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THE LAKELAND MEANDERER'S SPRINGTIME SAUNTERINGS

 
Dave John
Dave John
Posts: 22335
Joined: 27th Feb 2011
Location: England
quotePosted at 16:53 on 12th May 2013
Well Thursday dawned bright and sunny with blue skies when I looked out of the curtains at 6.30. Sneaked another hour in bed then to got make my pack up for lunch and check cameras and batteries.  Rucksack packed with waterproof just to be on the safe side.......and what good planning......... As it looked so nice the original plan to do Aira Force and Gowbarrow Fell was decided upon. Bags, jackets, boots and cameras in the car off I went to enjoy the amazing road...The Struggle... which runs from Ambleside up to the Kirkstone Inn at the top of the Kirkstone Pass. But even before I had got onto the lower slopes of Kirkstone Road a calamitous disaster of Titanic proportions befell me..... The Struggle was closed for resurfacing !!!!!!. Now this entailed a detour of about 4 miles to Windermere but at least this gave the opportunity to attack the eastern slope of the Kirkstone Pass......and I have to say it is thoroughly enjoyable and quite chalenging in parts. But by now the skies had clouded over and a very heavy drizzle was in the air which meant the always enjoyable descent of the western slope of the Kirkstone Pass down to Brothers Water had to be driven with a little less gusto than would normally have been the case. For anyone who really enjoys driving all three roads of the Kirkstone Pass should not be missed..... So onwards past Brotherswater, one of the smaller lake, through Patterdale and Glenridding to park up in the National Trust car park for Aira Force. Parking fee to allow suffient time plus a bit was submitted to the machine and on went the walking boots and the aforementioned waterproofs. By now it was raining quite steadily but as I had made the effort get here I felt I should carry on with the walk. After all it is only rain and I had already had one wet walking day on Sunday.....so
why not another one. Trekked up the path towards Aira Force but the best access had been closed off due to poor surface conditions following the winter. However the lower bridge vantage point was still accesible by a slightly different route so the obligatory photos were eventually taken....... The onwards up the valley towards High Force which was looking as good as I had seen it a few years....but the camera stayed firmly in the backpack as by now the rain was quite heavy and modern cameras and water do not mix well. Had it been my trusty old F1's i would have been 'snapping' away profusely.... but alas the 500D is nowhere near as weatherproof. So still onwards and upwards through the trees until i broke out into the fields and suddenly realised just how much the weather had deteriorated. There was a bit a breeze which helped make things feel worse. But I carried on in true iditic style and finally reached the point where I was to bear off the main track and start the ascent up to the top of Gowbarrow....not particularly high was going to be hard enough in the conditions. However common sense finally prevailed after a few minute debating with myself. Had there been other idiots about I would have considerd tackling the climb but such treacherous conditions I reluctanly decided against it. Earlier in the week the Mountain Rescue had been called to a fatality on one of the other fells, Red Scree I think, nearer to Ambleside, and I did not to be responsible for them being called out again.... I retraced my steps to the car and realised how bad the conditions were as I was now walking into the wind...... Back at the car, boots were quickly exchanged for shoes and off I set bound for Ambleside the Kirkstone Passand Windermere again. A very sporting gentleman in a lumbering campervan kindly pulled over to let me pass just before the ascent of the pass started, which I though was an excellent gesture on his part . Once again the thrill of the drive both up and down was tempered with a moderation of caution......the roads very wet now, puddles at the sides of the road.......and the occassional sheep with a death wish!!!!! Straight back to cottage were the wet clothes were exchanged for dry and a load put in the washer and buy now the skies were brightening up a bit......such quick changes over such short distances, but as I have said on several occasions, i am sure the Lake District has it's own micro climate. My intended packup was then devoured and short while doing a bit of sorting and tidying. By mid afternoon the weather had changed quite dramatically... even the roads were drying off. This meant that the now becoming regular stroll down to the lake was on. And again was able to sit and watch the world and his dog go by for a while before meandering back to
the town and The Golden Rule for a few pints of Dizzy Blonde and plenty of inane banter with the locals and other regulars of that week. Also as usual plenty of walkers and dogs so some relatively sensible
conversation was possible..... Can't remember what the evening consisted of but either fish and chips or a Chinese....... And the rest of the evening ws spent as usual catching up with mates and e-mails and by now it was raining again.
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Martin Humphreys
Martin Humphreys
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Joined: 31st May 2012
Location: England
quotePosted at 17:19 on 12th May 2013

Hi Dave

Seems the weather wasn't that kind over the week up there ?

Looks like we made the right choice to go south to Devon? .. as

(without rubbing it in)  we had a pretty good week up until Thurs

with plenty of sun & very quiet tourist wise. Did some great

coast walks & visited some lovely places.I'm sure you will have

the odd great photo or two despite the weather ? Hope we are

more fortunate when we visit the Lakes in early July now ? 

