Ennerdale Bridge to Borrowdale – 14.5 miles / 23 km
The day started bright and cheerful. The river next to us hadn’t breached, and the clouds gave way to the horizon that we were to clamber towards.
We made sure our walk from Ennerdale was more accurate than our walk into, and soon found ourselves beside Ennerdale Water, the first “lake” of the Lake District. The path we followed soon turned into a scramble, over slippery then sharp rocks, rising above the water and over towards the forest that stretched down the valley.
The forest was delightful, especially with the great weather. The clouds licked the tops of the mountains, but the sky over us was blue and sunny. We soon found our way to the Black Sail YHA where we stopped for lunch and a break; a good plan as the next stretch was all uphill as we were to climb north out the valley and descend down towards the Honister Slate Mine.
We suddenly became very lost, on a walk where lost isn’t necessarily bad (trust me; Wainwright said he doesn’t care how you get to Robin Hood’s Bay). However, we had missed the route heading north out the valley along the traditional scramble up and over, and instead continued East up the valley, hopping over rivers and streams. An elderly American chap followed for no discernible reason, and once he vanished behind us we each agreed our bad directions had already cost someone their life.
After a gruelling climb we eventually found ourselves at the top, with a magnificent view to the valley below, and to the elderly American gentleman a mile ahead of us towards Honister Pass. A sigh of relief, and also because the rest of the day was downhill.
We headed down to Borrowdale, set up camp beside yet another river, and headed to the Langstrath Country Inn where we dined on a tender bacon chop and black pudding that melted like butter. And as darkness fell, so did the rain.