Tuesday – Arrival
Finally the day had arrived. I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while, it’s been long overdue. Since Bud died the enjoyment has not been there for me in walking. It was only made worse when Barney died the following year. I’ve still walked Strider, and a year ago we had a new recruit to the wolf pack called Nico (a two year old attack chihuahua). But the enjoyment just hasn’t been there. I used the excuse that work made it hard for me to get away, or I didn’t have the money. In truth the desire wasn’t there. I miss those two loyal canine companions.
Strider is a great dog, I love him to bits. But he is a keep himself to himself type of dog, unless some-one has my attention then he wants to know me. However Nico is not like that. He’s a very here I am, in your face, snuggle monster. Nico hasn’t just been great for Nan, he’s been great for me too. I don’t think my rekindled desire to get out and Nico joining us is no coincidence, I think he’s been a big part in bringing it back. Surprising since he’s such a little fella.
Anyway with rucksack packed, a tank of petrol, I picked Alan up from Peterborough train station and we headed up North towards the Lake District. The weather was hot, which made travelling in my car an endurance test. Basically the heating sensor has gone (and it’s not easy to get to), meaning even with no heating switched on, my car gets hot inside. Very embarrassing, and I’m sure not a pleasurable experience for Alan. I cannot apologise enough to Alan for putting him through this form of torture.
The journey up was fairly uneventful, except for a one traffic jam due to an accident (which wasn’t really an event). Alan and I finally rolled into the Wasdale National Trust Campsite after seven. We booked in, found a pitch and made camp.
When I produced two budweisers for us to drink I think Alan was delighted and surprised. But they did go down well. As did the small bottle of red wine we had afterwards with tea.
Wednesday – An Unexpected Crossing
It rained heavily during the night and the early morning. And breakfast time was punctuated with rain. After a brief discussion about the predicted weather for the day we decided to have a camp day and walk into Wasdale Head.
Above photos from Church of St Olaf at Wasdale Head
Below the “wildlife” of Wasdale Head
Below The Crossing. The sign for the path Wasdale Head end warned that the path was liable to flooding. What it didn’t warn of was having to do two river crossings! The first one was easy to cross using some light footed ness over large rocks in the flowing water. The second crossing was a bit more substantial to cross, as the photo below shows. Only logical choice was to take socks and shoes off and paddle across. I went first, the water although cold was rather refreshing and nice. Luckily the stone river bed was flat large-ish stones, and not slippery so easy to walk across. Somehow on Alan’s crossing he managed to find all the pointy stones!
Back at camp the rest of the afternoon was taken up with some serious hardcore chilling. How did we know it was hardcore? It involved snoozing in the afternoon sun that’s how.
Thursday – Into The Wilds
After breakfast we broke camp, and headed off into the hills. It was going to be a hot day. Oh yeah I hope you remember I don’t do heat. So not my ideal weather conditions.
Plans change, and ours changed once or twice on the way up. I have to say the part of the Lakes we were in although we saw others was no way as busy as some of the more popular spots. Which is a shame because where we were had a very alpine feel to it. I have to admit I think some folks would be surprised at the amount of wild life this high up. We saw apart from the usual suspects of sheep, dragon flies, herons, fish, buzzards and butterflies.
The afternoon was spent once more doing some hardcore chilling out. Today’s wine was provided by Alan and was a rather nice red from M&S. The evening was spent hiding from midges because the evening time seemed to be the cue for any breeze at all to disappear. Luckily I bought a new midge net hat from the camp site shop. Even luckier for Alan he had an inner for his Trailstar. There were also mozzies and my BMC/Harvey map is now stained in mozzie blood and innards as I used it to kill them in the Trailstar.
Observation of the trip: Yewbarrow from where we were looked like a sleeping dog. I agree with that observation of Alan’s. Somehow it was like Bud and Barney were keeping watch over our camp.
Friday – Back Home
I wake early and if I was alone would of broke camp and made my way before most have stirred in their tents. But when you walk with others you have to make adjustments. So wrapped in my quilt I sat on a rock contemplating life, the universe and everything, whilst watching the morning sun come up.
I’m not a breakfast person, I like to be up a little while before having breakfast. And if I had broken camp an hour or so down the trail I would of taken a break and had breakfast with a brew.
Once Alan was up and about we broke camp and made our way back down to the camp site. At the camp site we cleaned up using the facilities, had a brew (benefit of keeping stove, pot etc in a handy side pocket), and then set off on our journey South.
Our journey back was a lot longer than the one up. Well it did involve stopping off to visit a friend of Alan’s where we had an amazing lunch and great conversation. But then going round Leeds we hit the storm battering the UK, and traffic was often at a stand still while it negotiated the flooded roads. Once back on the A1 it was not much better, the rain making driving conditions nigh on impossible. Eventually we made it to Peterborough for me to drop off Alan at the train station to continue his journey to his hidden location somewhere in the Home Counties.
I don’t think I’ve chilled out this much in a long long time. I’ve really needed this I think. It has been good for my soul. So much has happened in the last couple of months. My friend and boss (same person) died unexpectedly. Ontop of that work has been uber stressful as well. I had an earlier trip in the year before all the recent happenings and between the two I really am blessed with the friends I have, and the support they give me.