Me and LTD had a brief visit to Shap and Wet Sleddale for the bagging of a Tump – Shap Thorn, just outside Shap, and Tongue Rigg, a Synge at the head of Wet Sleddale. This all went fairly well, or so it seemed at the time.
But Shap Thorn may have temporarily crippled me. I followed an old track up to an intake wall and the summit appears on the other side – either a small copse containing what appears to be a tumulus, or a bit of rising ground just a little way to the North. There was no gate and, whilst the wall seemed solid enough and only lightly armed with some loose and rusty barbed wire, a chink in it’s armour seemed to be a creephole aka, in local dialect, a Cripple through which I could push the dog and follow him through, thus retaining a smidgeon of dignity provided that nobody was watching.
I used the same cripple on the way back, banged my knee on a stone, did some swearing and returned to the knipemobile and drove off to the Wet Sleddale reservoir car park not all that far away.
A walk passing a herd of cows who were just considering a brief bit of frenzy, but didn’t bother in the end, passed relatively easily if a bit squishily underfoot past an odd enclosure with very tall walls, up a steep and sloppy slope covered in asphodels and through a gate to the summit of my desired Synge. The weather on top being completely out of kilter with the BBC/Met Office “Mainly dry” – that is to say, it was windy and raining – I sought shelter lower down for the scoffing of an egg and tomato butty and one of Coopeland’s finest curd tarts. I have a bit of a fondness for Cooplands curd tarts as it happens.
To get to a footbridge I noticed, I had to cross a deer fence and discovered a rather lovely little gorge on the other side.
Having sated myself with the butty and tart, plus a bit of pre-melted and re-set chocolate I determined to get myself back to the start. This turned out to be less than straightforward due to a maze of fences who’s siting seemed to have no logic at all and which did not appear on my map. But, eventually, we achieved a permissive path and plodded back to the car park.
Now, when I left Sleddale and Shap there was nothing at all wrong with my kneecap. it was only after tea (this is dinner for Southern readers by the way) I had a little nap during
Hennyway, I’m temporarily out of commission as far as walking is concerned. Driving is probably impossible too and I doubt if I could even be a passenger for very long. I can’t bend me leg, see? I’m not allowed ibruprofen due to other medications, so the regime, as advised by the doctor who is probably still giggling at the thought of an elderly, slightly obese gentleman squeezing through a crippl'em is paracetamol (this does bugger-all), ibruprofen gel, regular ice-packs, watching Jeremy Kyle on the tellybox whilst having a raised foot and some gentle pottering about the house, but no proper walking.
I’m hoping this will resolve quite quickly as I’m supposed to be off to Scotland on Thursday and have a Munro-bagging planned if the weather is OK.
If anybody knows the function of the large enclosure with the extra-high walls, I would be quite gruntled to hear it. The walls seem high enough to keep deer in, but may have been shortened in some places.