Sunday, 1 June 2014

Black Combe (circular) - Lake District - 27/05/14 - 6 Miles approx - Helen (Molly)

After the usual faffing around at the start taking pictures, and putting clothes on and off we began our climb away from some cottages and up towards Black Combe. For some reason I felt absolutely buggered at the start of this one. Possibly I was somewhat drained by the multitude of insect bites that had appeared on my legs and arms overnight, from the previous days excursion. Anyway I insisted we stopped after about half a mile. so I could have some provisions from my lunch box (which did seem to do the energy trick).
Yet again we were operating from a 'Country Walking' route plan, and at this point we immediately lost the route and had to make our own one up. So at the near summit we stopped for lunch proper, before eventually getting to the top to pick up what seemed a very straightforward path down. In the course of which I took some pictures of Sellafield nuclear Something (which had been a feature all week) and can be clearly seen in my photo.
Needless to say the straightforward path wasn't, and although the views were spectacular, we kept drifting off it, onto various sheep trails. Helen by this time had taken charge, whilst refusing to take any more readings from my GPS. Anyway this was also the point where the insect bites on my legs began erupting into nasty weeping blisters, which made not just the rest of the walk, but also the rest of the week, rather unpleasant. A nasty final section along a busy footpath free road, was somewhat of a downer for an otherwise enjoyable walk.
Postcript: the following day found us having a touristy day in Coniston (our original intended holiday destination) which included a trip to the Ruskin museum, but a futile stroll to the edge of the lake. Then on the final day I stayed indoors, out of insect range, whilst Helen strolled to the top of Muncaster Fell.

Dunnerdale (circular) - Lake District - 26/05/14 - 6 miles approx - Helen (Molly)

After parking in a friendly church car park (using the honesty box system) we followed the River Duddon, by virtue of climbing some huge tumbled boulders along the side of Wallowbarrow Crag. Finally the walking pole which I got for Christmas, made its walking debut, with Helen using it for ascents, and myself for descents. Speaking of which the near lethal descent back down to the river was obviously not the one they meant on the 'Country Walking' route plan. No matter as once we reached the river again we decided to have our lunch on the rivers edge, not before taking some photos (don't I look spiffing)
Unfortunately that decision was to have a big effect on the rest of the week for me. On our way out of the door, somehow the insect repellent had been missed, and sitting at those rocks having our lunch, found us also providing lunch for countless midges/mosquitoes.
Once on our way again we picked up the relevant path, crossing a tributary before finding ourselves in a deforested area alongside Long Crag, which we struggled to negotiate. However having eventually crossed the River Duddon, and Troutal Farm, the valley and views opened up once more giving us a scenic route back to the car at Seathwaite.
On the drive home Helen decided to take a near suicidal route back over Hardknott Pass. Although my life flashed in front of me several times, she did have a good reason, which was to enable us to visit the former Roman fort there. Whether this was one of the best or worst postings in the Roman army, probably depended on whether you were stationed there in the Summer or Winter.

Ravenglass / Dalegarth (circular) - Lake District - 24/05/14 - 9 Miles - Helen (Molly)

Our week in the Lake District started with a very touristy ride on a miniature railway taking us from Ravenglass station to its final stop at Dalegarth (Eskdale). Molly showed a little reluctance to get on board, but once settled I am sure she enjoyed the ride just as much as we did.
Having reached Dalegarth we watched them turn the engine around, before having lunch in the café and then deciding to walk the whole trail back to Ravenglass.
The BBC forecast rain thankfully never materialised, leaving us in the main a pleasant walk back. There was some logging going on as we approached High Eskholme which was signed for us to turn back. However with no-one about we continued on regardless up the steep climb of Chapel Hill, before reaching Muncaster tarn some way below Muncaster Fell.
From there we passed through the information centre at Muncaster Castle (which we were to visit properly the next day) before eventually coming across a Roman Bath House on the return to Ravenglass. From there it was a brief skirt past the esturary (which we had already discovered walking Molly) and then back to base.