"It is a walk in heaven."
From Wikipedia: Alfred Wainwright MBE was a British fellwalker, guidebook author and illustrator. His seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, published between 1955 and 1966 and consisting entirely of reproductions of his hand-written manuscript, has become the standard reference work to 214 of the fells of the English Lake District. Among his 40-odd other books is the first guide to the Coast to Coast Walk, a 192-mile long-distance footpath devised by Wainwright which remains popular today. (From that guide, I drew the quote above. Yes, we own a copy!)
In reviewing the guide for this post, I was amused to note his dedication: "Dedicated to the second person (unidentifiable as yet) to walk from St. Bees Head to Robin Hood's Bay". I wonder if it would surprise Mr. Wainwright to know that these days, more than 5,000 people complete the walk every year? Just imagine the footfalls since the guide was originally published in the Westmorland Gazette in 1973, and since first formally published as a book in 1992. A whole industry is in place to support Coast to Coast (often abbreviated C2C) walkers - from outfitters that will transport spare clothing and other necessities for pick-up at key points, to farms that welcome campers, and every level of service in between. Keep in mind that the walk absorbs 12 - 14 days ….
Spousal Unit and I number among the 5,000 that traipsed the C2C in the summer of 2004; we stayed in a different B&B every night, which I think is a rather civilized way to do it. (It should be noted that my father-in-law has ambled the 192 miles at least twice, and my mother-in-law once. We followed in fine footsteps!) If you would like more information about the walk, you can start at this link - or simply go on the web!
And so it is that we often take visitors on short sections of the C2C, especially those that are picturesque and within reach of my-in-laws' house. Or in this case, a short drive from our B&B in Keswick (see previous posts about this trip to the UK - last summer - with my sister and her husband - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9) .
Middle left: a swimming hole that has hosted our kids on more than one
occasion, as well as one of my nephews
Bottom: Spousal Unit communing with a dry stone wall
On the same day as our visit to Rosthwaite, we sauntered 4.5 miles along the fern-and-moss festooned shores of Buttermere, a scenic lake also found in the Lake District. We have brought other family guests here, given that the route around the lake is fairly flat, and offers views of fells in every direction - notably the High Stile to the southwest, Robinson to the northeast, Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks to the southeast and Grassmoor to the northwest.
When we are hiking in Montana, Spousal Unit and I often quip "Where is the pub? Where is the tea shop?" which springs from the quintessential English walk, which always has a tea shop or a pub (or both) at the midpoint of the hike, and certainly at the end. This day, I was not disappointed when we encountered an ice cream truck halfway through our walk. I just had to have a '99'.
The origins of this name for a scoop of vanilla with an inserted flake of chocolate are uncertain. According to Wikipedia, one claim has it coined in Portobello, Scotland when Stephen Arcari, a shopkeeper at 99 Portobello High Street, would break a large "Flake" in half and stick it in an ice cream. Hence the name originated with the address.
Another possibility - Italian ice cream sellers were honoring the final wave of conscripts from the First World War, born in 1899 and referred to as the Boys of '99. The chocolate flake may have reminded them of the Alpine Regiment's hat, with a long dark feather cocked at an angle.
The Cadbury website says the reason behind the name has been 'lost in the mists of time,' although it also repeats an article from an old Cadbury works paper, which states the name came from the guard of an Italian king which consisted of 99 men, and subsequently "anything really special or first class was known as
Well, then - our outing in Rosthwaite and Buttermere was '99', don't you think?
Wednesday Around the World