Sunday, 12 September 2010

Love affair with the Lakes

The camping trip was brilliant. The tent was amazing and I am so in love with the Lakes at the moment.

The girls went off to Ibiza for a week with their grandparents and we went off to Hawkshead to try out the new tent. Went prepared for rain but the weather was pretty good while we were there apart from a mega rainy day on the Friday.
Enjoying a refreshing ale in Hawkshead
As you can see from the above picture - fabulous weather.
Behemoth Bivvy
Here's the tent. It's huge! I'm knitting a pair of socks by the light of our trusty old tilly lamps. Lots of the other campers passed by to have a nosey at the tent - caused quite a stir. Love it.

We'd decided to do something we haven't done before and hired a kayak to canoe around Lake Windermere. It was great fun. Once we got our act together we were really zooming along. Got absolutely wet through though as lots of water drips down the paddle. When we were done went to have a look around Bowness looking like we'd peed our pants! Stopped off at one of the little islands which will be brilliant for a picnic next time. We'll take the girls and have a whole island to ourselves. Can't wait.
Island hopping on Windermere
Took the bike with us and had a great day out riding up the Cumbrian coast. I always forget that there is a coast there as the mountains and lakes are so compelling that it simply goes out of your mind. Followed the coast from Millom to St Bees. Went past a very bleak MOD firing range and then cut across to Muncaster (added Muncaster Castle to list of places to visit) and down to Ravenglass for lunch. Arrived at the same time as a biker couple on BMWs and then some Germans (also on BMWs) parked alongside. It was like some kind of BMW convention for a moment! The couple were from Keswick and we chatted over lunch. Bumped into the lady again in Booths supermarket in Keswick a few days later!!! What are the chances of that? On to Whitehaven and a quick look at the harbour, then to St Bees which is truly lovely but way too popular with the shell suit brigade.

Next activity was a walk in the Langdales. Nick's very favourite bit of the lakes and he decided to take me up the Band to Crinkle Crags. All began very well indeed. Good weather and fabulous views.
Stickle Pike in the Langdales
Admiring the view on the Band
You can see the cloud in the first of the above photos. Got to the top of the band to find Crinkle Crags in cloud. Pressed on in the hope of it lifting. It didn't. I didn't like it. Very dismal and disorientating. Couldn't see much of anything and lost all sense of direction. Hit the bad step and didn't fancy it at all. Retraced steps to find and alternative route an ended up back at the Bad Step. Lost the plot at this point and sat down on a rock and burst into tears. Had had enough. Was told to stop being such a girl and we found our way back to the top of the Band and out of the cloud. Me snivelling all the way. At this point my knee was beginning to protest and the descent was a weepy, wailing and painful experience. To quote the Smiths.... I can laugh about it now but at the time it was terrible. Knee has been pretty dodgy since! Would I do it again.... oh yes...

Last planned event was Go Ape at Grizedale forest. Unfortunately we forgot to take the camera for that but it was brilliant. Loved the zip wires and even managed the tarzan swing at the end. With a dodgy knee too.

All in all a really fun week and can't wait to get the tent out again.  Need to seriously rethink the packing though as we filled the boot, the roofbox and the back seats with all of the camping gear. Not sure how we'll fit the kids in as well......

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