Day 1: Rain or shine

Day 1: Rain or shine

The thing about the C2C is that you walk no matter what the weather. There’s no choice unless, perhaps, you chicken out and take a taxi to the next overnight stop. As if! The forecasters had warned of dire weather and, as we woke in our grim room at the Seacote Hotel, we could hear the gale gusting off the sea and the rain lashing the window, we could see it whipping up the waves and flattening the grass along the coastal path. So it was amazing that, in the end, the day wasn’t too bad. Mostly dry, pleasantly cool, good walking conditions. We met up with Liam and Jilly at the official start point of the C2C and off we set.

It’s tough this first day. 14.5 miles and, about 8 miles in, a sharp climb up Dent Hill followed by an even sharper descent that slays the knees but rewards you with the delightfully named Nannycatch and its gentle beck.  These are the physical challenges and you know they’re coming. The bit you can’t predict, the hardest part of Day 1 is the self-belief. You don’t know if it’s going to be too much for you. All four of us were feeling nervous about the journey, a year on, a year older, all of us feeling unprepared. But we made it and it’s such a great feeling. Somehow you know that if you make it through Day 1 you’re good for the journey, even as the limbs stiffen up through the evening, even though you know tomorrow you’ll hurt. The self-belief grows by the day.

Tonight Ennerdale Bridge.  Tomorrow Lakeland – and more, much more rain.