Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Day 34 -- Carlisle to Caldbeck, 15 miles

Last night's hotel in Carlisle is located  a little more than a mile from the start of the Cumbria Way. The roads in Carlisle tend to either curve along the river or along the railway tracks, so actually getting to the Cumbria Way was no easy task. In retrospect, I should have taken the train to Dalston, because that would have avoided almost an hour of city walking.

Between Carlisle and Caldbeck, the Cumbria Way generally follows the course of the River Caldew, which flows from the Lake District, through Carlisle, joins the River Eden and flows into the Irish Sea. My route is opposite the river’s flow, as I head into the fells (hills) of the Lake District. Despite the promise of “generally” following the river, there were enough deviations today to make the route finding difficult, including a diversion due to a bridge washed out during last winter's floods. Further, the Cumbria Way lacks sufficient waymarkers designating the route. Route-finding can be a fun challenge, but not on days like today, with cold rain and muddy trails..

Wildflowers along Cumbria Way

Garden flowers in Caldbeck

When making reservations on line, you never know what you will end up with. Last night I stayed in a very nice hotel in Carlisle, with a room only slightly larger than the twin bed in which I slept. Tonight I am staying  at a B&B in Caldbeck called The Old Rectory. As I turned into the drive, I was greeted by the following view.

The Old Refectory

The view improved as I stepped through the front door. The resident Lab greets each guest and loves to have her ears scratched.

Things improved as I was shown into my room.

Large enough to spread out wet clothing

All in all, a fine ending to a not so fine day.