Saturday, 17 April 2010

In the Lakes, day 3 & 4

Day three. I struggled to get out of bed this morning, my leg muscles were still sore, never the less I was determined to do another day. There is a lane close to the hostel which goes up the side of Ullswater, with a choice of two paths. You can stay close to the water or you can take the higher route which gives some good views over the lake. I took the high path. I'm on my own today so it's up to me to find the way.

The weather today is much better, lots of clear blue sky, no sign of fog like we had yesterday. Today would have been the better day to go up Helvellyn, but when you organise walks several weeks in advance you have to take whatever weather comes along. You have to go come rain or shine, or fog. This photo is looking across at the hills we were climbing yesterday. If you click on the photo's they will come bigger, then click the back button to come back and carry on reading.

Once you have climbed the first bit, most of this path is fairly level which I was pleased about. Any downward steps I had to make were so very painfull, I felt like an old lady hobbling along. I thought it might get a bit easier the more I kept walking. One view of looking back, the water is on the right.

It was worth making a short climb up to get this view, here I am on a rock, ha ha. At this point I took two paracetamols, my aching muscles was making every downward step so painfull. Unfortunately the painkillers didn't reach my legs so I just tried to ignore it.

Dont look too closely at this one, dont know why I put it in really, shows all my wrinkles ;o(

There was lots of streams and waterfalls, so relaxing to sit and contemplate the meaning of life.

I walked along the waters edge passing the boathouse at Howtown, the halfway point where the steamer sets sail. I thought I might take a ride on it but the timetable in the unmanned shed was a bit complicated and the boats were few and far between. I had already come across lots of walkers going in the opposite direction to me, apparently most people get on the boat first thing in the morning, take a one way ride, then walk back. I had chosen to walk first and maybe get a boat ride later, it was not to be so I carried on walking.
A mile after the pier I did a u turn and set off towards Fusedale and followed the beck, the picture below is where I am heading towards.

The next photo is halfway along the dale, looking back at Ullswater.

And another shot from further on and a bit higher up. The views are stunning. I enjoy walking in the valleys as much as on the tops.

At the top of the valley I did a u turn and came back on a parallel path along the tops, over Brownthwaite Cragg and Steel Knotts. I followed the ups and downs, looking down along the route I had just walked. I didn't have to climb this, but you have to while you are there, don't you!
At the top and a fabulous place for a picnic. Not another soul for miles around, so peacefull and lovely.

I didn't take any more photo's as time was getting on and I needed to crack on. Back into Howton I took a winding narrow tarmac road alongside Boredale Beck. Eventually it fizzled out to a rough track strewn with loose rocks. A clamber up to the top and I was on Boredale Hause, a peak where several footpaths come together. I spent a few minutes wandering around not sure of the way off, looking for the Cairn, when I came across a group of youngsters rough camping. Was I glad to see seven or eight tents and a lot of chattering teenagers. A friendly young girl pointed the way, and half an hour of scrambling down a steep path with my legs about to crumble underneath me, I was back in Patterdale.
It was now 7pm so I have been out for ten hours. Trudging towards the hostel, hardly able to put one foot in front of the other, the sight of the pub 200 yards the other way was impossible to ignore. Stuff the cooking tonight, I thought. I ordered a pint of cider and a jacket potato with all the trimmings, and lowered my aching body into a soft and comfy chair. Bliss. Getting out of the chair was another matter. I staggered out of the pub, anyone seeing me would have thought I was intoxicated, an elderly woman wobbling down the road without her zimmer frame, ha ha. Todays mileage 14.64, about the same as yesterday. Brilliant!

Day four. This is my last day and I have the option of packing up and going home. I checked out of the hostel at 9am, and decided to do a short walk before I went home, can't give up now, surely my legs will hold out a bit longer. Down the little lane again, but this time turning right towards Hartsop. It's a wide level track that passes through a couple of farms. At one place I was greeted by a spotty dalmation who rolled over for some tummy rubs, then a black cat entwined itself around my ankles asking me for some fuss, then I saw these black lambs and watched their amusing antics. What a lovely morning for a walk.

In the pretty village of Hartsop I stopped to chat to a man with his three dogs, in his garden. He had a lovely stone cottage, and proudly showed me his vegetable plot. Everyone is so very friendly here, fellow walkers and local people alike. At the end of the village the road goes into a track as it follows Pasture Beck along Pasture Bottom.

I took a few photo's along here because the scenery kept changing. Walking alongside the Beck. I must say that you don't get as many walkers along the valleys as you do on the tops, it makes for some very pleasant tranquil rambling along.

At this point there must have been a lot of rock fall as I had to look very carefully for the path. The clues are worn grass and smooth rocks where many hundreds if not thousands of pairs of boots have passed that way. Now which way is it!

That's better, found this path on the other side. This photo is looking back at where I have come from, you can't really get a sense of height and distance from a photograph.

If you look very closely at the next photo, you can see a person wearing a red jacket. A couple passed me while I was sat on a rock having a bite to eat, so I decided to keep them in my view. I was now in a big bowl, surrounded by steep sides in every direction. It seems like a dead end with no way out, but if you keep going you find the way, going up and up and up.

At the top there was a junction of several paths coming together, I looked up to my left, the path I had already chosen to follow, and was horrified by the sheer steepness of it, and the loose rocks. There didn't seem to be anything to grab hold of for stability, unlike Striding Edge where you used all of your limbs to haul yourself up and down. For once I was glad there were other people about, just in case I got into trouble. I haven't actually got any photo's of this climb because I dare not take my camera out of my pocket. Any distraction and I am likely to lose my balance. So, onward and upward, was I relieved to get to the top.

And this is what I found when I got up there, the beacon at Thornthwaite Crag, which is on an old Roman Road called High Street. A good time to take a break, it was very windy so I took shelter behind a wall.

The other side of the beacon, there is still some snow about.

The path along High Street is fairly obvious as it is a popular route. This is looking down at Hayeswater on the left, I am doing an anticlockwise route around it.

You skirt round a peak called The Knott, and descend the hill heading towards the corner of the water where the dam is.

By now my legs are jelly again, and I am wishing I was on my way home. But as usual I have over stretched myself, and still have about two hours left to do back to the car. I followed the most direct route along Hayeswater Gill back to Hartsop, and retraced my steps back.
I sank into my car seat with great relief, had a bite to eat, and set off at 6.30pm. As there was still a bit of daylight left I chose another route back. Down the A592 through Kirkstone Pass to Windermere, across to Kendal, the A590 south to cross the motorway and the A65 towards Settle and Skipton. I suddenly remembered a fantastic chippy in Wetherby so I took the A59 to Harrogate and called in for my fish and chip supper at 9.30pm.
My entertainment for this journey was Radio 4 and the Party Leaders Debate, maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but I found it interesting. In fact it may be the only political programme I listen to before the election because I have already heard enough spin to last me a life time.
At 11pm I was home, tired but happy. My short walk for today came in at 13.05 miles, making a grand total of 46.40 miles over the four days. Would I do it all again? You bet I would, ha ha.

1 comment:

  1. This is quite an achievement (in my 'umble...) - 46 Lake District miles in 4 days is not to be sneezed at. The legs deserve a short period of celebration and recoupment before the next challenge....