All seemed to be good. We had been taken to Ulverston the night before by Chris and Bill. Trail Angels in another name.
The beer was good and bed and breakfast offered a comfy bed before the wild camps to come. It was looking to be a fantastic walk ahead with fine weather forecast.
Dawn came with frost on the ground and clear bright sky. Karl arrived as planned and we shouldered packs to start the Cumbria Way charity walk. A pattern emerged. We walked, talked and found that the trail at times took a bit of locating as the strip map I had lacked detail sometimes when passing through farm yards and the like. That and forgetting to take the guide book sent to me to ensure that did not happen. Still we made good progress. Views opened out before us and it was really a fine day to be walking.
Things were so good I wonder if I was complacent? Not paying attention to detail like I would if solo walking? Either way we made good progress on the route. Views of the Coniston fells came closer and closer. We looked forward to wild camping and the fells.
But things can go wrong. We crossed a field and missed the turn. 100ft up a muddy path the other side of a wall I realised we had overshot the turn. We headed back. Keith had mentioned climbing a wall to avoid the mud. I said "no". But further down the path I saw a gap in the wall. I went to climb over it. I recall something giving way. I recall falling - I recall hitting the ground hard.
Keith and Karl said my head was bleeding. It had a deep six inch cut. Keith washed it out with water and said my skull bone was visible! Bandaged up and still bleeding badly we walked out to the road and some buildings. I gave Keith the grid reference and he called an ambulance. I waited and at times got up to wash the mud off my clothing in the stream by the road. I was not sick or nauseous. Hope still was clung to. The ambulance arrived. The paramedics worked and lived in the Lakes. The man who treated me was into hill walking and we drove to the hospital. We actually enjoyed the views on the way despite being bandaged up and blood still soaking through the bandages administered by the ambulance crew.
In the hospital Keith and Karl waited with me. It was a long wait. Somehow I clung to hope I could get out on the hills later that day. It was a false hope. My injury was bad, needing nine stitches, and medical advice on head injuries meant my short time on the Cumbria Way was over this time.
I want to thank Karl and Keith for their support and I also want to thank all who sponsored myself and Keith to raise money for helping the homeless by building a new modern housing project. We will go again - stick with us.
I want to say a big thank you to Chris and Bill for their support and coming to pick us up from the hospital.
We failed this time but will return soon to do the Cumbria Way. It has to be done.
The gory detail can be found here and Karl's account here.