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The Lake District
I have been visiting the Lake District for about forty years, my first serious visit being the Keswick to Barrow walk whilst I was in the Royal Navy stationed on a submarine that was under construction in Barrow in Furness. My friend and myself managed to do approximately thirty miles and when the blood started oozing out of his training shoes that was our time to stop. We also had a camping weekend around the Wasdale area and dicovered a pub called the Scree’s whilst i was on the submarine, but as you tend to do when you are a bit younger, we stayed in the pub and drank a little bit more than we should have, believe me climbing a peak with a full scale hangover is not good for you.
It would be a few years before I started coming back with things like getting married, having kids and a four hundred mile road trip to get there not helping. Eventually the kids had grown up we had our foreign holidays and we were at a loss for a weekend so off we went to Windermere. That was my wife Kim and me hooked and from then we would normally visit at least twice a year. We started of using bed and breakfast accommodation at first but then we would rent a cottage as it is easier and a pet friendly location, which is ideal for our two Newfoundland dogs who would also get a holiday.
One particular year we had a bit of a family gathering up there hiring a cottage which accommodated our two daughters their partners and Kims brother and partner. Strange weather for March as we managed a bbq on the first night as it was so nice, during that week we also managed to climb Helvelyn via the striding edge route, which is the fourth highest peak in the lakes, there was still a good cover of snow up there and great care must be taken not to get to close to the edge as you can go straight through the canopy. Striding edge was a bit daunting as Carly our youngest daughter and myself are not very good with heights. Our track over striding edge took us via a narrow pathway with quite a drop at its edge, so we were both rock huggers as we made our way over but at least we lived to tell the tale. We have done most of the Wainwright walks shown on the Julia Bradbury television series with only Blencathra and Sca Fell Pike as our last mountains remaining to climb. Kim and myself started to do Sca Fell but the idiot navigator (me) took the wrong turn and we ended up on the next door peak which i believe is called north end. Still it was a great walk and also a bit amusing as Kim was trying to navigate her way down the mountain through the snow drifts.
We have found some beautiful places to stay and the last few visits we have tended to stay over the west lakes around the wasdale area as it tends to be a bit more on the quiet side and to me personally i find the area a bit more wild with stunning views. There is a little drawback staying where we were it is a bit remote and to get to the buisier side of the lakes meant a drive over Hardknott and Wrynose passes. They are basicaly single lane very steep roads with wonderfull hairpin bends and very limited space for passing, but also give you a great buzz when driving them. One particular journey i had to pull in for sombody to pass on Hardknott but there was a sharp rock which shredded one of my tyres as i descended the eastern side of Hardknott. This part of the road is in the middle of nowhere there is no phone signal and guess what, I didn’t have a spare tyre. after a little bit of cursing and swearing well a lot really it was a case of Carlys husband, Chris and me setting back over Hardknott to get a phone signal to sort out a new tyre, after about an hours trek a few phone calls some very sore feet and a £300 bill for a new tyre we waited for the man in a van to come and fit my gold encrusted tyre. Wont be doing that little baby again. But even after that we still mannaged to have a fantastic time up there.
We have not managed to return to the lakes for the last two years due to Kim’s illness and our older dog is starting to lose the use of her rear legs, but I was recently working out of Barrow in Furness, working night shift in the offshore wind farm industry. Barrow is situated on the south west outskirt of the lake district and after my shift had finished I was able to drive into the lakes to take some photographs, it was the start of the summer and was blessed with great weather. It was a bit sad as I missed Kim giving me earache ( ha ha ) as I was driving around but hopefully we shall get a chance to return, anyway I hope that you enjoy the photographs as much as I enjoyed travelling around to take them.