The trip from Phoenix to the tiny coastal village of St. Bees was long but blessedly uneventful, even relaxing.
After the redeye into Heathrow, I made my way to Paddington via the Heathrow Express, then the underground to Euston Station. I had an hour to kill, so I had a few beers at a wonderful pub called Bree Louise. After a 3 hour or so train ride to Carlisle, I checked into my hotel, hunted down some dinner and called it a night.
I awoke after a restful night’s sleep, made my way to the Carlisle Cathedral, and had a lovely time learning about the beautiful church. I tried to sneak into the local castle a few minutes before it opened but was promptly and politely asked to leave, so I checked out of my hotel and headed back to the train station.
A couple from Oregon bound for the Coast to Coast was boarding the train at the same time. I have a feeling this trail will not be as solitary I’m used to. At noon, I rolled into St. Bees, had a quiet lunch, and watched the silent paragliders softly corkscrew over the shear Irish Sea cliffs.
St. Bees has a wonderful Norman church with a very unique history. I spent a half an hour just sitting and listening to the birds in the ancient courtyard.
For dinner, I stopped at the local pub. Some delightfully foul-mouthed guys from Cornwall and I shared a few pints before I made my way back down to the coast to take and take some sunset shots. I miscalculated the orientation of the sunset, which meant I had to jump a fence and head out onto a very rocky and slippery peninsula. About, 3/4 (and after a few jarring slips) of the way out I realized that I was putting the rest of my walk at risk, so I settled for a spot and managed to get a few lackluster shots before carefully scrambling back to the beach. Stumbled back to the hotel with a few more bruises and went to bed.
I’m about an hour away from starting my walk. Sleep has been adequate. Weather looks promising. HERE WE GO!