Saturday, 13 April 2019

A Bijoux Backpack from Borrowdale to Buttermere and Back

There was supposed to be three huming beans and a dog on this trip but towards the last minute JJ hurt himself somehow and had a small disaster concerning a caravan, so he couldn't come. However, Margaret did turn up and so did LTD and me and we spent a chilly night at Chapel Farm campsite where The Boss agreed our plan to leave a car and a small tent for a few days whilst we had a wander.

For this trip, I had no navigation, negotiation or responsibilities, which was fab. Margaret had a route and so, that's what we did. Attentive readers may notice that on all the photos, she's in front, followed by Lucky The Dog with me bringing up the rear, making sure we weren't ambushed from behind or anything untoward  like that.

Very attentive readers, and those who just look at the pictures, will also notice that the weather on almost all of the pics is bright and sunny. This is because the weather was bright and sunny, except at night when it was dark and very starry and specially cold, covering the tents with a layer of ice.

Our route was specially fablious too - wandering up Honister Pass (for a cuppa), down the other side to Gatesgarth and beside the lake to Buttermere (for drinkies) We found a slightly tilted camping spot below Addacombe Hole. The moon rose. The tents froze. All was quiet.

In the morning, and in the shade of nearby Knott Rigg and Ard Crags, we rambled over the pass or bealach (or, indeed, bwlch) into Newlands and along the Cumbria Way into Keswick where, I was, I'm afraid to say, tempted by a lamb and mint pasty at the pasty shop AND an dutch apple and cinnamon pasty, thus completing the planning of my evening meal which, I intended,  would be rounded off with a significant amount of dark rum and a huge and lengthy snooze till the next dawn dawned.  LTD was to have Winalot, kibble a bonio and a dentastick, as usual.

In mid-afternoon, on our way up to Walla Crag, we noticed some flattish platforms beside a derelict wall near a small beck . This provided a bit of a suntrap for the tents (it may have been sunny, but it wasn't all that warm in the wind). The beck provided a large supply of good water and a warm and lazy few hours was spent being warm and lazy with a nice view of Skiddaw and Blencathra.

However, the pasty I bought in Keswick proved to be significantly more substantial than I'd thought and the result of stuffing this down my throat as quickly as feasible was that I couldn't face all of the apple pasty.  So Margaret accepted half (apple isn't really very good for dogs was my excuse to LTD... and he'd already had his tea anyway and he didn't want to get fat eh?)

On the final walking day, we walked by Walla Crag and in and out of the heathery tors to Dock Tarn via the Caffle Café at Watendlath. Now, in the dialect used at Airedale Hospital, when I worked there many years ago, to "caffle", was to chicken out of something. Caffling was sometimes accompanied by the excuse that it was one's aunty's birthday and so it would be impossible to do whatever it was that one didn't want to do. In this case, though, "Caffle" is the name of the nearby beck. However, it may be possible, I suppose, that the odd deep pool in Caffle Beck holds really really cold water; cold enough to make the tyro swimmer or dipper to caffle and declare that it is, in fact, his Dad's sister's birthday and he'd better be away to attend the party. Who knows?

An impossibly steep descent brought us back to Borrowdale for a last night on Chapel Farm campsite. Attempts to contact JJ failed due to shaky and/or non-existent phone signals, so we have no news as to what kind of break he was having.

And that was that. Three days walking on a superb route in cracking weather and some starry nights and NO RAIN AT ALL (which is remarkable actually.)  We'll probably be doing a rematch or two, I expect.  because it was all quite good fun.  Thanks to Margaret for doing all the hard work and helping out with the Dutch apple and cinnamon pasty. Next is an attempt on the Three Peaks of Yorkshire. Doomed.... doomed I tell you......


Quinn said...

Sometimes it's nice to have someone else do all the navigating/leading, isn't it? For a while I worked in the woods with a fantastic forester - a legend, truly - and I almost got lazy. But I never knew when I would suddenly be called upon to take over the course or go off on my own to meet up again later at another point relative to the one we were at, so I didn't dare get TOO lazy :)

Meanqueen said...

Fabulous views. Thanks for your reports.