Ennerdale. PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROB BENDALL
GRASMERE, UNITED KINGDOM - After the first day went well – the second from Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite was tough, and the third day tougher still. On that basis, day fifteen will be absolutely unbearable. We went from Roshthwaite to Grasmere, which is only about nine miles on the flat but we must have done 25 vertical miles.
We were up, we were down – and it was raining all day. We did see the sun yesterday for about ten minutes (that was a big moment), but in the afternoon it just never stopped raining. We all got absolutely soaked, but it was fun and the countryside is beautiful. Through the clouds we’ve looked right across Ennerdale and back towards Buttermere and Haystacks, which is one of the most picturesque of the mountains in the Lakes. The walk we are following is the classic devised by Alfred Wainwright in the 1970s and Haystacks was his particular favourite – and you can see why.
My sister was with me and we’ve had my comrade-in-walking Guy Roxburge’s whole family – about eight in total – today. We also had Sol Campbell with us, so it’s been quite a party. It’s rather nice because you walk along in file and you move around and then you find yourself talking to somebody else, so it sort of works organically and builds a great sense of camaraderie.
Tomorrow we’re doing a big one: Grassmere to Patterdale and I think it is vertical. I’ll just be getting into the swing of it and then we’ll have finished – perhaps I should walk across the Sahara next - that should solve the problem of the weather.
Also, I’ve been sponsored £500 to grow a beard. It’s going fantastically, I’ve had three days growth and no one’s noticed it yet. It’s very upsetting. But hopefully in two weeks time I’ll look like W. G. Grace.