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Dave John
Dave John
Posts: 22335
Joined: 27th Feb 2011
Location: England
quotePosted at 17:37 on 12th May 2013
Yeah, it wasn't the best but at least i was there, that is the main thing. Even started planning the next visit while is there last week.....how's for positive thinking.... Could well be eraly July so have to see hat transpires.....even the folks in the Rule where asking when I was gonna be back........but that might just be so they can ensure they are away that weekWink Glad you had a good week anyway but as I keep reiterating I'm sure the Lake District has it's own climate.....the only weather reports I bother when I'm there are those I can see in the morning when opening the curtains.....
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rustyruth
rustyruth
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Location: England
quotePosted at 17:41 on 12th May 2013
Dave, we drove to  Aira Force and Ullswater the same way as you, but we came back via The Struggle, the snow was still piled up at the edge but the road surface that was free from snow was in an awful state and really did look like it needed urgent repair. Big pot holes and cracks everywhere.
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Dave John
Dave John
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Joined: 27th Feb 2011
Location: England
quotePosted at 17:46 on 12th May 2013
New bit of surface will make it even more fun next timeTongue out......love those roads, another great one is the drop from Honister towards Buttermere.
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Dave John
Dave John
Posts: 22335
Joined: 27th Feb 2011
Location: England
quotePosted at 17:48 on 12th May 2013
Done them all both in car and many years ago on bicycle when I was alot younger and fitter haha.....Cycled over Hardknott and Wrynose both ways !! ! !  !
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rustyruth
rustyruth
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quotePosted at 18:11 on 12th May 2013
Never cycled them, and never will now, done them both in the car, brilliant experience. Sadly Hardnott was blocked with snow in April, we had to turn round at Wrynose. Hopefully next time we visit I'll be able to get to the Roman Fort.
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Dave John
Dave John
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Joined: 27th Feb 2011
Location: England
quotePosted at 07:38 on 14th May 2013

Well, we finally reach Friday my last day fo this visit. Another dreary wet start to the day but at least I am where i want to be, A couple of coffes and an hour on internet start the day. Still no improvement so started to pack.....may as well get it out of the way, and do a bit of tidying. They have a cleaner who comes in but I alwyas like to leave it as clean as i can. Also put a load in the washer......may as well use what id included in the price rather than wait ti I get home.By lunchtime the cloauds were thinning a bit so a drive down to Windermere seemed a good idea, at least I could fill up with petrol a buit cheaper them than in Ambleside. Maybe only penny a litre cheaper bur makes me feel better. Back to Ambleside after about an hour, via Bowness, and finished off packing. Still not brilliant outside so the daily stroll down to the lake was cancelled. Had an hour to kill before the visit to the RULE so cases and bags were brought downstaairs in readiness apart from what I would wearing on saturday. Another hour or so piddling on was followed by a short wander round the village and some money drawn out of the bank. Then off to the Golden Rule to sample a few Dizzy Blondes!!!! A couple of hours and plenty of inane banter later I bid my farewells. A couple of the guys even asked when I was coming back which i though rateher good of them.......but then realised it was probably so that they could plabne to be a way hahaha. Fish and chips collected on the way home following which I put as much bags and cases into the car as I could. Saves time in the morning as i like to be a way early. Beat the traffic round Manchester.

So that my friends is it for this visit.....not quite upto my usual daily standard biy I hope a bit informative with a bit a bit of jollity thrown in. The weather was very much against me, and along with a couple of other projects I have going is why daily reports did not appear. It also means that you have to suffer this rubbish for a few days longer. Already in the process of planning the next trip Which I am hoping might be early July......but we will have to wait on that for a few days. Hopefully a bit better weather then but 2 years ago early in July we had pretty debatable eather but as inferred on many occassions.......IT IS WHERE I WANT TO BE. irrespective of the weather. Have been to most parts of this beautiful country from John o Groats to Lands End and just about every where inbetween and like everywhere we have been but TO ME nothing compares with the Lake District. Wales, Scotland, England....all rolled up into a small but accesible area. And of course it helps to get a good deal off the owner of the cottage...

So here's hoping that July comes off and i can inflict more unbelievable babbling upon you. With a bit luck....longer, more interesting, amusing and hopefully on a daily basis. The main proble is trying decide on each new ventures title.........

Thanks for you time and sufferance

 

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rustyruth
rustyruth
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Joined: 23rd Oct 2012
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quotePosted at 12:56 on 14th May 2013

Bit of a wet end to the week Dave, but better being wet where you want to be rather than somewhere you don't Smile

Hope you get your July trip sorted, look forward to some more Meanderings. 

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Vince Hawthorn
Vince Hawthorn
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quotePosted at 21:54 on 14th May 2013
  Great time Dave, no letting the elements get you down ( just kerbs!!! ) glad you enjoy it whatever gets thrown at you. July will just not get there quick enough.
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