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A JULY JAUNT WITH THE MEANDERING LAKELANDER

 
Dave John
Dave John
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quotePosted at 22:37 on 22nd July 2013
Absolutely all from memory mate. Seems only like yesterday. Next episode is a  boat trip down Conistonwater and a walk back to Coniston. Just about every footstep is still so very fresh in my mind.....
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Vince Hawthorn
Vince Hawthorn
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quotePosted at 22:39 on 22nd July 2013
 We wait agog sir
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Dave John
Dave John
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quotePosted at 22:43 on 22nd July 2013
Gonna try to get some words thrown together tomorrow and hope they make some sort of sense
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MikeT
MikeT
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quotePosted at 10:48 on 23rd July 2013
It appears you & your wife had a very nice day Dave, and the weather was very nice ( although not photography wise ) glad you enjoyed it, and look forward to the next instalment mate
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rustyruth
rustyruth
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quotePosted at 12:01 on 23rd July 2013
Sounds like a great day out Dave, a lot busier at this time of year though. It was reasonably quiet for us in April and I'm sure it will be a little quieter for you in September. Look forward to the next report Smile
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Dave John
Dave John
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quotePosted at 21:56 on 24th July 2013

Wednesday 17th July started off as had the previous few days. Bright sun streaming through the gap in the curtains to allow what little air there was to circulate. And by 9.00 the temperature was already above 20c. At around 10.15 breakfast eaten, backs packed and camera gear at the ready off we set for Coniston to catch the 11.15 boat down the lake to Sunny Bank. We arrived well ahead of time, fortunately, very little traffic and the traffic that was out was happy to ‘get a move on’ and not brake for every slight bend in the road. I say ‘fortunately’ because as soon as we had parked and donned walking boots we went straight to the piers to check prices etc. Asked the guy at the pier how much was the single trip to Sunny Bank and said, ‘We’re not going there today sir, we’re a boat down’ Absolutely marvellous I thought!!! But then realised that the walk I wanted for today could be added to by getting off at the Torver landing stage and walking the extra mile or so down to Sunny Bank. And as luck would have it the boat making the 10.45 sailing bound for Torver was on the jetty and due to set sail in 2 minutes so we jumped onboard. Not many on so outside seats were readily available. In blazing sun and under blue cloudless skies we set off on the ‘Northern route’. This goes north up Conistonwater for a short way to pick up more passengers at the Waterhead Pier which serves the similarly named Waterhead Hotel. Not very many got on here and then off we went south towards Torver where we were to get off and start the days walk. The first mile or so follows the Cumbria Way down to Sunny Bank but as the designated path was quite often under the cover of the trees we decided to take to slightly slower route and made our way down to shoreline, just about all of the way on shingle and rocks. Getting on towards 11.30 and the sun was high and hot, temperature must have been somewhere around 25c or more and with very little breeze about it was getting rather sticky walking. But that is what we were there to do and we plodded on. Eventually reached the jetty at Sunny Bank where Anne had a few minutes sit-down and wandered around pretending to be a photographer.  On to the Cumbria Way proper for a 5-600 yards uphill to emerge onto the A5084 road which runs from the bottom of Conistonwater up to Torver village. This was followed for about another half mile until we came across a quite large Land Rover franchise almost in the middle of nowhere, opposite which was the track we needed to head towards Kelly Hall tarn and Long Moss, both of which were very low in water. Carried on along some fairly indistinct tracks over the top of Torver Back Common which had been rising up on our right hand side as we had trekked down the shoreline. Found a suitable rocky outcrop on the high ground with views over Conistonwater towards the lower reaches of the Grizedale Forest. Sat down on the rocks for a half hour to partake of our lunch…… couple of sandwiches, pork pies etc. A choccy biccy or two and a couple of over-ripe bananas, most of which got thrown to the birds. The route from the top here was then fairly steadily downhill with the intention of reaching the Cumbria Way again on the shoreline at Torver. But as with all my best laid plans an unexpected detour was to stick it’s spanner in the works. Due to the very dry and unclear tracks, even with map in hand we managed to take a wrong turning and instead of following a fence down to the waters edge we ended up in places knee high in bracken on the edge of a wooded area which looked about right on the map but when studied later was evidently wrong, as we were heading south again when we should have been heading in a ore easterly direction. Had we taken a left path instead of a right path we have ended up on a much more well walked track and arrived at Torver jetty a lot earlier. As is was we had to retrace our steps so far but then caught sight of the shore of Conistonwater down through the trees and to make our way through the woodlands. Something we have done on several occasions in the past I hasten to add…. Following a few very dubious trails in the woods we finally arrived at a fence and simply followed that down to the lakeside a couple of hundred yards from the Torver jetty where we should have been anyway so not a lot was lost. The heat was now quite fierce on our backs as we meandered along the very well kept path of the Cumbria Way for the last couple of miles back to the Coniston pier car parks. 2 or 3 stops on route just to sit in the sun and catch our breath. Anne removed her walking boots and donned a pair of sandals she had brought ‘just in case’. Boots securely tied to rucksack we finally arrived at the car. A very good drive back to Ambleside again due to very few cars on the road, it was not yet school holidays so not too many people around. Parked the car dropped all the bags in the cottage. Kettle boiled for a quick coffee before wandering out into the village for a look round some of the outdoor shops where a few purchases were made. A proper pair of walking sandals for Anne and a slightly bigger rucksack for me. Some ‘woman’ shopping in Boots for makeup and such trivial items followed by the now very customary couple of pints in the Golden Rule. Last call of he day was to the mini Tesco to stock up on some fresher bread buns and such. Then home via the Chinese takeaway, followed by a much needed shower and settle down to download the days takings and find out that internet connection had been lost.

If I haven’t already mentioned it before the guy we originally booked the cottage with has sold it, and his house in Northwich, and are moving up to Windermere…. To say I am a little jealous is an understatement. However the new owners have agreed to keep the same arrangement we had for booking direct at reduced prices so all still looks good on that front. But this is where the internet problem occurs. BT had promised the new owners that transfer from previous owner to them would be seamless with no problems……oh yes!! Heard that one before. It just so happens that this was the day that the transfer of internet ownership was to take place, or in reality come to a grinding halt. A few texts and phone calls with the new owners and at least we knew it nothing that we had done. And that is how it stayed till we left on Saturday morning and why you are reading all this rubbish now…..

Thursdays plan was for a boat trip up and down Ullswater and that will follow in due course. I'll soon be able to start looking at what photos I took soonWink

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rustyruth
rustyruth
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quotePosted at 11:16 on 25th July 2013
Another great read Dave, hope they manage to get the internet sorted before your next trip. Look forward to the Ullswater report, and photos soon Smile
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Vince Hawthorn
Vince Hawthorn
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quotePosted at 21:45 on 25th July 2013

  I will second that, I think writing your reports after the event means you have had time to fully compose the day's news and can spend more time reflecting on all the events and still insert those little bits of humour as well. It appears to me the way you tell the tale that Anne is chasing around trying to keep up with you and suffering in the feet department in doing so, did she enjoy her yomping over the hills or is it a case of the next trip is going to have to be to some foreign region and sitting by the pool/on the beach with a book and a sangria?

        Whatever , the day once again sounded a gem albeit with a slight misread of the map. The boat trips are a real bonus of a way to get around - so laid back and you can soak up the views ( and take shots).

           Looking forward now to the next chapter. 

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Dave John
Dave John
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quotePosted at 22:01 on 25th July 2013
Thanks Ruth, Vince. Its fun doing these reports and yes Vince you may be right about a few days grace. Will have consider this again. It all takes time but you ought to give it a go if only for a couple of days. Anne whinges it is true but at the end of the day with a pint in her hand she agrees it has been worth it. As to sitting on a beach....my wooden box is likely to come before that happens. I have NEVER been one to chase the sun. Hopefully get last 2 days finished off tomorrow then start trawling through around 1500 pics but the sun was so high and bright if I get 10% I'll be well happy.
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Dave John
Dave John
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Joined: 27th Feb 2011
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quotePosted at 22:15 on 26th July 2013

Thursday 18th July

Once again the early morning sun was streaming in through the gap in curtains, pegged there specifically to allow some ‘cool’ air in to the bedroom……. that is a joke in itself, the night time temperatures where in the mid to high teens!!! But we were up bright and early because today’s itinerary focussed on Ullswater to the north of Ambleside. As usual the preparation of sandwiches, pasties, pork pies and choccy biccies was followed by a quick bowl of cornflakes. Rucksack packed and boots and all other necessities plonked in the car. Somewhere around 10.00 we set off from Millans Park and along Rydal Road for a couple of hundred yards before swinging hard right onto Smithy Brow not only lads to one of my favourite roads, The Struggle, but is also the postal address for the Golden Rule!!! The thoroughly enjoyable drive up The Struggle was totally uneventful thanks to very little traffic at the time. It is just a wee bit twisty in parts and also quite narrow through some of the twisty bits. There have been one or two ‘close calls’ on previous journeys up and down the hill. It also has one or two fairly steep bits towards the top nearing the Kirkstone Inn, which again can add to the ‘fun and games’ of the road. The struggle is one of the roads that can be called the Kirkstone Pass. The Struggle runs out of Ambleside and is an unclassified road simply known as The Struggle. In fact this name is actually given to it on the OS map. But the main road generally called the Kirkstone Pass, the A592, runs up from Windermere to the Kirkstone Inn and whilst being another enjoyable driving road is somewhat wider and certainly has better visibility for oncoming vehicles. From the Kirkstone Inn the A592 drops down through a wonderfully flowing series of bends on the descent towards Hartsopp, Patterdale to Glenridding and our main destination for the day, Ullswater. However as with most of the Lake Districts passes there are amazing views to be had, especially with the unbelievable weather we had, but very few places to stop and take photos. On the descent of the Kirkstone pass there are maybe a couple of pull-ins and a reasonable car park about half way down. So the obligatory photo stop was taken. One day I will have to plan a couple of hours, park the car and wander up and down the pass on foot. One day! ! ! ! However having enjoyed the drop down the pass we then trundled along at 30-40 mph behind some old geezer and his dog. But these delays do give us a better chance to view the scenery. We finally arrived at the Ullswater Cruises car park in Glenridding and paid the relatively cheap parking fee, something like £7 for all day I think. Tickets were purchased for the full roundtrip of the lake, Glenridding to Howtown and Pooley Bridge and return via Howtown to Glenridding. Back to the car and as we were not walking such basic trainer were the preferred footwear for the day. Rucksack was packed from the cool bag, camera thrown across shoulder and off we went. Anne went straight on to the jetty to bag a place in the queue while I pottered around pointing my camera at things in the hope of securing a decent image or two. Joined Anne in the queue and settled down to wait to board the boat. Not very many people in front of so an outside seat was pretty much guaranteed. But as we were waiting a group of ‘foreign’ persons wandered up and stood at the front end of the queue!!!!! We were probably 20-25 from the front and must have been at least 60-70 behind us… The boat guys finally started to let us board the boat. A few at the front of the queue got over the gangway when the ‘foreign invaders’ started to nudge their way into the queue. They didn’t get very far,,ha ha!!,,,,all sorts of shouts from the front of the queue, from us and from behind soon made them realise they were not gonna sneak on. Sheer bloody cheek and ignorance. Some very scornful looks and mutterings as they moved towards the back of the queue and waited for everyone get on. Anyway after that minor interlude the boat set sail on its  journey of appr 1 hour 20 min to Pooley Bridge at the very northern end of Ullswater, calling in briefly at Howtown mid voyage to let some folk off and others to get on. Howtown is where I got off last year you may remember and walked all the way down the Eastern side of Ullswater and back to Glenridding in somewhat different weather conditions!!!!! Enjoyable as that was in its own way I can’t help thinking that the same walk this day would have much more pleasurable. Bright hot sun and clear views instead of pouring rain and limited visibility!!! But we were staying onboard and bound for Pooley Bridge. 30-40 minutes later we were at Pooley Bridge. The boat stays here for around 30 minutes while the crew have a break, However it was not our intention return on this boat so we made the short walk into Pooley Bridge to find a quiet spot by the lake for lunch. Butty’s, pasties and biccies eaten a few obligatory stones where thrown into the lake….. it’s a man thing!! Boats and rocks and combinations thereof became subjects for the ever searching lens and then we finally started to make our way back to the jetty for the 1.55 boat back to Glenridding. When we got onto the jetty we were one of he first back and so once again outside seating was fairly certain. But were we all in for a shock. A coach had pulled up and offloaded its passengers!!! About 10 minutes before we were due to start boarding a somewhat large, stuffy, pompous lady appeared and waving a brochure in her hand started calling out …   ‘all of you with ‘such and such’ tours, come to the gate. You will be boarded first as we are prebooked’ A few moans and groans followed and not only from those of us who had been waiting patiently again. A lot of the moans and groans were the old folk from the bus trip. Most of them could hardly put one foot in front of the other, let alone cross the gangway without major drama. But such is life and there are signs at the both Glenridding and Pooley Bridge stating that prebooked tours will be given priority. Well the journey back to Glenridding was as smooth and tranquil as the journey out earlier. A few more pics taken in the blazing hot sun on the way back as well as more sun oil plastered around the back of neck !!!!. Finally back at Glenridding and the car, opened the doors and windows and left it for 10 minutes, it was like an oven!!! Eventually we risked climbing in and set off up the road for a few mile to turn off onto the A5091 where there is also a car park if you want to visit Aira Force and surrounding woodland walks. But that was not in our plans for today. We were heading along the road past Dockray and Matterdale End towards Troutbeck on the A66 which was followed for a few miles before turning off along to B 5322 to join the A591  at the northern end of Thirlmere. A steady run for a few more miles and we turned off into Grasmere. Earlier in the week we had seen some nice mugs in one of the ‘fancy goods’ shops. A relatively plain mug with a very simple but cute sheep’s head pattern. We had liked them so said we see about buying a set!!!!! Needless to say the ones in the window were not priced but the ones on the shelf in the shop were ….. £10 and £11 each for a single mug of which there were 2 designs. They are still on the shelf you will not be surprised to know!!! Would have considered a few at £5, but those prices were taking the proverbial. So an ice cream on the green was a very welcome substitute. We did make a purchase in the village, Anne bought a couple of ‘walking sticks’ the type you see a lot of walkers with nowadays. Reckons they might help her….. poor old lass!! The usual trundle back to cottage to offload bags and purchases was followed by the much more enjoyable trundle up to Smithy Brow and the obligatory few pints in the yard of the Golden Rule. It’s odd that I can remember everything we did during the day but cannot remember what we had for tea. Wasn’t fish and chips, that was Friday so must have been a concoction of food we had in the cottage. The usual downloading of memory cards to laptop and catching up with magazines ensued while Anne had some rubbish on the TV . Friday’s plan was hatched…. What looked on paper like a relatively easy walk based around Elterwater……….. he he heWink

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