Sunday, 13 September 2009

Crummock Water (Circular) – (Lake District – Day 2) – (Cumbria) – 07/09/09 – 8 Miles approx – Helen (luther & Molly)

Day 2 of our holiday was almost wrecked for me before it began. Thus on a twenty minute morning constitutional doggie walk, from our holiday cottage, I slipped on some wet slate type rocks that had caused me so much problem the previous day. Thus in one backward tumble I managed to bang my left forearm and elbow (initially thinking I had broke it, but actually only took off a bit of skin), bash the left side of my lower back (although this served to counterbalance the right side of my lower back that had given me such problems the previous day and continued to do so throughout the entire week) and unbeknownst at the time, managed to cause the most damage to my right wrist. So combine all this with a slight bleeding problem (don’t ask where) that seemed to plague me all week, and a final night bout of vomiting and diarrohea at the most inappropriate moment imaginable, then healthwise it was a pretty good week. Still musn’t grumble and certainly the after effects of the fall were dampened down by a couple of Nurofen Plus.

So for day 2 it was a case of bugger the Country Walking ‘cut outs’ and instead go with a walk of Helens invention, namely a circuit around Crummock Water which is next door to Buttermere (Lake), and which we able to do from the door of our holiday cottage. On this occasion the weather was set fair for the day, although the ground underfoot was anything but dry. Anyway there was a little pit of confusion as to whether we should follow the path slightly higher up (as indicated on Helen’s OS map) or alternatively try and follow the lake along the side of the water. Thus having settled on the latter we met two women coming the other way who told us that a bridge crossing the stream was out and that we would have to wade across it ankle deep. Well I for one (having got my boots and socks soaked the previous day) didn’t fancy that, so I persuaded Helen that we should go straight up and thus rendevous with two females who we had passed earlier and who were obviously on the correct path. Ultimately however, given what my objective was, this wasn’t a great plan as to get up there it required us to plod through a load of spongy marshland. So by the time we reached the path, boots and socks were soaked through yet again.

The path however took us to a small bridge, which crossed the stream higher up. There we met a walker who had come down to it from up high, and told us about the slippy stones he had come down on. Helen for her part, and not for the first time in our relationship, did her best to confuse me, in this instance as to where these slippy stones were and to whether we should continue as planned or change direction. Anyway we ultimately continued as planned. Of course we were now going downhill and if you read my blog of the previous day you now know that this is a problem activity for me. Suffice to say I slipped over backwards again, but unlike earlier in the day managed to save the majority of me from hitting the ground or getting covered in mud. Nevertheless by this point I was getting well pissed off with the whole Lake District experience, and started to wish we had gone somewhere else instead. For her part Helen (who was again well ahead of me at this point) was also getting pissed off, but this time with Molly who was constantly chasing sheep whenever off the lead, and not responding in a timely manner to the whistle. When she did return Helen certainly gave her what for, which put the fear of God into me and Luther, but had no effect on the slightly deranged Molly.

Presently however we were back down near the edge of the lake and on something that constituted a walkable path. So when Helen issued the command that there was to be no stopping until we reached the end of the lake, me and Luther now had the opportunity to really stride out, and for the first time on this holiday I actually felt that I was doing some real walking/exercise. Having reached a gate and what I thought was the end of the lake (actually it was hiding round the corner), we met two guys coming the way who were plodding their way to the nearby youth hostel. Well nearby if they meant the one on the outskirts of Buttermere, but if they meant the one at Honister Pass well they are probably still walking. After surmising whether there were enough bridges to cross all the adjoining streams, we finally did make it to the end of the lake where we had some refreshments/chocolate and partook of some photo opportunities.

For the way back round we decided to forget about referring to maps and instead hog the waterline as much as possible which was a mainly successful plan. Thus having recovered my mood I was now able to start to appreciate the beauty and majesty of the hills that surrounded the lake. For their part Luther and Molly were also now having a whale of a time running along the adjoining wood and going in and out of the water. In fact it is as appropriate place as any to say that you couldn’t meet two nicer and good humoured dogs then Luther (the brown one) and Molly (the black one), which I hope my photo illustrates.

Ultimately however we were forced out onto the road, which given the paucity of traffic I didn’t mind in the least. Helen however was back in OS mode again, and presently spotted a hill that could bypass some of the road around a blind bend. This turned out to be quite short and steep, and going upwards we managed to meet two dimwits coming down, who gave Helen’s directions question a rhetorical answer. Once back on the road we were soon heading towards the cottage at Cragfoot whilst the evening drew in nicely. So overall a thoroughly enjoyable second half of the walk.

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