Okay lets get the negative dealt with and out of the way first. Basically we had planned to do a combination of sailing and walking over and along Ullswater. However that plan was basically wrecked for the most trivial reason of not being able to get a car parking space at either Glenridden or Pooley Bridge. Suffice to say that given how close a call a parking spot had been the previous day at Skiddaw, and how full the car park at Gatesgarth farm that serves Haystacks always looked whenever we drove past, this is obviously an unspoken problem that exists in the Lake District. Anyway we eventually ended up in a church car park at Howdale initially in the futile hope of getting on the boat there. However that was a long long way from where we were parked, and was also just an alighting point. So we decided to regroup and have our packed lunch instead.
Following lunch we looked at the hill (Hallin) opposite, and decided that as it was marked on our cruise brochure, and we were now in the vicinity we might as well go up and down it, before vacating the area. So with the Sun blazing down off we set. Now to be blunt it was steep and quick, and did take ones breath away a bit. However without totally killing ourselves we soon found ourselves at the summit, and without realising it at the time, Hallin Hill turned out to be our fourth Wainwright of the week at 1,271ft.
That said our parking spot was more than a little above Sea level so I wouldn’t like to venture a guess as to how high our actual starting point was. Nevertheless a Wainwright is a Wainwright doncha know. Anyway having reached the top we were all able to sit down and admire the view, both checking out the Lake traffic on Ullswater, as well as watching more sheep and dogs working out their issues in the far distance (as per the previous day). The descent itself was fairly swift, with various sheep hiding in the Ferns to torment Molly, following which we decided to drive off in search of an ice cream.
Once back at the cottage I decided that I hadn’t really done enough for the day, and ventured out on my own around 5.30pm for a repeat walk around Buttermere Lake (finally cracking out my shorts in the process). Now having been used to my three constant companions all week, it actually made a refreshing change to just have ones own company for this one. Also given how shit the weather had been when we all did this circuit on the Tuesday, one could really appreciate the reflections in the water, the golden light of the setting Sun, and the majesty and colour of the fells that surrounded Buttermere (oh well Helen did produce a poetry book in the cottage on the previous evening). Also everyone I passed said Hello (giving me final confirmation I wasn’t in London). This included a mum who was cajoling her two youngish teenage sons to walk quicker before their pub shut (I assume for accommodation purposes and not a booze up)
For my part I did waste a lot of time faffing about with the camera on self timer trying to take the ultimate self portrait. The best moment being when a large group of grey woolly sheep decided they were coming through a gate the same time that I was. When I finally did get back to the cottage I had a bit of a Wilma and Fred Flintstone moment, when it became apparent that I had been locked out. However this was merely because Helen and the doggies had set out to intercept me on my return, but just missed where I had turned back out onto the road.
So overall a really enjoyable evening stroll proving that everthing in the Lake District doesn’t have to be about flogging yourself climbing fells. That said combine that walk with the fact that we had bagged a Wainwright earlier on anyway, and I would say a pretty successful day overall. Cruise steamers who needs them.