Day 10 …. May 17 …. Keswick To Caldbeck …. 16 miles

I took the early breakfast at 8:00. I chose porridge this morning with a nice Cumberland sausage and egg, black pudding and potato. I talked to a jazz lover here for the festival; he comes every year. I was off by 8:40, hopped onto the disused RR line leading to the RR station, then over to Spooner Green Lane to meet up with my old friend, the Cumbria Way. It was 9:00. I went over the motorway footbridge, then around the side of Latrigg Hill. I met two Belgian guys walking the CW with really big packs. It seems like Europeans are always carrying a lot of stuff.

10th Day - Passing The Renovated Train Station On The Way Out Of Keswick Climbing North Up Latrigg and Into The Skiddow Hills 

I crossed White Beck and skirted the flank of Lonscale Fell on the way to Skiddow House. This is an isolated youth hostel, a modest, wooden, newer one next to the old, ruined, brick and stone building which, in it’s day, must have looked quite natural here on the fell side. Several cyclists rode by. This seems to be a popular trail for them.

Ruins Of The Old Skiddow Hostel With The "New" Hostel Behind 

I stopped to rest and rehydrate while the Belgians catch up and go on ahead. The path to Caldbeck splits, the longer, lower way goes left, the higher, shorter way turns right. We all took the right path, following the River Caldew until it met Grainsgill Beck coming off a steep ravine from the west. I caught up to the Belgians as they were having lunch. I also stopped for a bite but soon pushed on ahead, up the ravine.

Starting Up Grainsgill Beck Upper Reaches Of Grainsgill Beck Ravine 

Halfway up, I noticed two British chaps behind me and let them catch up so they could take my photo. We finally turned north away from the beck to reach a survival hut on Great Lingy Hill at about 2000 ft. They energetically went ahead and I spotted the Belgians far behind. I won’t see them again until the pub at Caldbeck.

Last Of The High Ridges - About 5 Miles To Caldbeck And The Flatlands 

I followed the main track around High Pike. My CW book says you can take the path to the summit and the Brits did just that, but my book was unclear that that dirt path was, in fact, the CW path, no waymark. I circled High Pike, checked my compass and map, and found where I would cross the CW coming down off High Pike. So down I went to the valley and the village of Nether Row. From here, it was not far to Caldbeck. I have now left the hills and mountains of the Lake District behind and will be on flat land from here to Carlisle.

As I sat on a bench beside a stream, the Brits came by and we walked into Caldbeck together. They went to the pub for their room and I looked around town. It was about 4:30 and stores were about to close, but I found a gift shop open that had some locally knitted scarfs, just the thing to get for Cathryn. On closer inspection, the scarfs were poorly made, ugly and dirty. I didn’t think Cathryn would like them, so I walked the one mile down the road to Whelpo and Swaledale-Watch Farm, my B&B. It was almost 5 pm and it had been a surprisingly tiring day.

11th Day - Whelpo Bridge Across From My B&B Near Caldbeck 

Nan showed me my room in the annex (two rooms off a lounge) which must be the most beautiful room on my trip, very large and en-suite. She offered to drive me to the pub for dinner and pick me up again. I gratefully accepted; now I had time for coffee and a wonderfully hot shower.

At the pub, I had a vegetable lasagna and salad with Cumberland Ale. I found the two British chaps hanging out there. Also the Belgians; they got lost on High Pike and arrived an hour later than I. For my last night on the CW, I got my favorite dessert, hot sticky toffee pudding with thick cream. Absolutely delicious!

Nan picked me up at 8 pm and I spent a quiet restful evening watching TV and writing. TV news reported on the volcanic debris from the recent Icelandic volcano eruption. The government has owned up to mis-analyzing the ash pollution which closed airports and stopped flights - it was not as bad as reported. Airports were opening so I should have no problem in Manchester for my flight home. That had been a big worry!

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