Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Castlerigg Stone Circle - 21 March 12

I guess that most people will have heard of Stonehenge but I reckon that far less (or should that be fewer) know of Castlerigg Stone Circle. I checked it out today after noticing information about it last year. First thing this morning I had it all to myself. Fascinating stuff. Mind you, not a great deal is really known about the circle. One of life’s mysteries, like: is it only the labels that are made in China? And, how come most people never tire of having the exact same breakfast every day, but would object to eating the same set meal daily at other meal times? Just a thought.

In contemplative mood I wandered toward and over Walla Crag, down to Derwent Water and back into Keswick.

The sun shone this afternoon. Deckchairs were dusted off and sat on outside caravans and campervans. People chatted. Dogs stretched out. And I, unsociably, closed the curtains and had a nap. That set me up nicely for 2.5 pints in the Dog and Gun this early evening in good company. The place is regularly packed. What a great pub.

Tomorrow, Thursday, I head off to the campsite at Hartsop. My endeavours will be slightly more adventurous. I say again, slightly! Regrettably, sort of, communications will not be as good over there so I’ll not be blogging again until after I return home – Tuesday of next week.

In the meantime, here’s my theme song (pinched by a certain car maker) to power me up the fells. Pump up the volume ...

Latrigg - 20 March 12

Latrigg is Keswick’s very own hill. Its close proximity makes it an imposing presence yet in reality it is only a very modest lump; rising to 1230 feet it is little more than a third of its giant neighbour Skiddaw.

I have walked to the summit of Latrigg before but that didn’t prevent me from doing so again today. The touristy six mile circuit provides outstanding views in clear weather, which there was today, and its a fine way to spend a morning.

The River Greta flows along Latrigg’s southern base through a picturesque wooded gorge. It inspired William Wordsworth – “To the River Greta, near Keswick”

“Greta, what fearful listening! when huge stones,
Rumble along thy bed, block after block:
Or whirling with related shock,
Combat, while darkness aggravates the groans ...”

He's not just daffodills yer know!

My afternoon was spent walking the shops of Keswick – walking gear everywhere. Ooohh! [nice shivers]. The green and black new look of the Osprey Exos (rucksack) seductive; the latest Memory Map device (3800) improved and appealing; Paramo, Montane - new colours, but I am in denial, my wallet remains in my pocket - until I arrive the Dog & Duck, the beer, refreshing.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Keswick - 19 Mar 12

The idea, or basic plan, was, to set off early from Leek, spend a couple of hours with sister and brother-in-law, leave Holly and continue to Keswick, plug in the Grampervan, then, after a swift pint in town stroll toward Latrigg and back before it got dark. You’re probably ahead of me; yes, the plan came unstuck in town – in the Dog & Gun actually where they stock a delicious golden bitter, Thirst Blossom which is brewed here at the Keswick Brewing Company. And long may they do so.

I wasn’t much use for anything after that but a good sleep which I attended to fairly early and have paid the price by being wide awake since 03:15 hours.

At this campsite, those in tents can pitch up-close to Derwent Water and are rewarded with fantastic views as you can see from the image above. It’s £9.30 a night for me here although added to that, as I forgot to mention yesterday, is the annual club subscription, the amount of which I have also forgotten. It’s an age thing.

A bit of walking today and, well, I’ll just see how it goes.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Leek, Staffordshire - 18 Mar 12

It's about 260 miles from my house in Bedfordshire to the place in south Cumbria where I visit family and drop off my dog. Normally, it's a five hour journey. The drive is a bit of a drag though even with a couple of breaks along the way.

So, to make it easier, and because I wanted to check out a Peak District campsite, today I've travelled as far as Leek (which is about half way to Cumbria) where I'm spending the night at the Camping & Caravan Club's site.

The campsite is tidy and peacefull. It's a bit muddy in places but the price is right; I'm in my campervan for the night so it's £7.95 for a hard surfaced pitch, with hook-up to a 16 Amp electric supply, and there's access to a clean ablutions block with hot showers etc. There's no pub handy but I'm carrying everything that I need - including the kitchen sink and hob.

Keswick from tomorrow till Thursday, and then south-east to Hartsop where I'll be based until Monday. Someone else to do the cooking from tomorrow (and pull pints). Luxury!

Monday, 12 March 2012

It's only me

Ladybirds were promenading around the mint patch in my garden yesterday, the warm weather tempting them out of hibernation. “Who knows” I wondered, “do they have sweet dreams as we do, and thoughts of what they’ll get up to when they’re active again?” Juicy aphids and other ladybirds are all that occupy their minds I’d guess.

It may have seemed that I have been hibernating too. Not so, just busy. Regrettably, I cannot claim to have walked far, restricted by duties at home and a lovely dog that, in her dotage, struggles after half a mile and so prefers just a short stroll, meeting and sniffing.

If all goes well I'll get time off next week though; Holly goes to a rest home (my sister’s abode) and I have a week to myself to amble around the Lake District. I haven’t decided where exactly yet but something casual is required, sufficient to blow away (wash more likely) the cobwebs, and oil my innards. This will also be pre-preparation for the only other item on my walking calendar at the moment - The West Highland Way in late May.

In the meantime, and as usual, it’s always good to read others’ blogs, for which I thank the many, including Dawn and Al because I particularly like to follow a daily, well-written and interesting LEJOG blog.