After a night spent trying to get comfortable on hard ground we rose about 8 am and scrambled half a dozen eggs and brewed some tea.
A man walking a dog passed and politely informed us we were on private land. No drama, we were soon moving on and would leave no trace.
We threaded our way through country lanes before picking up the road to Galstang where we we stopped for tea and scones in a nice cafe on the square.
The cycle proper then started and I was finding it heavy going – yesterday’s miles making my legs heavy, while Isaac powered ahead.
Pedal stroke by pedal stroke drove us northwards however and eventually we pulled into Kendal, getting a psychological boost from entering the Lake District.
Picking up the pace we powered on to Windermere and then enjoyed the rolling road around the lake to Ambleside. In Ambleside we stopped at Blacks and stocked up on dehydrated food, before grabbing a drink to take stock of the map and to gird ourself for the climb away from Windermere towards Ullswater.
The climb is called The Struggle and what an apt name! Divided into two sections it hits 18%, climbing 450 meters, and is beautiful but fierce! I quickly lost Isaac (The Hare) while I plodded up the hill (The Tortoise). I almost caught Isaac at the top, but not quite! You win this one Hare.
We stopped at the pub at the summit to gather ourselves and to drink in the view. The sun was shining and we had conquered gravity and our fears.
Once the sweat had stopped running and our hearts were no longer pounding we whizzed down the other side of the pass, through picture postcard landscapes, surrounded by rugged hills and drawn onwards by the thought of a hot meal and a softer bed.
We managed to sneak off the road to the shore of the lake and setup a nice camp on soft reeds. We stripped off and went for a bracing swim in the tea coloured waters of the lake, sharpening our appetite for dinner.
We wolfed down rehydrated Mac and Cheese, swilled a cup of whiskey (purely to kill the germs from the lake water…) and finished with a cup of tea. Well deserved!
In bed by 8.30 pm, I’m typing this listening to the water lapping the shore and the occasional rain shower blowing in to pitter-patter the bivvy. Snug and warm, but without Internet, this post will have to wait for tomorrow.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve got just two more days to go… and I’m already feeling tinges of sadness that our journey is coming to it’s end.