Day 8: Finished as we began, with wet feet
There are no pictures of today, because the day began with drizzle and degenerated during the morning into rain. I packed the camera into the backpack and our passports were packed into the waterproof case Paula wished she’d had on the first day when were her’s was soaked. We still don’t know what will happen in London when we leave, but we are thinking we had better visit Australia House just to have it checked. This could get very messy.
Not, however, as messy as the weather. We stayed pretty dry, but Paula had her walking shoes on rather than boots in an effort to protect her tendon, so her feet got wet and, after a while, I began to be concerned that one boot seemed to be leaking. Impossible – SCARPAs are invincible. We plodded on and it only took two and a half hours or so to be in Carlisle, a trip made more fiddle by the closure of parts of the path due to riverbank erosion. The Eden, it would appear, has a mind of its own when it comes to where it is going to flow.
The city is small, a bit dour, but the B and B is wonderful and we have the chance to shop and wash. The latter is urgent and we will search out a laundromat tomorrow; the former was planned as we want to get a suitcase for the walking gear, but became necessary as my boot had leaked! The inner had broken away from the moulded sole. Given that outdoor gear is so much cheaper, it was an easy decision to replace them over here, so Cotswolds did very well out of me – but as I paid $280 for the old boots five years ago and replaced them with a better model for £180, I think that is sensible.
Dinner was at the best Greek restaurant in Carlisle, which seems to have lots of reasonable restaurants, but it really was a good meal, and I had a beer to remember my boots, which carried me over many miles and made me look like a real walker! A Camino, a Coast to Coast and the Wall Walk, with many day walks in between over some pretty rugged terrain and with lots of water, salt and fresh. Anchorites have rosaries, walkers have boots – each plays its part in the pilgrim’s prayer. Adios, amigos!