When I arrived with Dawn and The Pooch, the weather was calm and icy, so I put up The New Tent (Did I mention that I’ve got a new tent by the way…?) facing in roughly the direction of the rising sun. This seemed like A Good Idea at the time.
JJ arrived soon afterwards and erected his caravan in the car park, so we all went and had our tea. The consisted of some chicken and a lot of chips. No, I mean a lot of chips. More chips than you could estimate a lot of chips to be, in fact. there is now a chip supply problem in parts of Cheshire, apparently.
So, in the morning, which was grey and cold and windy and snowy and icy, and full of chips, we went for a liddle wander up High Doak, a 381 metre TuMP what nobody has ever heard of. This was followed by a ramble on the Allerdale Ramble, just past Castle Crag, and back to the Scafell Hotel for beer and nuts by the deft use of the Cumbria Way in a Southerly direction.
We noted for reasons of future post-walk rehydration and warming, that the Scafell Hotel had a huge roaring fire, ideal for the thawing out asmall black dog and a suitable supply of Tirrell Bitter, or whatever they called it, for the rehydration of thirsty ramblers and that this was a very useful combination of attributes.
We repaired once again to JJ’s caravan for pie and peas and chips and Christmas pudding.
Next, JJ needed washing up liquid as Lucky couldn’t manage to clean the grease off all those chippy plates and this was followed by a brief expedition or excursion up Latrigg. This was very nice and the sun shone and the views of Skiddaw and Loch Derwent were quite, quite fab.
After a compulsory visit to view the large roaring fire at the Scafell Hotel and to meet Spot the Dog (worra soft git is Spot the Dog), we repaired once again to JJ’s caravan for sausages beans and chips and Christmas Pudding..or was it lemon drizzle Cake..? Anyway, whatever it was, it was very filling.
And in the night it blew a hoolie and removed the door from my new tent just as I’d got myself a lovely cup of hot coffee.
Lucky, though, having buried himself under a sleeping bag, failed to notice the sudden gale re-arranging my gear inside The New Tent and continued to snore whilst , no doubt dreaming of his sunny homeland back in Limerick.
In the morning it was yet still blowing a hoolie, but now it was also drizzling quite a bit – just as JJ departed for the sunny South and his replacement, The Bro, insisted on a nice walk up Ether Knott. This was to be easy and soon dealt with and we would hardly notice it and certainly not get damp at all.
So we heaved our tired legs up the steep and stony path towards Watendlath and over the thawing snow and ankle-trapping heathery stuff high up onto the knobble that is Ether Knott – a sub-HuMP, I’ll have you know.
After lunch behind a sheltering wall, we descended via various sudden beetling drops and with a bit of gluteus-maxima slithering, eventually fetched up on the path to Shepherds Crag. We sploshed our way back to the Scafell Hotel…. I got wet. Lucky got wet. The Bro got damp, JJ got home.
And that was it. Today, I took Dawn back to the station via the Chatterbox cafe and went home to dry off.
The tent done well – once the wind comes from the correct direction and not directly at the door, it stands up well to a buffeting and it’s very waterproof, which is just as well, really. For camping gear enthusiasts, it’s a Vaude Terratrio 3P – mainly for just me and the dog and a huge supply of scoff and booze.
All three walks added together came to 20 miles and 4700 feet of up.
Obviously, this trip failed to live up to the Linney/Knipe expedition record for dramatic and probably quite dangerous weather conditions. It’s probably lulling us into a false sense of security. I’m not worried, though.