Think we can safely say training is continuing in earnest. A big thanks first off for my Buttermere 'parking angel' . Got there as early as I could, knowing the rest of the walking world would have had the very same idea and, guess what, I was right. No chance of parking at the usual place behind the little church on the Newlands road so doubled back through Buttermere to the National Trust car park. Now unfortunately, I'm not a member so I have to pay. Damn!
A rifle through the purse, several pockets and the bottom of my rucksack and I managed to get together £4.70 – still one whole pound short of the necessary £5.70 for a day's parking. £4.70 only gets you four hours. (Note to self: investigate cost of joining! Must pay for itself over the year in car park charges alone!!) So, I wandered along to a fellow walker busy gathering stuff from the boot of her Mini (same colour as mine funnily enough). Could she change a fiver? No, but please just have a pound, she said, handing me the coin. So thanks to her, off I set at 9.50am...
...past The Fish, then right at the t-junction in the path, and along the valley a bit before turning up past Scale Force and on to Red Pike, over High Stile, down and up across Hay Stacks, in the direction of Rosthwaite (our destination for a C2C stop), then a left turn down the beck, past Gatesgarth Farm and round the lake back to Buttermere. According to the iPad*, 19.1km with a fair bit of uppy downy stuff in between.
A great day out... which would have been all the better but for a few things...
Having seriously underestimated the potential warmth of the day, I didn't take enough water. So, by the time I was approaching High Stile, I already knew I was going to be 'on rations'. Managed to eke it out so the final mouthful was perfectly timed a few hundred yards from the pub – where I bought the BEST pint of soda water I have EVER tasted!!!
Then there was the baseball cap – the one I looked at in the boot of the car and didn't bother to pick up! My that sun was hot!
But incidentally, I now know without doubt that I am English! Because what I DID carry around the entire day was the Paramo Twirlie jacket – just in case it rained! Surprised, quite frankly, I hadn't packed the brolly.
Then there was the beck-that-bit-back... doing so well, I was, negotiating big boulders across Warnscale waterfall when I swear one of 'em moved. Or maybe it just threw me off? Either way, I landing on my bum, in the water. Ouch. Still at least it cooled me off for a while.
So... dehydration, sun stroke, couple of bruised ribs, a broken thumbnail, and one soggy trouser leg... perfect day on the hill, I'd say.
Picture caption: Tired, windswept, sunburned, dehydrated, rather fetching hairdo, yet-to-be-soggy-legged and bruised. But happy. No really, this is a happy face!
*iPad battery still going strong 12 hours after it started out this morning, despite having the GPS signal switched on all day, including just under eight hours of tracking as I walked. So not really sure why it only lasted six hours last Tuesday. Maybe it was an knackered as we were? Anyway, whatever, research continues...