We arrived safe and sound into Stonethwaite village this afternoon, after hiking from Black Sail last night. I will fill you in on yesterday’s leg from Ennerdale to Black Sail before dinner and then we might tackle today’s adventures later if time permits.
So we set off from Ennerdale late in the day, around 11am as the hike to Black Sail was only about 8 miles. Usually Carla and I were training at about 3-4 miles/hour. However, the terrain here is so much rougher, and with all the stops, starts, map checks (loads) and occasional misjudgments, we are closer to averaging 2 miles/hour, which is about normal. So 8 miles looked like about 4-5 hours with a lunch rest.
The route looked pretty simple – walk down the south side of Ennerdale Water and then follow the River Liza to Black Sail. The weather was sunny and breezy and we walked down to the lake.
The trail along the bank was easy until we got to Robin Hood’s Chair, a jutting promitory of rock that required all fours to scramble up and down. Then we walked through long bracken- lined paths (ferns) that went on for ever. We came to call in the Bracken Forest. We stopped for a light lunch on the pebbly lake-side beach and watched seagulls.
The last part of the journey followed the wide but shallow River Liza, which were fast running ice cold waters. We walked on the south side of the river on a fairly wide foresty path for several miles until we came to a bridge. After we crossed the Liza we went down to put our hot and complaining feet into the icy water. Felt really good! Then we tackled the last 3-4 miles on the North bank down to Black Sail. Every time we crossed a hill crest we hoped to see Black Sail in the distance, and finally, just as it started raining, there she was! Black Sail is a Youth Hostel, the most remote in Britain, and only sleeps 10 people. We sat in the cozy living area and bought a bottle of wine and waited for our roommates. The view from Black Sail is amazing.