The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 29 August 2008

The Lakes: Friday Morning

The first thing that I noticed this morning was that there was a certain brightness. Peering out of the top of the tent, I could see a definite hillside in front of us. That was a big improvement on last night and told me that we would be walking onwards, not back, today.
There's definitely a hillside (just about) visible in front of that tent!

By the time we were ready to leave the forecast was holding true. There were breaks in the cloud we were getting intermittent views of the tops around us, and down into the valley below. Apart from the slight lack of levelness, it turned out to be a pretty good pitch we had chosen: flat, dry and with a good view (we'll overlook the lack of levelness)!
The cloud clears for a while and we have a view as we pack away

Alas, the wind had dropped in the night and the midges were out in force. Pesky things. As the day wore on it turned out that it was a flying ant day. Millions of the things, there were, including a significant number which had committed suicide in the many pools and puddles on our route.

Off up Meall Fell we went, then it was the necessary descent so that we could pop up Great Cockup, which was an out-and-back trip. I was all for leaving my pack at the bottom, but Mick objected. Surprisingly, today his concern didn’t involve potential pack thieves lying in wait on the hills, but the fact that we need the exercise, so up and back our packs went too.
From Great Cockup
After Great Cockup we took the example of its name as we had a navigational lapse (give a bit of visibility and carelessness suddenly creeps in!) and found ourselves ascending the wrong hill.
We're didn't realise we were in the wrong place as we contemplate the geology between Meall Fell and Great Cockup

The sudden addition to the plan had been to head on to Great Calva, via Little Calva, but instead found ourselves half way up Knott again. Ooops. But, at least we noticed before we got there and we soon had ourselves back on the right track.
Mick has control of the camera on Great Calva; I have a snack bar and a map

Sitting at the top of Great Calva a while later, we looked down on Skiddaw House and the Caldew valley, and saw the first people we had seen since we set out yesterday afternoon.
In the reduced size photo you can't really see Skiddaw House or the finer features of the view

A while later, after wading through the heather, which is giving a particularly good display of colour just now, we were exchanging greetings with those people, before making our way along the rather easier (but still remarkably wet and muddy) terrain of the Cumbria Way.

Purely because I’d carried cheese and crackers the whole way, we had a picnic next to the car before we declared our trip over. With the cloud now high, we had a perfect view of Carrock Fell as we lunched and it was tempting, but time had run out for this trip.

It was time to do battle with the Friday-end-of-Bank-Holiday-week traffic (ouch; not a good journey) and wend our way back home.

From unpromising beginnings, it turned out to be a fantastic trip. The stats were that we covered just under 5 miles yesterday and just under 10 today. Anquet would like you to believe that we had a cumulative ascent of 3500 feet.


  1. that mileage seems to suitably reflect conditions - something the 20 miles a dayers seem to omit when they're out on rough ground. Its not the journey distance, but the journey itself IMHO

  2. Good stuff - I like that tent, nice in green. Blue ain't... well it stands out.