The morning greets us with fine weather so we stow the wet weather gear and reassemble the bikes. The first few miles out of Ambleside are a mixture of good farm roads and bridleway to Troutbeck, with a superb view over Windemere on the way. Out of Troutbeck our route takes us to High Street, an ancient road first documented by the Romans and used by traders and drovers.
Chris heading for the top of Yoke!
Here we are to make our first navigational mistake. We are not sure how we managed to miss it, but we know now that the bridleway split, with High Street proper following the valley before making its ascent. We took the higher route, perhaps through following the many walkers that were out that day.
This route was to take us along the ridge line, up and over at least three crags, and whilst the views it afforded us were good, the going was difficult after the rain of the previous night and it was back to shouldering the bikes. It was not until we were within a mile of rejoining the correct route that a walker enquired as to our presence on a footpath. After studying the map further we realised our mistake. A look back along the route we had just taken and we were not in the best of humour after our efforts. Chris commented to the walker that it didn't make much difference us being on the footpath as we had carried the bikes for the last six miles!
Chris and I enjoy the view over Kentmere reservoir
Picking up the route again at Thornwaite Beacon, we climb steadily, now thankfully on the bikes to the summit of High Street (828m) the highest point on the whole ride. From this ridge there is an incredible view of Haweswater reservoir as we ride the straits of Riggindale, bearing right towards High Raise. Here you get an amazing feeling of height and space. Thereafter the plateau ride was mainly downhill, but crossed by boggy strips where, if the wrong route is chosen results in almost sunken bike - guess who always took the wrong route!
Across Loadpot Hill we start the long descent down to Askham, cross over the M6, through Temple Sowerby and on to the Youth Hostel at Dufton. Lo and behold the only pub in Dufton happens to be right opposite the Youth Hostel, and after more Theakston's and darts, we retire to our bunks for a well-earned rest.