I started off in Patterdale in a high state of excitement. Not only was I about to do a walk I’m familiar with–and love–but I managed to get my book into the local shop! Some of you may have read my Author Page on FB and noticed I put a post up explaining that the little shop was instrumental in my creating Rucksack Tales eight years ago. I originally popped in there on my way through to pick up ‘provisions’ and had a quick look for a book: something I could stick in my rucksack. There was nothing at all suitable and this is where I came up with the idea for short stories. The lady was friendly and helpful and I’d like to see this little shop survive. It certainly looks like it’s doing well and I’m sure the Coast to Coast must help with takings – long may it continue!
The route up to Boredale Hause is one I’ve done many times and this time my friend Sheila and I met a lovely couple on route, unfortunately I can’t remember their names. They were on their way to a favourite mountain of mine, Place Fell and along the route we had a chat about the C2C and the merits of Angle Tarn etc. It’s good to talk. I apologised for being a bit like Tigger – as I said, I was just a bit excited!
The forecast for the day was good but it did cloud over. Angle Tarn elicited the usual number of ‘oohs and ahhs’. Isn’t it just the most beautiful place? I never tire of this area as different times of year produce different hues and shadows. Nothing stays the same. I suppose some would say: the mountains stay the same – and this is true, but those who truly love the place look a little deeper. The very feel of a place can change, especially when the sky turns dark and clouds descend. For a brief period this is what happened.
When you are heading uphill and others wearing coats and gloves are heading down hill you get an indication of what’s to come. We decided to push on from Angle Tarn and reach The Knott before eating lunch, but I was beginning to wonder if we would make it before the heavens opened. I called back frequently, ‘It will be fine! I can see a chink of light!’ I’m ever the optimist and this time it rang true.
We sat on The Knott and watched cloud drift over High Street. I tried to explain that this was how it was when I wrote 24 Hours, the cloud would mass and boil up from Riggindale, before dissipating like it had never been there. The magic of the fells. Absolute magic!
Sometimes I cannot contain my excitement for this area. It brings me great joy. It is where I always want to be and when the sun came out that afternoon I was truly in heaven. Kidsty Pike was beautifully lit and I thanked the universe I saw it.
After a bit of summit posing we descended. It was getting quite chilly up top. I couldn’t help taking so many photos, so apologies here for the repetition. I’m sure you can see why.
Because of daylight hours and driving, we decided to make this stretch a little shorter than the usual Patterdale to Shap. In ’08 it was a tough walk as I had horrendous blisters, 16 miles of it and I didn’t reach Shap until 9pm so I decided to break this up and only go to the base of Haweswater. I thought I’d tack a bit more on to the end of this, and walk to the pub. Oh silly me! I didn’t realise how much I’d actually added on and faith in my constant phrase, the pub is around the next bend was wearing a bit thin. No wonder my feet were in a bad way afterwards.Tired feet on roads are not good. I’m now seeing a physio re plantar fasciitis! (My own fault as I had another walk of 7 miles the next day.)
The pub, which has a 1930’s theme, was a welcome sight and I have heard the red squirrels still scamper in their gardens. I will return. With nuts. (I know…it’s no way to talk about my friends.)