Garrison Keilor was nice enough to remind me that today is the autumn equinox, so an auspicious day to start a walk. We loved Stone House farm and the full English definitely came in handy during the day. Paula asked for poached eggs and received to perfectly hemispherical eggs, from a poacher, looking like breast implants. She decided they were only B cups, so hardly worth noticing. An interesting breakfast.

The weather was perfect for walking, about 18 degrees and high cloud but bursts of glorious sunshine. As we climbed the first slope to walk along the sea cliff North to the quarries, where we turned East, we could see the dim outline of the Isle of Man to the West and Selafield — the nuclear power plant — to the south. Paula rang Liam and was promptly welcomed to the Isle of Man by T-mobile. Another one off the bucket list without trying!

IMG_0519.JPG

For most of the day, it was glorious walking along rolling green countryside, through a couple of villages and – just the like the Camino – through the odd farmyard. We lunched in Cleator, but had to walk a kilometre North to find a pub and then probably ate to much, because we hadn’t counted on Dent Fell, looking ahead of us. We climbed several hundred metres in a short space of time and, just like that, our timetable fell to pieces. We got to the top, stuffed.

Then we had to go down, and it was steeper. I’ll add the photos later, but none will include our faces as we scrambled down, our knees screaming. But the walk along the beck was beautiful and seeing Ennerdale in the distance made it worth while. The Fox and Hounds is great, dinner a big plate of fish and chips, and the local brews could have had me tasting half-pints for hours. There is no jetlag here: we are sleeping like babies and our books untouched.