and compass. The C2C is only marginally signposted. We went the wrong way a couple times culminating in our completely missing Dent Hill. A local Salmon fisherman helped us get pointed in the right direction to Ennerdale Bridge. He seemed confused on why we would want to go over a hill you didn't have to go over when it was easier to go around. I suppose for the same reason someone uses their holiday to walk across a country...because it is there. The fisherman said with a brisk walk we could reach Ennerdale in 45 took us an hour.

We reached The Fox & Hounds pub at 4:50 in the afternoon and collapsed on the beds for 30 minutes before heading downstairs for dinner, and in my case, a pint of the local brew as a humble reward for Day 1 completed.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that when we arrived at the inn we had a package waiting for us.  Our friends Mark & Christine had took it upon themselves to do a little shopping on our behalf for some items that would be of great help along our journey. We were really surprised at first wondering how on earth we could have received a package here but sure enough there was a lovely encouraging note from Mark and Christine along with a new fleece top for me as well as a Union Jack hat.  For Gabriel there was a new day pack replacing the one we had determined was going to be too small and some edible goodies for the trail.  Our friends had left us in St. Bees, gone shopping, and then raced ahead to Ennerdale Bridge before making the long return journey back south.  Amazing friends!  Amazing day!

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