We awoke to find most of our panniers and contents had been stolen – we’d kept our valuables in the inner tent and the remainder between the inner and outer shells. It transpired that a red van had been spotted at the camp site opposite at around 05:00 and it had then driven off at high speed. The phone box had been vandalized too, so I suppose we were lucky they hadn’t interfered with our bikes. We had to hang round the campsite all morning working out what we’d lost and reporting it to the police. During this time, a couple of motorists arrived with three panniers and a few items that the thieves had tossed out of the window so I cycled down the road and retrieved a few more items. Rowan lost his camera and money but the rest of it would be of little use to anyone else but us – my prescription sunglasses for instance. We still ended up four panniers down as well as maps, clothing, waterproofs and tools. The bike shop at Cleator Moor agreed to come out to the site with a selection of panniers so we could continue our journey. They stocked only the cheapest brands but we had to buy something even though it was poor quality.
We eventually got away after lunch having adjusted our plans to stay at Keswick – as well as losing half a day we needed to replace stolen waterproofs and clothing. It was a lovely day with wonderful scenery and quiet roads until we reached Keswick which was chock full of tourists. We stayed at Eden Green vegetarian guest house – they don’t serve dinner so we ate out before strolling down to admire Derwent Water on a still, warm summer evening.