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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Drenched in Dunnerdale

A brief lull in the downpour reveals Wallabarrow Crag

Me and Dawn had been considering a few days away in January for some time. The first idea was the Lowther Hills - very nice hills just a bit North of Dumfries. Following Dawn's drowning in Fisherfield at Christmas, we considered that a wooden wigwam at Wanlockhead would be better. But they failed to answer their phone for several days and a review on Walkhighlands mentioning duelling banjos, less than welcoming locals in the pub and having to use a tree as a toilet put us off a bit. So we plumped for The Lakes, where, as everybody knows, it never rains and everybody is friendly all the time. The camping barn at High Wallabarrow farm was chosen, booked by Dawn (my record of getting people to answer the phone being tested to the point of failure by now) and proved to be an ideal choice during the brief 11-month Cumbrian monsoon season.
Is the cloud base lifting?    (No)

The Wallabarrow camping barn is run by a friendly chap, has hot water, a cooker, a fridge, a stove which takes wood or coal, a huge supply of wood and a few small mice wandering in from the downpour outside.

The downpour outside continued, more or less, for the whole three days, resulting in just the one shortish walk involving a rough ascent of a nearby Tump called "Penn" and a bit of a scramble over forestry brash and slippery boulders back to our oasis of sanity.
Lucky's jacket is more waterproof than mine. This is Just Not Fair
It rained heavily all of the second night and blew a hoolie, resulting in flooded fields and some hysteria from the people broadcasting traffic reports from BBC Radio Cumbria -  and a very brief dog walk which the dog didn't enjoy at all and just a short wander around in the afternoon to look at the swollen becks and the rampaging river.

It rained heavily during the third night too....

We went home.
Water water everywhere....   Cumbrian drought sets in (it stopped raining for five minutes)

I forgot to pack my boots and they're still there, but the farmer's lad was helpful on the phone and is looking after them till I can collect them in a week or so's time. I suspect that I might owe him a small reward.

But, on the upside, I can recommend Wallabarrow Camping barn. It sleeps about ten people I think and dogs are allowed providing they behave themselves and don't chase the chickens or the sheep, or anything else and dog poo etc. is cleaned up and they don't sit on the furniture. Its a camping barn, though and not a hostel. Its a plush camping barn, though and its not too far from the pub, although, when it's dark and wet and howling outside, sploshing over to the pub takes real determination, I would have thought. 


AlanR said...

So the mice are still there then, I thought after they did the place up they got rid of them. Still, its better than it used to be. Yes the stumble to the pub on pitch black nights is challenging and the route across the stepping stones is best avoided after a few beers.

Dawn Linney said...

It was certainly inclement weather!

Mike Knipe said...

We might try it again later in the year, Alan. I wasn't too mithered about the mice, it's a farm, innit, with chickens and cows and stuff and, you'd expect there to be some mice, I think. They weren't a bother as long as you didn't leave food available. They were probably sheltering from the storm outside, in fact. A cat would have a good life here , I think.... (I didn't see any cats)