Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grasmere - The (WIFI Deficient) Quaker House

I'm in the Quaker House in Grasmere and my gear is drying in the 'Drying Room', a cupboard with an electric heater and all sorts of racks and hangers. There are hikers galore in this region and I'd say that the vast majority are fit seniors.

I had a breakfast of scrambled eggs and muesli in Ulverston and checked out around 8:30 this morning having stowed my labeled luggage under the main staircase for the transfer van. I had to wile away some time because Gill Cycles didn't open until 9:00. I made a different sight all decked out in my most impervious raingear as I strolled out the town. Some schoolboys mocked my squeaking shoes.

Gill Cycles was very helpful. They had installed a rack on what looked like a brand new Trek for me. The two men in the store had just done the C2C and told me I'd love the last 30 miles of it.

After a little adjusting and fitting my pannier I was off, or so I thought. No sooner had I gone two miles I was lost and my GPS kept chiding me. A check of the map and some backtracking and I was realigned. I find that confusion results at some intersections because it is not obvious at times as to which branch is the continuation of the road.

The morning was damp and a heavy fog hung down over the hills like a fluffy blanket. I could see about 100 feet ahead and hear hidden sheep baaing on either side of the rock walls. The route out of Ulverston followed some very tough uphill climbs and I had to walk the bike with heart pounding. Was this a mistake? But then my reward; miles of screaming downhills with brakes squealing.

I had one more misstep at Elterwater where I turned off to the route which was only suitable for mountain bikes and again I had to backtrack. It was all straightforward after that. Red Bank, or as I will call it in future, the Cumbrian Alps, was another walked climb but the reward on the other side was heralded by the sign 'Cyclists Check Brakes Here'! … and believe me you had better.

Clocked just under 30 miles (29.84) which means I wasted about 3 miles on my errors. The GPS is invaluable and I have learned to trust it rather than my guesses.

I picked up my luggage in the main reception here a few minutes ago alleviating my anxiety about the transfer. Lan would understand.

This is the building in which my room was located;
This little guy was very vocal just outside my bedroom;

 Went for a small walk before retiring.

This is the one inn in which my dinner is included so I will be partaking of a three course Quaker dinner at 7:00. Then I'll have a good rest in preparation for tomorrow's leg to Keswick. I don't have WIFI here so this will be posted from Keswick.
Dinner and breakfast were communal and the place was full.  Camembert, salmon, leeks, peas, carrots, potatoes and a strawberry mousse for me.  Scrambled and hash browns for breakie.
Drivers are very considerate; practically stopping when they approach me on one of the tiny roads and cautiously passing if coming from behind. Driving on the left has become second nature with me.
The route, including a couple of my erroneous offshoots and backtracks (I forgot to turn the GPS back on at Coniston but the waypoints are shown);

View UlvGras in a larger map

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