Friday, 17 July 2009

The Cumbria Way - Day 5

17 July 2009

Caldbeck to Carlisle - 12 miles

Full, glorious peals of the cathedral's bells hit me as I stepped out of The Sportsman Inn, Carlisle's oldest pub. I stood in awe. (13 bells in the full ring I found out later.)

Better late than never, I thought; I had arrived in Carlisle without fanfare five hours earlier. The evening before I had been settling down for the night, the rain falling on my tent. It was still raining. It hadn't stopped so I was drenched to the skin when I arrived in Carlisle, cold and suffering with very sore feet after a 7 hour/12 mile trudge - the last 5 miles over tarmac.

After booking into a B&B, a long hot shower, dry clothes and a marvellous home-cooked English meal in a good pub, I was on the mend.

I didn't enjoy this day's walk. It had to be done though - to complete the 70 miles. To feel the satisfaction of having done so, to soak up the comfort of the clean white sheets that I will sleep on tonight. And to hear those bells.

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