Thursday, 11 July 2019

Brewers Loop - third trimester - on our last legs...

Well we only flipping did it! We spent 18 days hauling a beer cask 138 miles all around the county. We met some truly amazing people along the way & were blown away by the kindness & generosity of folks.

On the last legs we truly were on our last legs - my fault really as the whole concept of "rest days" completely eluded me.  Thankfully our many lovely walking companions consistently revived our flagging spirits.

So who were the heoroes & heroines who helped drag our weary carcasses over the finish line?

From Workington to Whitehaven my big sis Ruth & bruv-in-law Ken (and lunatic dog Maya) journeyed with us, chatting about growing up as city kids & how we learned about nature despite being miles from the nearest cow...

It was also the only time on the entire hike that we got lost - in the middle of a trading estate...

The following day the fabulous folks from the equally fabulous Ennerdale Brewery spent the day with us walking from Whitehaven to St Bees.  They then whisked us away to their brewery and forced us to eat the finest steak pie I have ever wolfed down. Fine beer, fine food & great company.

From St Bees we were on our own (after enjoying an ice cream with our lovely friend Kate!) and it was a long old slog down to Seascale. Sellafield dominated the landscape - and our conversation - as we tried piece together what we knew about the site before meeting with one of their media team who filled in the colossal gaps in our knowledge.

We knew the Seascale to Ravenglass stretch was going to be a little bit different/wacky/ nuts because we were walking with the effervescent Sally from Sally's Cottages.  There was a LOT of laughter and the miles raced by as she donned a spot of war paint to take on the world.  It also turns out she knows just about everyone in the Eskdale Valley... 

From Fisherground to Seathwaite (the Duddon one!) it was just me, him, and the rain.  As we trudged through the mizzle and midges I thought I was hallucinating when I spied a cake cupboard, thankfully I wasn't and we timed it perfectly as it had just been stocked up with muffins fresh from the oven. Rarrr!

All of a sudden we were looking at our final day! We headed off alone but soon bumped into a local hiking group who were all keen to donate to our Mountain Rescue cause.

The last few miles to the Prince of Wales (Foxfield) flew by and it was wonderful to see Diane Hannah from The Herdy Co waiting for us with a nice cold beer & a giant Herdy.

She very kimdly offered us a lift home so we shamelessy took advantage of her generosity, rounded up some old friends, and took a short detour to our starting point 18 days earlier.

It's been an amazing journey.  We have learned a lot and made loads of new friends along the way, and we have so many wonderful stories & experiences to share in our book (out spring 2020). 

In the meantime Steve is already cooking up new adventures & has his sights set on Scafell Pike. I'm not ruling it out, I just need some sleep first...

Please don't forget that in amongst all the beer, fun and shennanigans  we're raising funds for Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue - you can see more & donate here: 

Thank you!

(I'll do a proper thank you to all our supportes over the weekend. Right now I can barely keep my eyes open...)

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Brewers Loop - second trimester

I really can't believe that we're 12 days in already! We began planning in early January and here we are, well over half way through.

Today we arrived on the west coast so the only way to go now is south. And a little bit east.  So what have we learned since my last post?

First up we realised that it *is* possible to get a beer cask (and trolly) to the top of Helvellyn. With the help of a friend. (Thanks Jeanette!)

Secondly we discovered that Alex from Keswick Boot Company is the best hiking buddy EVER. Not only does he sell fabulous boots which have given us zero blisters, he also arrives at the start of the walk with hot bacon sarnies. Arise, sir Alex!

Next up we discovered that a B&B landlord isn't just for breakfast; if you're really nice to him he'll help you lug a beer cask all the way up to Blencathra Field Studies Centre. (Thanks Paul from Sunnyside Guesthouse in Keswick.)

We also discovered that you can strap said beer cask to the back of a Terrain Hopper & haul it all the way up to Skiddaw House Youth Hostel. Cheers Debs! (Check out Debbie North from Access TOG).

The following day it became apparent that hauling camera gear around a mountain while making Life of a Mountain films, gives you super human strength. Well, it worked for Terry Abraham!

Later that day we learned that tapiers are adorable - and seem to have a taste for beer... (Thanks to Lakes Wildlife Park!)

On day 11 we discovered exactly what it takes to become a member of Mountain Rescue  thanks to Stephen Crowsley from the Penrith team. We also learned more than we needed to know about Tiger Leeches... Thank goodness we had a date with Jennings later in the afternoon.

I also learned that the good folks at The New Bookshop are wonderfully supportive of local authors.

This morning, at Wordsworth's House in Cockermouth we learned all about Wordsworth & how hard it is to move around in Georgian clothing. (It's *really* hard!)

Then this afternoon we found out what a Hefeweisen is and just how good it tastes. Cheers Tractor Shed!

And that's it! Down to our final 6 days. We have a LOT of fab stuff lined up so please keep following.  And also, don't forget we're raising funds for Lake District Search & Mountain Rescue - you can read more & donate here: