Thursday, March 20, 2008

Walking Women Lake District Holiday Part 1.

Saturday 16th February

I should have dropped off the dogs at Karen's en route, but I didn't, so, of course, I was running late. My train pulled out of the station as I was passing the main entrance. I was so close the time of departure was still up on the TV screen - but had gone by the time I reached the platform. And the Station Clock was 5 minutes slow!

Eventually caught the 11o3 train to Lockerbie via Birmingham, instead of the 1022 to Carlisle and had a breakfast roll and a decent cup of coffee (I do believe us Brits have finally got the hang of making coffee!) whilst I was waiting.
This all meant I was about half an hour on my connections for the rest of the day - and missed supper and introductions at the Glaramara Centre in Borrowdale. But I did get to sup 2 and a 1/2 pints of good ale in the pub at Keswick, in front of a roaring fire, and chat to Debbie and Richard (some walkers I met) instead.

I've walked 'the mile' which is a path on top of the sea wall sandwiched between the beach and the railway line between Teignmouth and Dawlish many a time, waving at the passing trains. It made a change to be on that train watching the surf instead of paddling in it. I also saw a heron in the marshes as the train passed the Double Locks in Exeter.

Got a deal of knitting done whilst reading Stephen King's "The Good Guy" - suitably light and engrossing. Wouldn't want anything that needed concentration, particularly as a load of inebriated football supporters boarded my carriage at Crewe, waving cans of Newkie Brown, and singing very different versions of "Show me the way to go home" to the one I know. One of them must have been rude to a WPC as he got strong armed off the train at the very next stop: seemed a bit OTT as they were all quite merry and not at all belligerent. A British Rail Transport cop offered to escort me to another carriage - but I'm not at all bothered by a spot of insobriety and a few rude, boisterous songs (I've heard worse language in the labour room!). Anyway, I took my HAs out.
Coming in to Penrith, I could see mountains, hills in the distance - all a bit steeper than my beloved Dartmoor. The picture is of the ruined castle opposite the railway station, lit up by the setting sun. By the time I got off the bus at Glaramara - pleasantly tiddly and ready to socialise some more all my fellow walkers, bar a couple, had gone to bed! Dirty Stopins!
I have a room to myself here, and get to bed earlier than I have done in months. I'd forgotten my toothbrush and the sink made gurgling noises. I've decided to go 'high' tomorrow!

Woke up on Sunday 17th February to a glaringly frosty scene outside the window and peaks with snow topping. My first time in the Lake District and the weather looked to be amazing! There was a choice between a 'Intermediate' and a 'High Intermediate' walking group - so I joined the 'high' group with our guide Polly and her dog Dylan. Poor old Dylan had had to have a pin put in his back leg as a pup, and it was giving him arthritis at the tender age of 3 1/2yrs. The vets had recently operated in an attempt to remove it, and failed - but despite this he had plenty of Spring as you'd expect from a Springer - just had a noticeable limp by the end of the day and a bald patch.

Here we all are gathering outside the Centre...
WE were the largest group today, with a much smaller group walking the 'Intermediate' hike. There was a large range of ages on the holiday, with the youngest woman in her 20's and the oldest in her 70's. The majority had come unaccompanied (lots of women had left partners and children at home!) and many were returners - Walking Women's Holidays (WW) are ideal if you want organised walks with congenial company - I often like to go off on my own, but this adventure took the effort out.

The walk was fantastic: up the road to warm up, (the picture looks back at the outdoor Centre) past Stonethwaite School (lots of 'thwaites' around here) and then gradually climbing up through the trees, to open moors and icy streams tumbling down...

all the way up to Dock Tarn.

We stopped here for a midmorning snack. Then on over the hill to be confronted by glorious views.

On down the hill, with the ice making so many different sculptures for us to admire, to a frozen lake where we stopped for our packed lunch and went in to the lakeside cafe for hot chocolate. The ducks were performing that entertaining activity of trying to land on the frozen surface - digital cameras have that frustrating delay after you click the button, so I missed the action shot. There were also lots of children and grownups smashing the ice at the edge and sliding large chunks across the surface - we decided it's probably such fun because it's like harmless vandalism!

See the little teddybear above the door?

And off we go again, to walk alongside a river and into the woods...
In the woods there was a river that had to forded: some folks had trouble and got their socks wet. I crossed further back upstream - deeper water but bigger rocks!
The path led us down through a steeply wooded valley to emerge by Lodore Falls - and the Hotel by the same name, on the shores of Derwent Water. This is a picture of the falls themselves, but it was getting dimpsy and they were in heavy shade. The sheep are Herdwicks - they were all over the place. And that's a picture of the Hotel Lodore with the wooded valley that we clambered down behind it.
And so we wended our way back along the flat valley to Glaramara, with Polly tempting everyone with the bus: nobody took her up on the offer, but I wonder how many would have followed if just one had caved in? We'd hiked somewhere between 9-12 miles: Kathy and Alison tried to work it out with a map and a wheelie mileage calculator thingie later that evening. I thought it was a great walk - varied terrain, fabulous views and the weather was perfect. Even better - we've got two more days of similar walks to look forward to! WE had a good three course supper and I finished off the evening with a pint of beer (keg, but beggars can't be choosy) and knitting in front of a log fire (there were four of us knitters). You'd think I'd have slept like the proverbial log, but the room was too hot and there was a huge mirror on the wall by the bed which was most off putting - who knows what lurks in that land of Alice? I didn't figure out how to turn the radiator off until the next morning so had to resort to opening the window wide...


kathryn said...

What a lovely walk and photos!! You were lucky with the weather...We used to do lots of walking in the Lakes in the Lakes, mainly not in Summer so we had mixed weather. It was always a trendous bonus to have a bright day.

Thanks for the link to Walking Women - what a great idea.

And a new word to me - dimpsy - not heard that before. Is it a Devon dialect word?

Susie Hewer said...

Great photos Terri.

You've made me all nostalgic as I used to spend all my weekends up in the Lake District when I lived up North. Last time hubby and I were there was over a New Year and we stayed at a hotel on the banks of Lake Windermere. We chilled our champagne in the boot of the car 'cos it was -10!

I just love that rugged terrain and would love to run some of the fell marathons they have up there one day.

Cinders said...

Just found your blog through Belay Bunny. Love all your walking photos. and how wonderful that you can walk so far and enjoy all that scenery. I'm now partially disabled os cant walk much so I drool at other peoples blogs to see what I'm missing!
I used to be a Midwife along time ago.

TutleyMutley said...

Hi Kathryn! Yep, as far as I know 'dimpsy' be devonian for dusk (but also claimed by folks from somerset!). Tiz a lovely word.
Glad you liked them, Susie - my first time in the Lake District - but I plan to return sometime. You won't catch me running up any fells, though. Walking up 'em was enough.
and nice to meet you too, cinders. I wondered why you were Cinders - thought you'd lost your shoe, but no, I see it's after your moggie?! We have a lot in common - knitting, babycatching etc.

Riggwelter said...

What wonderful photos, I am so jealous!

I love the word "dimpsy" and am pinching it for our dialect too!

belaybunny said...

That looks a great walk, funnily enough I also go to the Lakes a lot ;) Lovely photos, I'm very jealous - I think I need to look at the walking website too!!