Having shivered the night away whilst swearing at the same time, the omens weren’t specially brilliant for a light trundle around some bijoux fells in South Lakeland.
And by the time I’d navigated the knipemobile across the A66, down the M6 and up the Kendal bypass, I had a sore throat and was suffering from some kind of as yet, undefined lassitude. Nevertheless , I collected the Bro and Lucky had a couple of sweet biccies before we set off.
But it was to be a short walk and we parked at the top of the Corney Fell road (cos there’s nowhere else to park) and wandered off over Stoneside Hill, through a herd of suspiciously laid-back cud-chewing/snoozing Galloways and up to the vague top of Swinside – a top which appears in no lists of tops at all and which I’d included in my list of Hills To Be Included In The Walk for no apparent reason except that it lead to Raven Crag, also inhabited by Galloways, this time of the Belted Galloway variety but nursing some ginger-coloured calves which obviously weren’t Galloways.
We descended steeply to Swinside farm and passed an ancient stone circle , through yet more disinterested Galloways to the foot of Knott Hill, a lovely green lump with fab views all around. It was here that I ignored my lunch in favour of lots of coffee and water and a bit of chocolate. Legs had been heavy so far, although my temperature seemed to be heading back towards “normal” Blergghh, as we say in Crook.
We returned to Swinside via a brief trespass and headed off up a bridleway across a moor to the road and then across more interminable but relatively easy plodding to Plough Fell – my Birkett target of the day. Plough Fell is a dull and featureless grassy mound stuck on the side of the more rocky and interesting Kinmount Buckbarrow. But it does have a cairn on it’s edge which as a viewpoint for Dunnerdale and higher Cumbrian Peaks over there -----> is quite fabulous. It wouldn’t be a bad spot to spend a day for anyone with nothing better to do, although the plodding required to get there is numbingly dull.
I was offered the opportunity to include the Buckbarrows in the walk, and, normally this would have been an easy and desirable thing to do. But readers, I just couldn’t be arsed. It had been a struggle so far and more struggling was low on my list of priorities. On the other hand, I was starting to feel hungry, so , it seems that a recovery was beginning.
It was 8 miles and 1650 feet of uphill, much of it a bit of a trial. But I’m feeling better now. Whatever bug it was has been defeated,in short order it seems by the Pieman’s immune system, plus some statins and a bit of South African Pinotage
Incidentally, for real excitement, join the mad (and I do mean mad) dash from the West Coast over the Corney Fell road at five o’clock. Convoys of cars moving at stupidly high speed over the rough pot-holed, bendy and narrow road with the sole intention, it would seem, of having some sort of accident, except that it wouldn’t really be an accident. Rush hour in Newcastle city centre is much more civilised and laid-back. These people are red-misted eejits rushing home for a cup of tea and the latest episode of Jeremy Kyle. A good way to get a new car out of it, though (supposing you were driving a really old Audi A4, for instance) would be to drive West. Somebody is bound to trash your car coming the other way…