Hike Southbound through Britain with Daryl May
Click for Northbound hike
DS33 Crown Inn
DS33 Sheep and lamb
Days S33 - S43                                                                  North of England
Day S33 - Carlisle to Greystoke 
Day S32                          Into the Lake District                        Day S34
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Scottish Highlands
Central Scotland
    Southern Scotland
North of England
English Midlands
    English West Country

Northbound Home
Monday, March 24, 2008

Time of departure: 8.15 am
Time of arrival: 3.45 pm
Place departed: Carlisle, Cumbria
Place arrived: Greystoke, Cumbria

Miles: 19
Cum miles: 452.2
Percent complete: 46.6

Bed sign Brathens B&B, Greystoke *****
Cost for bed and breakfast: 25 ($50)
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DS33 Sheep and lambs
DS33 Two lambs
I had remembered the Crown Inn, six miles south of Carlisle on the Ivegill road, as a pub which served meals. But it turned out to be a restaurant which served drinks, and so it was closed this weekday until the evening. I had set my heart on a pint of shandy at the Crown, but instead I got to sip on my canteen filled this morning with Carlisle city water, sitting at the table outside.

It was overcast this morning, and it drizzled all afternoon. Cool but not cold, I can't really complain. In fact, anyone who steps up to a walk like this can only blame himself for the hardships. So I blame myself for a hard 19-mile day, while merely pointing out that there was only one B&B on the road before my destination, and that was in Little Blencow after 18 miles.

One of my American friends has opined that an end-to-end walk is easy. He knows this because he occasionally walked three miles on the beach in his youth, without a pack. Of course he might be right - for him. I just know that I felt thoroughly shattered after my 19 miles today, even though my ankle behaved itself. The first thing I did after I arrived at my destination of Greystoke was verify that I've set shorter goals for myself for the next couple of days.

I am, in fact, exactly on my original schedule - minus the 15 days I spent injured in Tain. But my original schedule allowed for rest days that I've not actually taken. Instead I had some rather short walk days up north, when it rained.

The countryside today was delightfully bucolic. Lush meadows with or without sheep, and ploughed lands of rich dark, neatly-furrowed soil, were surrounded by rustic stone walls in a rolling countryside with trees. But we might remind ourselves what the stone walls signify. The stones weren't trucked in from the local builder's supply store, or even the quarry. The stones came from the fields themselves. Over many generations of working the land, the stones in the soil were removed to improve the farming, and the walls resulted. The bucolic views aren't as natural as they first seem.

Is there an analogy here? An end-to-end walk isn't quite what it seems at first glance - a sequence of casual days communing with nature. It's actually a mentally-challenging, body-straining, multi-week slog that takes you to your limits.

Day S32                                    2007 and 2008 Daryl May                                     Day S34