Thursday, April 17, 2008

Around Derwent Water...Plus a bit!

(Ellie - I'm really sorry if this makes you home/holidaysick...I'll try to not do too many more Derwent Water posts!)

On Tuesday, Husbink had a day off (they'd made a rota boooooob and he was on many, many days in a row) so we decided to go adventuring.

After some qualms over the weather, we ended up driving to Keswick and making our final decision on which walk once we arrived. It turned out to be a gorgeous day in Keswick (though when we were driving home in the evening we heard that just a few miles up the road from where we live there had been severe snow and hail storms, lots of road chaos and accidents! Mad!) so we felt we could risk a bit of "up" on the walk rather than just walking round Derwent Water.

The walk ended up rather longer than we'd intended (around ten miles) as we did the "up" and the "round".

We went up on the east side of Derwent Water (i.e. not the Cat Bells side for those that know it) but we took a wrong turn and didn't quite make it to the heights we'd intended, we were aiming for High Seat but suddenly realised that we were descending again. The walk up was very steep on a section of path that was made of big higgledy-piggledy stone steps. We were overtaken at the top by a couple at least thirty years older than us and their little dog. They were not even "glowing", we could barely breathe.

The steps passed up the side of a stream with lots of beautiful bits of waterfall. To our right was good sturdy English wood.

At the top we were above the trees, on open fell land with scrubby grasses and the beginnings of streams. We had an amazing view of Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake - all the way to the wind farm in the distance (which my MiL hates...I'm pondering doing a series of photos of how beautiful wind farms can be...). As we stood admiring all this, a HUGE plane appeared beneath us - they often do fighter pilot training round the lakes but this appeared to be a supply plane or similar, it was quite incredible as it appeared out of no where.

The next section of the walk took us a little out of our way and further from the lake than we'd really intended though it did have its rewards - the woods we were walking through were gorgeous - mossy tree trunks, rocky outcrops - and we stumbled upon our second set of falls for the day, all the better for being a little more removed from the beaten track. We also met a mountain lion...well, a fluffy white cat that seemed utterly out of place but extremely friendly!

We eventually made it back to the edge of Derwent Water and decided that seeing as we were already at the southern tip, we might as well make it all the way. The last section was a little bit of a slog as we were getting just a little tired but well worth the sense of achievement to finish the walk.

We caught the ferry back to Keswick from Nichol End (you can't quite get round the top end without going a long way from the lake) and arrived back to the car utterly wiped out but very happy.
I'm not sure if I've said in a previous post, but our aim is to visit every lake in the district this summer. We've been umming and ahhing over what the rules are and what counts as a visit but we are now decided: 1) We have to "do" something substantial there - a driveby or a ten minute stroll does not count 2) we must touch the water - little fingers acceptable!
So Derwent is done. We thought Ullswater was done but having added the "must touch" rule, a return trip is required!

Friday, April 04, 2008

These are a few of my favourite things...

(Because, frankly, I've been in quite a big sulk the last few days. I'm sick to the back teeth of all this stupid unknown crap and ridiculous NHS-controling-our-lives thing. So I thought I'd do some active "happy thoughts"...)

1. My shiny (well, actually, very mat) new walking shoes. They aren't proper boots, just posh trainers. They were reduced from £70 to £20. Best of all? While they are respectable and sensible and navy blue and grey on the outside...on the inside, they're bright red!

2. Elderflower cordial/elderflower presse. Just yum. Makes up for missing lemon, lime & bitters, except it isn't quite as easily available.

3. Knitting. All the time. Husbink's sis is a big knitter now too and is encouraging me to more adventurous things!

4. Home & Away. It makes me happy. I love a bit of melodrama.

5. Baking. As has been the case for quite some time. I do love baking.

6. My new tops. I got home to discover that, on the whole, the clothes I left behind 18 months previously had been left behind for good reason. I don't exactly have cash to throw about the place at the moment but have managed a few new tops of late. They all make me happy.

7. My random voluntary job in the fair trade shop in town. I walked in...and didn't walk out! It keeps me occupied and hopefully if I find some paid employment, I can then do some interesting work for them as they have a resource centre thingy too.

8. My FiL's Micra. I am now insured on this as well as mine & Husbink's car. It is a banger. Literally. There are weird noises... But somehow, I'm really rather taken with it

9. Swingball. Husbink and I played swingball for an hour or so last Sunday. Things went from REALLY BAD to quite ok actually.

10. That Dr Who is back on Saturday night. Admittedly, having just seen the Christmas episode for the first time, I'm a little was very silly...but I have faith!